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SACRAMENTO — Courts are scheduled to begin assessing new fees Aug. 17 on everything from continuances to probate filings, but the money could be too late to save the courts from more trouble in the coming months. The fees are part of an early budget deal negotiated in the state Senate. They were intended to raise about $150 million in the current fiscal year, but administrators could not implement them until Gov. Gray Davis signed the budget. The budget delay means the courts will lose an estimated $16 million, said Administrative Office of the Courts Finance Director Christine Hansen. That means the courts may need to ask state legislators for more money midway through the year, Hansen said. In addition to that potential hole, a working group must also figure out how to save $11 million in court security in order for the judicial branch budget to balance per the deal crafted by Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Two new fees on court reporter services already took effect Saturday. A list of fees can be found at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference /documents/attacha.pdf

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