Did the AOC lobby against son-of-ab1208 against the Chief’s wishes?

Posted on July 11, 2012


You remember that recent bit of revisionist history that had our Chief Justice saying that she was pleased with her shiny new handcuffs don’t you? We’re going to be a whole lot less diplomatic about how we frame the discussion. While the Alliance of California Judges can (and does) maintain a proper decorum when asking about most issues, us blue collar working stiffs over at JCW have learned to ask the same question using a whole lot less words without any decorum at all!

Curtis Child, did you lobby the legislature to kill son-of-ab1208 legislation against the chiefs wishes or is she presenting another version of the truth to us all?

(Of course he isn’t going to answer!)……(at least in any way any of us will understand…)

July 11, 2012
Dear Members and Others,

The Alliance strives to keep you informed of matters of importance affecting our judicial branch. In that regard, we include a letter that was recently sent to Curtis Child, the AOC/Judicial Council Director of the Office of Governmental Affairs.

We assume you were as surprised as we were to learn that the Chief Justice evidently supported the budgetary reform embodied in AB 1208, which was enacted by way of a trailer bill to this year’s state budget. In a conference call with reporters on Friday June 29th, the Chief Justice indicated that she was “pleased” with the reforms and had “no opposition” to the provision that restricts the ability of the Council and AOC to spend money from the Trial Court Trust Fund.

If in fact the Chief Justice had no opposition, we are perplexed by the fact that AOC/Council staff were actively engaged in attempts to kill and or water down these very provisions right up to the day the Senate voted to approve this necessary reform.

As the comprehensive SEC report has pointed out, AOC staff are not appropriately supervised by the Council and measures must be taken to rein in a bureaucracy that sees itself at the top of the organizational chart. We agree.

It is for that reason that we strongly encourage you to support the SEC recommendations by sending your comments to invitations@jud.ca.gov. We understand that the final date for comments is Sunday, July 22. Please support our colleagues who spent 55 weeks getting to the bottom of what ails our branch and send your comments without delay.

We will of course forward on to you any reply from Mr. Child. To date he has failed to respond, but he may very well be on vacation having worked so many hours at the Capitol.

Directors, Alliance of California Judges


July 5, 2012

Dear Mr. Child,

On Friday, June 29, the Chief Justice held a conference call with reporters to discuss the recently passed state budget and trailer bills. It has been reported that the Chief Justice was “pleased” with the reforms contained therein and in fact had “no opposition” to the provision that restricts the Judicial Council and AOC from taking monies from the Trial Court Trust Fund without consent of the Legislature or the courts. We include two articles that you may have missed, as the AOC does not include certain sources in its ENews.

As the Director of the Office of Governmental Affairs we would like to know when you received direction to take a “support” position on the concept that the Trial Court Trust Fund could no longer be spent by the Council without the express consent of the trial courts or the Legislature. As we understood it, the Council was very much opposed to this provision and spent considerable resources opposing it, even until the last Senate vote.

As you know, the Chief Justice reacted quite negatively when AB 1208 passed in the Assembly. Thus we are puzzled at what appears to be a major change of heart. Also, if branch leadership supported this reform, is it true that you or your staff opposed this reform without authority from the Council?

Mr. Child, we are mindful that just a few years ago someone on your staff attempted to insert budget trailer bill language that would have taken away the right of local courts to select their presiding judges. In the aftermath of that eleventh hour failed attempt we were made aware that this had occurred without appropriate council involvement and oversight. We are concerned that if press accounts of this current matter are accurate then corrective action must be taken so that a third such situation will not occur in the future.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding this puzzling turn of events. We will of course share your response with the more than 425 members of the Alliance of California Judges.

Thank you,

Directors, Alliance of California Judges