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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 that live at home taken care of the Home Care Assistance in Bethesda services which helped him in all the process, he was never alone,  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.

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at  8:00 am.   2 comments have been made. Join them. 

2 Responses to “Sad For The Future”

  1. TJ says:

    wow, well articulated chuck.

    perhaps even worse than this scenario may be what i’ve been calling the new underclass. these are the people who were hit with felonies for victimless crimes (think: recreational marijuana user who gets busted). these people no longer have incomes so no longer pay taxes (and it costs taxpayers $48K per year to house them while incarcerated). they can’t get new employment due to background checks. they can’t get housing due to similar. it’s a disaster and they didn’t even cause damages.

    guess whose house they’re going to rob when they finally get too hungry?

  2. Chuck says:

    Yours and mine TJ. I notice you don’t even limit it to people actually convicted of crimes. We both know from the days in Lapwai that an arrest and the burdens of bail and defending a case can destroy a life on the edge just as easily as an actual conviction.

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