Kern Legal Highlights Los Angeles Superior Court Consolidation and Reorganization

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Kern Legal Services, Inc. highlights the announcement by The Superior Court of California - County of Los Angeles (http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/) that the court plans to reduce, consolidate, and reorganize its operations for the fiscal year, starting July 1, 2013. The changes will have a major effect on the legal community and its interactions with the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Changes for the Los Angeles Superior Court were sparked by an expected budget shortfall of at least $50 million for fiscal year 2013. The initial changes were approved by the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The Executive Committee approved preliminary changes on November 13, 2012. The changes include geographic consolidation, caseload redistribution, caseload consolidation, centralized case management (i.e. a master calendar), fewer fully-staffed courtrooms, and programmatic changes that eliminate or reduce certain programs.

The geographic consolidation will reduce the number of courthouses operating and results with caseload redistribution. The caseload consolidation will see the reduction of fully-staffed general courtrooms and a move towards hubs of specialized case-types. A master calendar will see pre-trial matters and civil cases heard by different judges and potentially, in different courthouses. Fewer fully-staffed courtrooms will limit the number of judicial officers available to maintain settlement courtrooms and general civil courtrooms. Programmatic changes may include the elimination of part-time court reporters and juvenile referee positions and the reduction of alternative dispute programs to the state minimum.

Affected courthouses include Huntington Beach Courthouse, Whittier Courthouse, Pomona Courthouse North, Malibu Courthouse, West Los Angeles Courthouse, Beverly Hills Courthouse, San Pedro Courthouse, San Pedro Courthouse Annex (Beacon St.), Catalina Courthouse, and Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center. Where the cases of the affected courthouses are going to be redirected to can be viewed here:
https://www.kernlegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/REORGANIZATION-CHART.pdf and
https://www.kernlegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/REORGANIZATION-INFORMATION.pdf

The reduction, consolidation, and reorganization reduce the expected costs for the Los Angeles Superior Court and streamline the operations of the court system for Los Angeles County.

There may be further changes before the full implementation in July.

For a more comprehensive recap of the consolidation and to learn more, please visit: https://www.kernlegal.com/blog/los-angeles-superior-court-consolidation-and-reduction-of-2013/

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Kimberly Faber
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