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Furlough Days and the Courts

 California Government Code section 68106 allows the Judicial Council to provide for the closure of courts as a result of the current fiscal crisis.  The third Wednesday of each month has been designated for closure in order to ameliorate the effects of the dire budgetary straits California is experiencing. 


The Code provides that the closure is treated as a holiday for purposes of performing judicial business.  The computation of time pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, holding court, the transaction of judicial business, and all other time-dependent provisions are pushed to the next court day.  Although a court may still receive papers for filing on a closed day by mail or by delivery into a specially designated drop box at the courthouse , the time of filing will be the next court day.  The fact that a court receives papers does not constitute opening of the court for any purpose.  A drop box is to be designated to permit documents to be filed.


The furlough days do not affect signing of emergency documents as a judicial officer must be available for this purpose on the same basis that a judicial officer is available on weekends, holidays and any other time a court is closed.


The code section governing the court furlough days is scheduled to become inoperative on July 1, 2010 and to be repealed as of January 1, 2011, unless a later enacted statute that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2011 deletes or extends those dates.


Ellen Sheffer