The Judicial Branch: 2011-2019

A look at key milestones under the leadership of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

2011-01-03 00:00:00

Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye is Sworn in as 28th Chief Justice of California

Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye is sworn in as the 28th Chief Justice of California, becoming the first Asian-American and second woman in state history to hold the office. For the first time in history, the Supreme Court of California would be majority female.

2011-07-01 13:24:29

Budget Crisis Grips the Courts

As a result of the Recession, the judicial branch’s budget is chopped by roughly $1 billion over five years, leading to courthouse closures, reduced hours and worker layoffs. $300 million earmarked for court construction and maintenance is swept by the Legislature.

2012-11-01 00:00:00

Chief Justice Launches Civics Initiative

The Chief Justice launches her Civic Learning Initiative after finding little time was devoted to teaching civics in California public schools. Supported by statewide partners, her Power of Democracy campaign has provided a blueprint for revitalizing civic education; 14 counties have civic education efforts inspired by the blueprint; more than 300 schools have been recognized with Civic Learning Awards; and a new Judges in the Classroom program pairs judges with local educators to teach students about the judicial branch.

2013-04-01 14:43:45

New Formula to Equalize Court Funding

The Judicial Council adopted a new process to equalize court funding, as vast disparities existed between the 58 California counties. Some counties only received half the funding they needed. Today, funding has largely been equalized, helping to provide a more consistent level of service for court users throughout the state.

2013-10-03 01:15:21

Chief Justices Introduces Access 3D

Chief Justice introduces Access 3D to expand physical, remote and equal access to California’s courts. Among the goals: that courts be safe, secure, accessible, and open during hours that benefit the public; that court users be able to conduct their business online; and that courts must serve people of all languages, abilities and financial needs.

2014-04-24 00:00:00

Open Meetings Rule Expands Public Access to the Judicial Council

California's judicial branch becomes the most transparent in the nation when the council adopts a rule allowing public access to meetings held by its internal and advisory committees.

2014-09-02 00:00:00

Judicial Council Names Martin Hoshino Administrative Director

The Judicial Council unanimously selects Martin Hoshino, Undersecretary for Operations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, as the council's Administrative Director.

2015-01-22 00:00:00

Language Access Plan Approved

The Judicial Council adopts the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts, providing a statewide approach to ensure equal access for Californians with limited English skills.

2015-12-01 00:00:00

Council Begins Webcasting Public Meetings

In another move to increase public access, the Judicial Council begins live streaming its public meetings.

2016-05-04 00:00:00

State's Highest Court Streams Oral Arguments

The nation's most-followed state Supreme Court opens another window of transparency when it begins regular web-streaming of its oral arguments. The court also provides real-time captioning in English and Spanish, further expanding access to court proceedings.

2017-03-16 20:04:52

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye Objects to Immigration Enforcement Tactics at California Courthouses

In a letter to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security John Kelly, the Chief Justice writes that "courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country's immigration laws."

2017-03-24 00:30:00

Council Approves $23.5 Million in Grant Funding for Court Innovations

The Judicial Council awards 53 grants to 29 courts to promote innovation and modernization. Projects include a mobile app that provides access to court services and a Fresno court that aids victims of human trafficking.

2017-05-18 08:18:11

Futures Commission Releases Report

The Commission on the Future of California’s Court System issues its final report, with the Chief Justice recommending action be taken on four items: helping self-represented litigants navigate the court system, decriminalizing minor traffic infractions, moving forward on civil justice reform, and modernizing court technology.

2017-10-24 07:07:10

Chief Justice Workgroup: Money Bail is “Unsafe and Unfair”

After a year of study, the Chief Justice's Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup submits a report recommending the unfair money bail system be replaced by risk-based release and detention system that considers a person's risk to public safety and their likelihood to return to court.

2018-05-24 03:14:12

Council Clarifies Rule on Public Disclosure of Settlement Agreements Involving Judicial Officers

Further increasing transparency in the judicial branch, the council says settlement agreements, including those involving sexual harassment or discrimination, must be disclosed if public funds were involved.

2018-07-01 06:06:06

Budget Funding Restored

After years of advocacy by branch leaders, a restoration of $284 million restarts construction on 10 courthouse projects, brings back court services and improves access to justice for millions.

2018-07-01 06:06:06

Self-Help Services Expand

The budget more than doubles the amount earmarked, from $11 million to $30 million, to help Californians going to court to fight evictions, gain custody of their children, or get divorces—without the help of an attorney. More than 4 million self-represented litigants visit state courthouses every year.

2018-10-11 20:28:55

Chief Justice Names Group to Review Workplace Conduct in the Judicial Branch

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye launches a workgroup to study and make recommendations for how the branch can prevent and address harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate workplace conduct.

2019-01-15 03:14:12

Chief Justice Names Group to Review Pretrial Reform Efforts in California

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye announces a new work group to review progress on reforms to California’s system of pretrial detention and identify next steps to continue work on the issue.

2019-01-15 03:14:12

Courts Expand Language Access

Since the language access plan was adopted four years ago, successes include expanding court interpreters in civil proceedings, providing language help at court counters and self-help centers, multilingual translation and signage at courthouses, and conducting outreach to communities about language services.

2019-03-19 20:28:55

Chief Justice Delivers State of the Judiciary Address

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye says civil rights work remains unfinished; current challenges of income inequality, pretrial reform, and equal access require innovation and a human touch from a more representative judiciary.

The Judicial Branch: 2011-2019

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