This NBC video explains how dire the situation has become in some courts where budget cuts have led to layoffs resulting in long lines to file court document and even longer backlogs. Although this report focuses on California courts, the situation in most other states is similar. Judges worry that the problem could get worse, delaying and possibly even denying justice for many.
An NBC Investigative Unit has found that thousands of Californians must wait up to four times as long as normal to have their day in court. Some residents now wait five years or longer to have their civil complaints heard by a judge.
Presiding Judge Robert Foiles said that backlogs have reached a crisis point in many courts. This affects tens of thousands of people including those who need to file a small claim, get a divorce or settle a landlord tenant dispute.