The Superior Court of California for the County of San Bernardino announced on Thursday that, come September, the number of hours for the Superior Court located in Big Bear, as well as the court in Needles, will have reduced hours. The notice dated June 4 reads, “The court intends to be open the first full week of each month, and will continue to handle all matters presently heard in that court, with the exception of criminal and time-sensitive matters.” These time-sensitive matters will, instead, be directed to the Superior Court in Victorville, which comes with inherent impositions on those in the Big Bear Valley, including the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station, whose deputies would have to take the extra time to transport those in their custody off the mountain. This, and other points, such as winter road issues and the added cost for local law enforcement and individuals, was brought before the Big Bear Lake City Council by attorney Dixie Allison last night. The City was aware of the notice and, as agendized for their June 8 meeting, Council unanimously agreed to send a letter in opposition to the closure of the Big Bear court; this letter will be sent to applicable elected representatives, including the Governor, State Senator, Assemblyman, and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The court closure proposal–which Allison questioned, “Is this a precursor to closing the court altogether?”—was prompted by the State’s announcement that it will decrease funds directed to the court system.
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