Barstow, Big Bear and Needles Courthouse Closures
On January 31st, Supervisor Ramos and Supervisor Lovingood held a meeting regarding the closures of the courthouses
in Barstow, Big Bear, and Barstow. Our court system is funded by the State of California. Due to budget cuts, these
courthouses are scheduled to close in May. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss possible solutions to this issue
that can take place at the County level.
During the meeting, the two Supervisors were briefed on the status of court funding for San Bernardino County by Court
Executive Officer Stephen Nash. Following the overview of the cuts already experienced by our court system, the attendees
had a productive discussion of possible solutions in the short-term to mitigate the impact that will be felt by residents
in the affected areas.
Providing adequate and affordable transportation and utilizing remote courthouse technology are two short-term solution
ideas that Supervisor Ramos and Lovingood are committed to investigating. All were in agreement that residents must have
easy accessibility to the courthouses they will be reassigned to following these closures.
The discussion also included ideas for long-term solutions to the inequitable state funding of our court system. “It is vital
that we have our voice heard at the state level. We must come together for the betterment of San Bernardino County as a whole,”
stated Supervisor Ramos.
Those in attendance agreed to continue to explore alternatives for short-term solutions and to work towards the long-term goal
of achieving equitable funding of our court system at the state level.
On February 19th, the Board of Supervisors discussed this issue during their first study session. Testimony was given on the
impact of historic and current underfunding from the State for our court system. Mayors Bill Holland (Hesperia), Julie McIntyre
(Barstow), and Jay Obernolte (Big Bear) were present to represent residents who will be affected by these closures. At the
conclusion of this session, the Board directed the County Chief Executive Office to prepare an item for consideration at the
February 26th Board meeting.
On February 26th, the Board adopted a resolution of support for efforts to provide adequate, equitable, and ongoing funding for
the San Bernardino Superior Court. This will allow the County to engage the State Legislature, local municipalities and other
invested stakeholders to ensure continued timely access to justice is available to all San Bernardino County residents. The Board
also approved a recommendation to allow the County Administrative Office, in conjunction with County Counsel, to develop a strategy
to work with the community to address issues affecting San Bernardino Superior Court including underfunding and