SAN FRANCISCO—Four trial courts–those of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Luis Obispo Counties—will take over some or all of their local facility maintenance in a pilot program to begin July 1, the Administrative Office of the Courts announced today.
A statewide working group of court executives and facilities staff from 13 courts led development of the pilot program, which was open to all 58 trial courts statewide. The four pilot courts were selected for their diversity in size and their interest in taking on varying levels of maintenance responsibility in what is expected to be a gradually expanding two-year test of decentralized facility operations and maintenance.
“This program responds to the requests of some courts for greater local control of their facilities,” said Sherri R. Carter, Court Executive Officer of the Superior Court of Riverside County, who chaired the working group. “Delegation of this responsibility from the state to the local courts must be done in keeping with rules of court, statutory requirements, and within the very limited statewide funding that the judicial branch has available for facilities operation and maintenance. The working group appreciates the four courts that will take the lead, and we hope their experience will encourage further decentralization efforts in this area.”
The Superior Court of Orange County will take on full responsibility for operations, maintenance, and facility modification projects for its 13 facilities. The Superior Courts of Riverside and San Luis Obispo Counties will take on all operations and maintenance tasks as well as projects under $15,000. The Superior Court of Imperial County will take on minor maintenance, generally classified as routine tasks under $500, in its seven buildings. The program begins in the Imperial and San Luis Obispo courts on July 1. The Orange and Riverside courts requested more lead time for implementation, so their start date will be October 1.
The pilot program will be evaluated after the first six months and every six months thereafter on the bases of cost, efficiency, compliance with agreements, and the satisfaction of the participating courts, with the aim of removing obstacles that might impede the program’s expansion to additional courts.