The Judicial Council’s 60 million dollar storage closet

Posted on July 25, 2016


A few years ago we shared with you the story about the 6 million dollar Plumas-Sierra regional storage shed. Sure, compared to CCMS or the unlicensed contractor debacle, 6 million dollars for a regional storage shed is pocket change.

Apparently,the AOC heard our dismissal of their paltry waste of money and envisioned something bolder. In true judicial council fashion, they upped their game and outdid themselves by building a 60 million dollar regional storage shed in Morgan Hill, California.

The story goes like this: For two *decades, the residents of South Santa Clara county were promised a courthouse so in 1994 the county built them one in San Martin, California for about 7 million dollars. Four years and almost two dozen workers comp claims later, the old south county courthouse was condemned for toxic mold growth and the court was moved into rat and ant infested portable buildings while the state was to provide a solution courtesy of those stalwarts of prudent public spending, the Judicial Council of California.

Initially, it was envisioned that a 60,000 square foot replacement courthouse would be built in neighboring Morgan Hill for a mere 22 million dollars. And then the now infamous trial court facilities standards took hold and the Morgan Hill Courthouse went from handling civil, small claims and traffic to being equipped to manage in-custody criminal cases, just in case that some day, they want to actually hear criminal cases in South County. Of course, this took the 22 million dollar courthouse to three separate pathways, one for the public, one for the incarcerated and one for employees and the price skyrocketed from an estimated 22 million dollars to 60 million dollars with cost overruns and litigation factored in.

Ten years after the San Martin Courthouse was condemned, the Morgan Hill Courthouse was opened. And then the budget cuts came.

Instead of choosing to leave the courthouse as a full service courthouse, Santa Clara County Courts chose to move most court case types out of the building to other courthouses and use the new courthouse as mostly a $33,000.00+ per month storage facility, which represents the monthly cost to maintain the building.

So if you think that the Plumas-Sierra Regional Storage facility was a waste of taxpaper cash, we’ve now got a much larger and more expensive storage facility – in Morgan Hill.

Read more about this via the Murky News. 

*Proof correction substitutes decades for centuries