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177 Los Angeles Superior Court employees laid off

Los Angeles Superior Court is seen.

June 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Layoffs and staff cutbacks affecting more than 500 Los Angeles Superior Court employees kicked in Friday.

The cutbacks include 177 outright layoffs and hundreds of demotions and transfers. L.A. Superior Court has already closed eight courthouses and cut back services at others. It has also done away with part-time court reporters in civil courts and all full-time referee positions in the juvenile courts. Other departments have been consolidated into fewer locations.

A legislative committee and the governor agreed this week to restore $60 million to state courts. But presiding Superior Court Judge David Wesley said the $20 million going to Los Angeles will not be enough to avoid layoffs.

Wesley made the announcement Thursday, further restricting a court system that began facing cuts with the budget crisis in 2008.

"We have reached the new normal, and there is nothing to like about it," said Wesley.

Wesley said the cuts will save $56 million a year but undermine the goal of a court system serving all areas of the county.

"This is not the neighborhood court we worked so hard to build," Wesley said in a written statement. "It is not our vision for access to justice. But this is the court the state is willing and able to support."

Employees were to receive their layoff notices Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.