In the latest cost-cutting measure, the Santa Barbara Superior Court will close its clerk’s office — including phones and public counters — an hour earlier every day, at 3 p.m.

California courts already face monthly furlough days on the third Wednesday of every month until June 2010.

With Santa Barbara courts facing a $2.6 million cut, they’ve implemented the statewide furloughs, voluntary judge furloughs and increased fees.

The courts now charge increased court reporter fees for civil actions in order to cover the actual cost, according to the notice written by Gary Blair, the trial courts executive officer. A full day costs $534, and a half day costs $267.

Although offices now close at 3 p.m., document filing drop boxes will be open until 5 p.m.

“Obviously, these are difficult times,” Blair wrote. “Our judges and staff greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we carefully manage our resources to address our budget cuts.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.