The Lassen County Mobile Access Center which was announced in Big Valley news arrived in Bieber Thursday Morning. This was the first time the mobile court the access center was used in Lassen County and is also one of the first times such a service has been offered in California.
The mobile access court, an outreach program, was established to help people in rural areas get better access to the court system, particularly where it is difficult to get to the county court house. It is a difficult task to drive 90 miles to Susanville for routine court business.
What kind of services are available? As explained by Judge Stephen Bradbury, most court business involves paperwork, filing documents and assistance which is done at the court's administrative counter and does not involve a court appearance. The mobile access center allows the public to do any business EXCEPT COURT APPEARANCES. You can pay your traffic tickets, pay your traffic ticket, file court documents, do mediation etc. You can even get legal information from an attorney. If an appointment is made, you can meet with a Family Law Facilitator.
Because the service is new and the people of Big Valley are not accustomed to using this center there were not very many clients. I, as the reporter decided to "test" the system by having a nagging legal question involving property transfer resolved. I came with some documents and met with the attorney who explained to me what I needed to do. All in all I found that it was a very friendly and less problematic process than driving to Susanville and waiting through long lines to get my problem solved. The staff is friendly, very helpful and less overworked than they would be at the courthouse in Susanville.
Judge Stephen Bradbury, the presiding judge of Lassen Superior Court explained to me that funding for the mobile center was through the State of California Judicial Branch and no county funds were used (unless you count your state income tax as Lassen County Funds.) The concept of supplying mobile access to a superior court is very new, Lassen County is one of the first areas in California, if not the United States to provide this. A google search for mobile court outreach shows very little and we are indeed lucky to have such a service.
Judge Bradbury was active in creating this project. The van is very well equipped and staffed. There is a satellite link for internet service and connection to the Lassen County Court system. There is internet service for the public to do legal research and lots of educational material. The most helpful aspect is the knowledgable staff on site and the low volume of "customers" It really makes it easy.
The van will be in Bieber Friday, September 19, 2008. so drop by for a visit even if you don't have legal problems and educate yourself. The people are freindly and helpful and very proud of their new center.