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Civil Litigation

Jun. 10, 2024

Superior Court to assign select civil cases to other divisions to ease backlog

Judges that volunteered to assist the Civil Division have had "significant" training in the fundamentals of the cases they will be assigned.

Judge Samantha P. Jessner

The Los Angeles County Superior Court will assign personal injury and limited jurisdiction unlawful detainer cases to judges outside the Civil Division starting on Monday to ease backlogs exacerbated by the pandemic, judicial retirements and vacancies.

Cases ready for trial will be referred to Dept. 1 for assignment. If the assignment is not timely challenged, a transfer order will be issued with directions to report to the assigned judge outside the Civil Division. The assigned judge will conduct the final pre-trial conference, address motions in limine and try the case.

Only personal injury and unlawful detainer cases with estimated trial lengths of five days or fewer will be assigned to judges outside the Civil Division for trial. Unlawful detainer cases will only be assigned to judges whose courtrooms have electronic recording equipment.

Judges that volunteered to assist the Civil Division have had "significant" training in the fundamentals of personal injury and unlawful detainer cases, according to a press statement.

"With this initiative, the court is leveraging scarce judicial resources across disciplines to collectively meet the needs of court users and promote timely access to justice," Presiding Judge Samantha P. Jessner said in a statement issued late on Friday.

"Judges with extensive trial experience sit in divisions across our court who possess the knowledge and skills to preside over jury trials no matter their assigned discipline," Jessner stated.


Antoine Abou-Diwan

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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