Uproar over Santa Clara County Sheriff’s proposal to close courts

Citing overworked employees, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith wrote a memo saying she would remove her duties from her security duties at the courthouses in Palo Alto and Morgan Hill by mid-June, Superior. Will ask court officials to close the facilities until they are found. More help.

The memo – which reportedly came out last Friday before Memorial Day weekend – has received strong objections from the court. In a reply letter to Smith on Wednesday, Presiding Judge Theodore Zayner wrote that Smith’s decision to lay off employees in the North and South County courthouses was “astonishing” and “at short notice.”

Zainer categorically rejected the idea of ​​closing the Courthouse, which this year resumed full operations following the closure of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have no intention of closing any courthouse or courtroom,” Zainer’s letter said.

Smith’s memo, which was obtained by the Bay Area News Group and addressed to Jenner and Court Executive Officer Rebecca Fleming, argues Smith and his office warned the Court and County Executive Jeff Smith in April that They didn’t have enough reps for the employees of Palo Alto. The court wrote that it had earlier suggested delaying the reopening of the court in December.