The court system has become entrenched in a bog of overworked judges, clerks and employees. This is due to budget cutbacks. The cut backs effect everyone using the court system, especially the public.
- The office for filing of documents has cut back on service hours; the Sunnyvale family court clerk and the downtown San Jose family court clerk close at 3:00 pm. It used to be 4:00 pm.
- It takes weeks for certain family law documents to be approved and filed. The approval of a default case in the Sunnyvale family court used to take less than a month. Now it takes 2 or 3 months.
- The court has eliminated court “calendars” that helped the court speed cases through the court system: “Fast track”. One such calendar was the Case Management Conference. They were automatically set for a date several months after the filing of a new family law matter.
- Effective in August, 2016 family court matters set by an attorney must be filed electronically. This entails hiring an e-file vendor, which accepts documents online and then logs the document into the court filing system. The vendor charges a service fee for each document filed, beginning at $1.00 per document up to $9.95, depending on the vendor. The vendor charges one’s credit card for the filing fee and the document fee. All vendors charge an additional bank fee of approximately 2.5% to 3%. The e-file requirement does not apply to those litigants who do not have an attorney, a status known as propia persona, pro-per, for short. Thus, they can file the documents with the court clerk in person, or by U.S. mail.