Sad For The Future
I haven’t made much of a secret of my humble opinion that the California courts are seriously broken. Their infrastructure, particularly that for handling information, is at least 20 years behind the times. Instead of expanding to deal with the consequences of the recession, they cut back with a resulting slow-down in the handling of cases across the board.
The issue is compounded by a certain class of cases that will never, ever, end, taking resources forever. Yesterday while waiting (two hours to make a five minute appearance) for a case to be called, I watched the child support case of an elderly man where the state was still pursuing $164,000 in arrears for a child who is now 33 years old. The man was arguing his monthly payments should be reduced to $50 per month because he had just lost his job. The result of the day’s work on that case was squat nada bupkus because a continuance had to be granted because a party had only received certain documents 24 days before the hearing instead of the required 30. The court will take up the issue again in August.
NB: the interest alone on $164,000 of past due child support is $1366 per month. If his motion is granted, he will still only be paying 3 1/2% of the interest accruing each month, and never touching the principal.
I admit I don’t know what the solution should be in cases like this. I suspect it took a lot of neglect to rack up that much in arrears. Massive neglect, even intentional wrongdoing, doesn’t stop the government from bailing out banks, or automakers or reckless homeowners though, so maybe I should stop feeling judgmental about how the debt was created. I just hate seeing cases (or problems, or debts, take your pick) that by plan and inflexible laws can never end, and in the process eat up dwindling, finite, resources and judicial time.