73 layoffs planned in Alameda County's Superior Court

Cutbacks affect Pleasanton, six other court locations

Alameda County Superior Court officials have announced that they will lay off 73 court employees as a result of the state's budget reductions.

The final workday for the employees being laid off will be June 26, court officials said.

In a statement, court executive officer Pat Sweeten cited the "continued economic downturn affecting California as a whole and the decrease in state funding of the superior courts" as the reason for the layoffs.

Sweeten said, "This decision was one of the most difficult I've ever had to make. These individuals have been dedicated public servants, in some cases for many years."

"Unfortunately, these staffing reductions are necessary," he said. "We have a responsibility to the public to manage within our means."

Sweeten said the court has pursued a number of alternatives to layoffs in the current fiscal year, including a hiring freeze and court-wide voluntary and mandatory furloughs. But he said those measures weren't sufficient to keep the court's budget in balance.

Assistant executive officer Adrianne Forshay added: "These are dedicated and talented professionals who have provided tremendous value to our organization. Personally and professionally, they will be sorely missed."

Court officials said they will continue to employ approximately 750 employees at court locations throughout Alameda County, including Pleasanton, Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward and Fremont.

Sweeten said the court is determined to maintain access to justice for citizens of Alameda County despite the pending staffing reduction.

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Like this comment
Posted by Jo
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Great this will just make an already bad situation worse, has anyone tried to use the existing civil court system lately? Good luck it took us 3.5 years to get our case in front of a Judge because of the backlog that already existed in the Alameda Superior Court system. A well kept secret lawyers don't want to share, the civil courts can actually wait up to 5 years to hear your civil case if they want to.

So although as a US citizen you are entitled to Amendment 7 of the Constitution you cannot possibly utilize it anymore, you will go broke paying attorney fees prior to getting your day in court. With these new layoffs the situation will just get worse, beware and do not get caught in this money pit!

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

This will continue to happen because of the absurd pensions the government has agreed to. Many retirees are making 90% of their wage and full benefits and the gov. winds up paying for active and retired employees making nearly their active wage. You can't lay-off retirees, but you can sure do something to limit those pensions and benefits.
Look at General Motors...60,000 active employees and 334,000 retirees. They were building cars just to pay pensions and look where it got them.

Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Attorneys are already so expensive! Now we can't even get into court? It will be the return of the wild wild west where people solve thier issues in the street!

Like this comment
Posted by Big Poppa
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm

The right to a speedy trial is for criminal cases only not civil genius!

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 2, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Cut, slash, layoff every non essential employee and govt agency. Cut all budgets to the bone and get rid of every illegal in the State. Sounds mean but that's where we are at.

Like this comment
Posted by Jo
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Big Poppa that is the 6th Amendment the right to a speedy trial not the 7th, perhaps you need to brush up on your civics?! The 7th is the right to a civil trial with a jury, if it takes 5 years to get there most people including you could not afford the attorney fees to wait it out, thus the right no longer exists. Get it now?

Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

The third branch of government is no less guilty of sucking the taxpayer dry because it relies upon the same mandatory revenue that pays its salaries... called taxes. Cut them too... They should give us the same services but at lower cost. Why not? Are they special?

Like this comment
Posted by Big Poppa
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 2, 2009 at 11:11 pm

I only got to the 5th Amendment.

Like this comment
Posted by K. Corey
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

Pat Sweeten fails to mention that she gave her sidekick, Adrienne Forshay, a 10% raise in the month of March in the midst of drafting the layoff list, and spent millions on unnecessary technological improvements including a new payroll system. So let me get this straight Ms. Sweeten, you improve the payroll system so that now you can't make payroll, and you give Ms. Forshay a 10% raise and eliminate 73 jobs? Is that called justice in the courts?

Like this comment
Posted by Bradford
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Are they going to do cascading or just plain lay-offs? even if you have 20 yrs in service?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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