County supervisors this week established two new Long Beach Municipal Court judgeships and added one new seat to South Bay Municipal Court in Torrance--then agreed to ask Gov. George Deukmejian to immediately fill the positions.
The three new municipal judges, however, would be among nine countywide temporarily assigned to the Superior Court in Los Angeles to reduce the time it takes to settle criminal cases. A backlog of cases has caused jail overcrowding, prompting a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and a federal court order to decrease inmates in county jails.
With the new positions, there are 10 Municipal Court judgeships in Long Beach and seven in South Bay. Apart from the new positions, there are two vacancies in Long Beach and one in South Bay, said Benjamin Aranda, chairman of the county Municipal Court Judges Assn.
The new judges would serve in Superior Court until space is available in their home courts, which could be as early as spring in the South Bay, where a new courtroom is being set up in Redondo Beach, Aranda said.