The crisis results from the financially troubled state's decision to slash $393 million from state trial courts in the budget this year. The state also has been closing all California courthouses on the third Wednesday of every month, with employees unpaid for those days.
"It's unprecedented," said McCoy. "Even during the Great Depression we did not close down court operations. We kept the courts open."
What has emerged is a hobbled court system that is struggling to serve the public.
Custody hearings, divorce proceedings, small-claims disputes, juvenile dependency matters and civil lawsuits have been delayed amid the courtroom shutdowns in Los Angeles. Drivers who choose to fight traffic tickets now have to wait up to nine months to get a trial started.
Complex civil lawsuits involving business affairs could be stalled as long as four years, McCoy said, with a ripple effect in the business community.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.