Wendy Hillger Provides Pro Bono Eviction Defense for Needy Tenants in San Francisco

Author: Wendy Hillger
As part of Ad Astra’s pro bono pledge , Ms. Hillger volunteers for the Housing Negotiation Project. Recently, Ms. Hillger represented a tenant who was having trouble following the house rules. The landlord wanted to evict for these lease violations. The unlawful detainer trial was set for the very next Monday. At the Settlement Conference, Wendy Hillger was able to resolve the landlord’s objections and allow the tenant to stay. The tenant and his Clinical Social Worker were very grateful to avoid imminent eviction.

Be advised of new federal Overtime Pay rules which start December 1st

Author: Wendy Hillger

The U.S. Department of Labor has revised its rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act concerning overtime pay.  As of December 1, 2016, the salary and compensation levels needed for white collar workers (executive, administrative, and professional categories) to be exempt from overtime compensation under federal law will more than double.

California employers need to be cautious, however, because California has a different salary threshold pegged to the state minimum wage that will increase over time.  Likewise, California maintains a different test for determining whether an employee is engaged in duties that are exempt from the overtime rules.  Hence, an employee may be exempt under federal law but not under California law. If you have questions, please call us at Ad Astra Law Group.

California Trial Courts Are Still Chronically Underfunded, Which Delays the Public from Getting their Day in Court

Author: Wendy Hillger

Have you wondered why it takes so long to have your matter heard by a judge in California?

Unfortunately, the trial courts are not being properly funded.  As a result, there are reduced hours of operation, reduced services, and fewer workers to staff the courts.   California Supreme Court’s Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye noted that chronic under-funding of the courts, “unfairly affects members of the public seeking their day in court.”

In 2008, the San Francisco Court’s budget was $90.5 million.   At the time, the Court employed nearly 600 non-judicial staff.  However,  because of the subsequent Recession, California’s trial courts saw severe budget reductions.

While the economy has improved, the funding has not been substantially restored.

In July, 2017, San Francisco trial courts saw their budget further reduced by 9% for the fiscal year 2017-2018.   The court has a budget deficit of over $5.2 million dollars.  Today, the Court’s budget amounts to just $51.7 million, with a staff of approximately 430.

To help save money, San Francisco announced that court staff are being furloughed without pay for one day a month.   In addition, the clerk’s office will close early on Fridays.  Alameda County also has experienced a similar shortfall and has been on reduced staff hours and services for a few years now.

The July 2, 2017 news release of the San Francisco court is linked here. Here  is the County of Alameda public notice from November, 2016.