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San Francisco To Shutter Courtooms, Lay Off 200 Workers

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Superior Court is laying off more than 40 percent of its staff and shuttering 25 courtrooms because of budget cuts.

   Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein said Monday that the cuts mean it will take many more hours to pay a traffic ticket in person, up to 18 months to finalize a divorce and five years for a lawsuit to go to trial. The cuts go into effect on Sept. 30 and are needed to close a $13.75 million deficit.

   Some 200 of the court’s 480 workers will be let go, including 11 of 12 commissioners who preside over a variety of cases.

   Feinstein said the deficit was caused by the $350 million budget cut that Sacramento lawmakers made to the courts to approve the state’s annual budget.

   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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