Facilities Program Timeline

1997
A statewide Task Force on Court Facilities is established by statute, to document the condition of California’s existing court buildings and the need for new or modified court facilities, and to identify funding mechanisms.

The task force included 18 members: 6 who represented the courts; 6 who represented the counties; and 4 who represented the state bar and the executive branch.

2001
The Task Force on Court Facilities identifies critical physical deficiencies in court buildings throughout the state. Its final report outlines, in broad terms, a program to improve or replace courthouses to make them safe, secure, and accessible.

The most far-reaching recommendation is that responsibility for courthouse stewardship should be shifted from the counties to the state. The task force recommends that the judicial branch, which is responsible for all court functions, should also be responsible for the buildings in which they operate.

2002
The Trial Court Facilities Act (Sen. Bill 1732) is enacted. The act provides for the shift of responsibility for trial courthouses from county to state governance, under the direction of the Judicial Council.

2003
Separate master plans are created for each of California’s 58 superior courts. The Judicial Council adopts the first procedure to prioritize the first two-thirds of all 340 projects identified in the master plans. This procedure is applied to 201 projects to develop the first Trial Court Capital-Outlay Plan, a prioritized list of projects.

2004
The first transfer of a courthouse from a county to the state is completed.

2005
The Judicial Council adopts the first Judicial Branch Five-Year Infrastructure Plan, which documents the urgent need for a multibillion-dollar program for improvement of the state’s courthouses. The five-year plan is submitted annually to the California Department of Finance as part of the court project funding request process.

The first two trial court capital-outlay projects, in Merced and Contra Costa (hyperlink) are funded by the Legislature.

The Prioritization Methodology for Modifications to Court Facilities is adopted by the Judicial Council.

2006
Four more projects, for Superior Courts in Fresno, Mono, and Plumas Counties,are funded by the legislature.

To facilitate transfer of courthouses to judicial branch oversight, the legislature revises the Trial Court Facilities Act by enacting Senate Bill 10, which resolves  liability issues for the state in taking over buildings that do not meet seismic safety standards. Under SB 10, buildings with a seismic level V rating can be transferred to the state so long as liability for all earthquake-related damage remains with the counties.

The Judicial Council adopts the Prioritization Methodology for Trial Court Capital-Outlay Projects, which results in a Trial Court Capital-Outlay Plan with projects assigned to one of five project priority groups.

Facilities contracts with three regional service providers for facility management services.

First meeting of Trial Court Facility Modification Working Group. 

2007
Funding for nine additional trial court capital-outlay projects is approved by the legislature.

2008
Senate Bill 1407 (Perata) authorizes up to $5 billion in lease-revenue bonds for courthouse construction and renovation.

The Judicial Council adopts a list of 41 courthouse construction and renovations projects to be funded by SB 1407.

By year's end, a record number of buildings, more than 400, transfer to the state.

2009
Senate Bill 1407 revenue collection begins in January, officially kicking off the beginning of a historic improvement to California’s court facilities.

In February, the Legislature enacts SBX2 12, which provides an expedited funding authorization process for the acquisition and preliminary plans phases of SB 1407–funded projects.

Facilities completes a new courthouse for the Fourth District Court of Appeal, in Santa Ana, and in Portola, the first multijurisdictional courthouse, which serves the Superior Courts of Plumas and Sierra Counties.

Facilities completes transfer of all 532 court facilities to judicial branch management on December 29, 2009. (hyperlink)

2010
All 41 SB 1407 projects receive funding authorization to proceed.  The capital program now totals 59 projects, either completed, current, or pending, at $6.5 billion.

Facilities handles its 100,000th service work order.

Facilities completes courthouse projects in Fresno and Pittsburg and breaks ground in Mammoth Lakes and Susanville.

2011
By the end of 2011, 49 court construction projects are in various stages of progress, from site acquisition through construction.

Architect selection is completed for all planned courthouse projects--36 architectural firms are selected or hired for new courthouses and major renovation projects.

The Long Beach courthouse, the judicial branch’s first project to use the innovative performance-based infrastructure delivery method, is now under way.

By the end of 2011, approximately 7,000 major courthouse renovation or improvement projects have been completed since the start of the program in 2005.

The Court Facilities Working Group is created by the Chief Justice to oversee the facilities program throughout the state.

2012
In the wake of ongoing cuts of over $1 billion to courthouse construction funding, the Judicial Council indefinitely delays 11 courthouse projects and directs that 27 projects—in various stages of progress from site acquisition through bidding—continue, but with significant budget reductions.

The Judicial Council restructures the facilities program into the Judicial Branch Capital Program Office and the Office of Real Estate and Facilities Management.

As part of a pilot project, four trial courts take over some or all of their facilities maintenance.

By the end of year, approximately 8,500 courthouse renovation or improvement projects have been completed since the start of the program in 2005.

2013
Groundbreakings celebrate the start of courthouse construction or renovation projects in Butte, Solano, and Yolo counties.

The Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, returns to the historic Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building in Sacramento after completion of a renovation project that began in 2009.

The Court Facilities Working Group is renamed the Court Facilities Advisory Committee, and will continue to recommend policies related to the capital construction program.

The Trial Court Facility Modification Advisory Committee, previously a working group, is elevated to an advisory committee under the Judicial Council to oversee court facility modifications and maintenance throughout the state.

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