Law Library Finances
One of the most frequently asked questions about the San Diego Law Library is what is the source of our funding? Contrary to popular belief, we do not receive any tax dollars. Instead, law libraries receive a portion of the filing fee paid for the first filing made in superior court. The amount of the portion varies by county. For instance, the San Diego Law Library receives $38 from the filing fee. Law libraries do not receive this portion from all types of cases, but only from certain civil, probate, family, vehicle forfeiture, and small claims or limited civil cases.
This relationship is important because as court filings increase and decrease so does the amount that law libraries receive. Over the past several years, court filing fees have been dropped considerably. This has dramatically affected our library. During the 2009 fiscal year, the San Diego Law Library received over $4.1 million from court filing fees. During the 2014 fiscal year, we received less than $2.8 million, a decrease of over 30%. Consequently, we have had to significantly reduce our staff and the hours we are open. We will keep you informed of the current state of the library’s finances on a monthly basis.