Government Oversight Committee – Week 9, 2020


SF 2394 – Custody and control of courthouses  

SF 2394 makes it clear that a county auditor has custody and control of the county courthouse, subject to the direction of the county board of supervisors. The bill strikes a “general custody and control” provision to make custody and control clearer. Currently, a county or city provides suitable facilities for the district court of the county. If the county board of supervisors decides not to keep space for the district court, they may enter into an agreement with a contiguous county in the same judicial district to share costs in providing physical facilities for a district court.

The bill clarifies that the physical facilities remain the sole property of the county or city and are subject to exclusive control of the county or city, and that the county or city will provide physical security and access to these facilities in a manner that aids judicial operations. It allows the county board of supervisors or the city councils to determine the adequacy and reasonableness of the security and accessibility of the physical facilities, and includes a provision that a court does not have jurisdiction to hear a matter involving the adequacy or reasonableness of the facilities.

Finally, the bill tells counties that they do not need the approval of the Supreme Court to enter into an agreement with a contiguous county to share court costs, as opposed to maintaining their own county facilities.
[3/11: 45-1 (No: R. Taylor; Excused: Breitbach, Brown, Feenstra, Hogg)]