Assembly to consider $2 billion computer system for state courts

April 11, 2010

A state Assembly budget committee is scheduled to begin hearings this week on a proposed new statewide computer system for the courts whose price tag has already mushroomed up to $2 billion. [Sacramento Bee]

The so-called Court Case Management System has come under fire by several judges, critical of such an expense as California battles severe budget woes.

Meanwhile, the Administrative Office of the Court continues to support the computer upgrade, calling it “important” for the overall court system.

The project started out in 2002 as a modest effort to upgrade computers in several Southern California counties, but quickly ballooned into a statewide effort. Ronald George, chief justice of the state Supreme Court, considers the computer system “vital” to unifying the courts across the state.

However, many judges are objecting to such an expenditure when they’re forced to close their courtrooms one day a month to save costs.

That concern is also shared by state Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

“I’m very concerned that courtrooms are being closed and people are being laid off,” Lowenthal said. “The outcome of that is that people have a very limited access to justice.”


They are going to keep eating us up more and more till there is nothing left and beyond that.

Each one of us has only so much time in life and they don’t care, they will have our children to shackle.

A revolt is in order in November but the problem there is the confined choice of candidates.

With limited choices of candidates we may folly into a George Orwell Animal Farm metaphor again.

Nuff babeling.

Amend your life styleand take good care of your health.



I do not need a PHD in Economics or Political Science to explain to the young or old what has and will happen.

Money can be viewed in different ways, e.g. power or freedom or too much power and too free.

What has happened harming government employees and taxpayers alike are the past decisions made by elected officials. Past hindsight explains it and for them to blame it on poor research, intelligence or poor advice is white washing it. They and we all know that when the head guy indicates what he or she wants, everyone else is paid to justify it including respected research organization (no one goes against the grain)!

These problems will continue maybe forever when you look at this as a factor among many other things they do that will in fact affect or worsen the immediate future more.

I have several computers, I would like better ones but can do fine without it for now!

Even worst is the bigger picture, the courts are being groomed as another revenue tax board. It can be a hub to justify more government.


My Dear Friends

In the ecomomic waves we will face ahead.

Pain is inescapable however suffering is optional.

Prepare NOT to suffer!

But I also got a gut feeling, Obama (I did not vote for him, wish I had) is planning the unimaginable solution, good luck to all.


“But I also got a gut feeling, Obama (I did not vote for him, wish I had) is planning the unimaginable solution, good luck to all.”

Willie, what unimaginable solution do you think he is planning? Throw all the crooks in jail and distribute the wealth? ;)


mckaney makes sense here. As much as I would like to see the Bordonardo story hit KVEC and hit hard I would like to see this story hit first. It is important and hopefully KVEC will give it a launch that will be picked up by KSBY and then across the state. In the mean time start writing or call your your congressman’s office. Tell them that we will not support this sort of “inflated” tax payer expense any longer. It’s a start for all those who are guilty of antipathy, and have done nothing.


As a follow-up… I guess no one would be surprised to know that judges and court executive officers from San Luis Obispo are involved in shilling for this system. In an op-ed piece in the Daily Journal yesterday, officers from SLO and 2 other courts wrote:

“The cost-saving implications for a unitary system are obvious. Together we three courts alone spend almost $2.6 million annually to maintain inefficient, outdated local case management systems. These monies should be better spent in the deployment of CCMS, which promises economies of scale as it is rolled out throughout the state.”

Have we really reached the point of people in important positions being this fundamentally STUPID that they could make an argument like this, in writing where it could have been edited, with a straight face? Let’s break that down. $2.6 million divided by 3 times 58 = about $50 million. Which means that at a cost of $2 billion, any savings on these inefficiencies would take FORTY years to realize. When someone makes arguments like the above, we need to stop using this notion that these peopel have a valid but different opinion, and start using common sense. What else might this say about the way they think and perform their jobs?


Um, I’m a software developer and there is no computer system on earth that should cost a state $2 billion. Let’s put this in perspective for a moment, by using some incredibly exagerated estimates.

There are 58 counties in California. If I outfitted EVERY county with 1,000 PCs (total of 58,000 computers) costing $1000 each, which is an extremely high cost estimate for a workstation, that would be a total of $58 million.

Let’s add in a 20 servers for every county, costing $20,000 each. Again I’m using obnoxiously high numbers here; for one system, each county would likely require 1 server. But to make my point, that’s another $23.2 million.

Let’s equip EVERY single sever with a Microsoft SQL Server unlimited user enterprise license, that’s around $50,000/server for a total cost of $50 million. Of course, no one would actually do this.

Finally, let’s hire 1,000 programmers, FULL time, for THREE years, and charge the client a standard hourly billing rate of $150, that’s $936 million.

We’ll even try to be inclusive of details like the networking, by hiring 1,000 (remember there are only 58 counties) network techs for 3 months full time to set the network up, that’s another 78 million.

With these ridiculous specs, completely out of the realm of sanity for a system intended for a court with 58 branches, we still reach a total of $1.15 billion. There is no case management system, intended for use by 58 branches, on this PLANET that I could not create in 3 years with a 100 programmers, fully installed including hardware, licenses, and training for $100 million.

What capabilities is this going to provide them? As far as I can tell, there systems seem work fairly well now. What in the world do they plan on doing with this system, and should people be concerned?


mkaney, I am in love with you, are you married?


Why thanks Nancy. And the answer is.. only to my work. :)


The untimely expenditure is inappropriate, that goes without saying. The expenditure of 2 billion at any time for an upgraded electronic state court system raises an eyebrow. That in itself sounds like we are all about to get another major “bilking” by some hand shakers. Think about it $2,000,000,000 !!!! Does that cost sound close to reasonable? Perhaps each court has has it’s own system in place (which I doubt) but if that is true and they will be hand entering all records into a common data base then I suggest that they put everyone who is collecting SUI on data entry jobs immediately (with time off for job interviews). Essentially they will at least cover the cost of the data base historical records. Once that is in place we can take a look at the cost to complete the project. $2 Billion, my A**.


HELLO!!!!! California Government? Wake up and pull your head out of your A**! You just rushed around last year trying to plug a 21 billion budget shortfall and you are proposing spending 2 billion or more?!! You have got to be kidding?

Anon E. Muss

The state should save its money up. Estimates are that Obamacare will cost the state an extra $2 billion to $3 billion a year.