Update March 14, 2013: Click here.
The Los Angeles Superior Court is facing catastrophic cuts in funding. These cuts have an effect on all areas of the court, including Unlawful Detainers (evictions). Heavy cuts and court closures already took place in 2012 (for example, see my post here). The 2012 reduction in court funding led to court closures, longer lines, and more delays. The 2013 changes will be even more widespread and will likely cause a devastating blow to swift justice. In 2013, the LA Superior Court is facing a deficit of between $56 million and $85 million.
In order to respond to this huge funding deficit, the LA Superior Court has been required to take drastic measures in the handling of Unlawful Detainers and all other types of cases. 10 courthouses throughout Los Angeles county will be closing. Small claims courts will be going from 27 courthouses down to 6 courthouses.
With respect to Unlawful Detainers (evictions), 2013 will see big changes to the way eviction cases are handled throughout the Los Angeles Superior Court (the LA Superior Court manages all evictions throughout Los Angeles County). In 2012, the Los Angeles Superior court saw over 65,000 unlawful detainer cases files.
No longer will you be able to file your unlawful detainer case in your local court. Unlawful Detainers throughout the Los Angeles Superior Court system in 2013 will be divided into 5 hub courts. Yes, that’s right. All of LA County evictions will be distributed to only 5 courts. As of now, the courts that will be handling unlawful detainers in Los Angeles county will be Stanley Mosk in downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach, Santa Monica, and Lancaster.
As an example, if you live in Valencia, you will need to travel to Pasadena to have your eviction case heard. If you live in the southern San Fernando Valley, you may need to go to Santa Monica to have your eviction case heard.
If at least 65,000 eviction cases are filed in 2013, this means each of the 5 unlawful detainer court hubs will see 13,000+ eviction cases. Keep in mind that in a lot of courthouses, only one or two clerks are open at any given time for the public to interact with. With each of these 5 unlawful detainer hub courts, the LA Superior Court expects to have at least one staffed courtroom per hub, two assigned judicial officers, and two judicial assistants. The court also expects to have at least 20 clerks. Yes, you heard this correctly — 1 courtroom per hub. These statistics are dismal for unlawful detainer litigants in Los Angeles county.
As a result of the funding deficit and the 5 unlawful detainer hubs in Los Angeles county, everyone involved with eviction cases can expect longer lines, more delays, and a slower route to justice.
Need help with an eviction in Southern California? Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski today. Start the process of removing your bad tenant.
Read Attorney Piotrowski’s landlord book: “California Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview: An Easy-to-Read Guide Outlining Best Practices for California Landlords Plus a Summary of the Eviction Process.“