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Closure Delayed of Juvenile Court Facility Near Goleta

A planned closure of the courtroom and clerk’s office at the Juvenile Court facility near Goleta will be delayed so Santa Barbara County Superior Court officials can iron out logistics of a move.

Due to severe budget reductions, the Juvenile Court at 4500 Hollister Ave. was set to close for good next Friday, along with clerk’s office at the Solvang Division.

While the Solvang division will still shutter on time — with matters and staff moving to the Lompoc Division — Court Executive Officer Darrel Parker said Thursday that the Juvenile Court move was postponed so staff could incorporate stakeholder suggestions.

Parker didn’t know when the Juvenile Court move might be rescheduled.

All juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency matters heard there are set to move to from an aging trailer to Santa Barbara Superior Court’s Jury Assembly Building in Department 14 at 1108 Santa Barbara St.

Filings for such matters will be done at the Juvenile Clerk’s Office in the Figueroa Division at 118 E. Figueroa St.

Juvenile court staff will assist in the main court facilities in downtown Santa Barbara, and changes will not impact juvenile matters scheduled for the Santa Maria Division of the Juvenile Court.

All changes were supposed to be effective Oct. 14.

After announcing closures in August, the court hosted a meeting with impacted stakeholders last month to provide input on the changes, although Parker said there was no requirement to do so.

Based on suggestions of how to modify the facility for moving, the court decided to delay to further discuss logistics with space planners and facilities personnel.

“We’ve reviewed those suggestions, and we think they have merit, and we’re trying to incorporate those,” said Parker, who is waiting for a more precise time and cost estimate.

A number of concerns involved impacts to operations and the confidentiality of the Juvenile Court proceedings, he said.

Parker said juvenile delinquency filings have been down more than 45 percent countywide since fiscal year 2009-10. With overall staffing levels also down, he hopes to better allocate those he has left.

“We have full-time staff operating with what accounts to a part-time job,” he said. “We can use them elsewhere.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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