Lodi court to close March 4; services to be transferred to Stockton
The Lodi branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on West Elm Street on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. The branch will close on March 4, 2013, when court services will be transferred to Stockton.
Future of San Joaquin County Superior Court branch in Lodi uncertain
The Lodi branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on West Elm Street on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. The branch closed on March 4, 2013.
- A view on court closure from the city of Lodi
Even though the court is closing, the state of California will still continue to pay the city of Lodi to lease the building through at least 2022, Lodi City Manager Rad Bartlam said.
Lodi owns the building, which is next to the city’s police station, and the court signed a 15-year lease in 2007. Bartlam said the state built the interior specifically for the purpose of being a courthouse, which is why the lease is long.
“When you have that type of investment, you want a longer lease to amortize it,” he said.
The closure of the court will result in higher costs for the city, however.
Police officers required to attend trials will have to travel farther and wait longer.
During the next several months, the city will weigh what to do with suspects arrested by officers. Lodi is unique because currently people who are arrested are held in the Lodi city jail for two to four days until they are arraigned in the courthouse next door.
When the court closes, the city will either have to hold suspects in the city jail and then transport them to the San Joaquin County Courthouse for arraignment, or arrest them and take them directly to the San Joaquin County Jail for booking.
While both plans will cost more money, sending suspects to the already crowded county jail could have another intangible cost — a reduced deterrent, Bartlam said.
“With the county jail, the likelihood is that unless it’s a serious crime, you are going to be out in the time it takes to book you because there is no room,” Bartlam said. “People who get arrested here spend more time in jail than anywhere else in the county.”
— Maggie Creamer
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:01 pm
Beginning March 4, you will have to drive to downtown Stockton to go to court.
Presiding Superior Court Judge David Warner announced Thursday afternoon that money is so tight, he needs to trim the court system’s budget. The greatest cost savings will come from terminating all court services at the Lodi complex on West Elm Street, he said.
Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:01 pm.