Taft Court closing just two weeks away

If you get a criminal citation from the Kern County Sheriff or Taft Police Department, you better look closely at the citation so you go to the right court.

With the closure of the Taft courthouse just over two weeks away, deputies and police officers are beginning to cite people to appear in Lamont Court.

'The transition has started,” Taft Police Lt. Pete Aranda said. “Misdemeanors have already started being given court dates in Lamont.”

The Taft Court's last day of operation is Sept. 6.

People who have outstanding warrants who want to turn themselves in to appear on the charges will have to travel to Lamont to appear – or they will be taken there by law enforcement officers if arrested.

Budget cuts have forced the Taft Court to close except for traffic court, which will be held on Thursdays.

All criminal and many civil matters will be heard in Lamont starting Sept. 9.

Only limited civil, small claims and local traffic tickets will be heard at the Taft facility.

Court officials announced last spring that the criminal court in Taft was going to merge with Lamont, which has two courtrooms, because of budget cuts.