Assembly Bill 1208

Fact Sheet  Setting the Record Straight

Six Reasons to Oppose AB 1208

Sacramento Bee Opposes AB 1208

Assembly Bill 1208—Trial Court Administration

Status: Moved to Senate Judiciary Committee after passing Assembly Floor on Jan 30, 2012.

"People who know the facts, know that this is no victory for Californians, for our state courts, or for equal access to justice. Our focus now turns to the Senate where we will continue to disseminate current and accurate information about the needs of the trial courts and the people of our state and the detrimental impact that this bill will have on meeting those needs.  I thank all of those who have worked so hard on behalf of a fair justice system and who will, I know, continue to do so because of their commitment to the equal administration of justice across the state.”
—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

Judicial Council's Position: Oppose (see letter sent to the Assembly)

Summary: AB 1208 is an inappropriate intrusion into fundamental governance of the judicial branch. It would remove from the Judicial Council its responsibility and authority to allocate funds to trial courts in a manner that supports implementation of statewide policies and initiatives and would remove the council’s role of ensuring the stability of trial court operations and providing oversight over trial court budgets. The bill also permits as few as two to three courts to veto allocations of funding for any statewide initiative for information technology or administrative infrastructure.

See full text of AB 1208

Legislative Priorities for 2012: On December 13, 2011, the Judicial Council adopted as a legislative priority for 2012 to continue its opposition to Assembly Bill 1208. The discussion on AB 1208 is contained in Part 2:

audio icon  Part I (18min)   and Part 2 (49min)


Opposition Letter from 75% of all Presiding Judges of the California Courts, Jan 12, 2012

Opposition Letter from The Administrative Presiding Justices of the California Courts of Appeal, Jan. 23, 2012

Opposition Letter from The Consumer Attorneys of California and the California Defense Counsel, Jan. 23, 2012

Opposition Letter from Merced Superior Court, Jan 20, 2012

Opposition Letter by National Center for Youth Law, Jan 18, 2012

Opposition Letter from Access to Justice Commission, Jan 12, 2012

Opposition Letter from the California Chamber of Commerce, Jan 11, 2012

Opposition Letter from the Civil Justice Association of California, Jan 10, 2012

Opposition Letter from Judge Steven E. Jahr (Ret.), includes first-hand account of the legislative history of trial court funding, Dec 9, 2011

Additional opposition letters received from:

  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Jan 25, 2012
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Jan 12, 2012
  • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Jan 11, 2012


AB 1208: Lake County Chamber Opinion (Lake County News) Feb 6, 2012

Tani Cantil-Sakauye pleads her case, fights Calderon bill (SacBee) Jan 26, 2012

Access Commission Opposes AB1208, Cites Effect on ‘Vulnerable Populations’ (MetNews)Jan 17, 2012

Large Majority of Presiding Judges Oppose AB1208, Council Member Says (MetNews) Jan 12, 2012

Editorial: Chief Justice: 'It's been a hammer over my head for the last year'' (LA Times) Jan 11, 2012
Several weeks after Tani Cantil-Sakauye took the oath as California's 28th chief justice on Jan. 3, 2011, Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) introduced a bill to strip the state Judicial Council, which she heads, of much of its power to run the judicial branch.

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