The Riverside County Superior Court in California has dismissed three separate felony child sexual assault cases in one week due to the court’s inability to begin trials within the required timeframe, including one case so serious the defendant faced a possible life sentence, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. In the case of People v Norman Martinez Garcia, the DA’s office reports that it was told by court that there were no judges available. Prosecutors say they were ready to begin in all three of the cases, but the court declined the request to postpone until they had the space and personnel available and dismissed the cases.
The office is refiling cases, arguing the dismissals in court and filing appeals. According to the Riverside County DA’s office, the court began dismissing cases due to lack of available trial courtrooms in October 2022. In the past three months, the court has reportedly dismissed over 1,500 cases, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, due to the shortage.