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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Clock Ticks for Final Cases Heard at Malibu Courthouse

• Future Legal Filings Will Be Calendared in Santa Monica or Van Nuys Facilities

BY BILL KOENEKER

Last November, the Los Angeles County Superior Court issued a press release announcing the closure of 10 courthouses, including the one in Malibu, and the shuttering of a dozen criminal courtrooms in an effort to deal with a budget deficit that could soar into the $80 million range.
That day came in a notice to attorneys recently that effective June 3, all new felony and misdemeanor filings previously filed at the Malibu Courthouse of the superior court must be filed at the Van Nuys Courthouse West, 14400 Erwin Street Mall, Van Nuys.
New filings for all traffic and non-traffic infraction cases must be filed at the Santa Monica Courthouse, 1725 Main St. in Santa Monica.
“As of June 3, 2013, the Malibu Courthouse will no longer handle any felony, misdemeanor or infraction cases/citation,” the superior court notice states.
An earlier notice states that effective last March, 2013 all Los Angeles Superior Court limited jurisdiction unlawful detainer cases must be filed in a regional ‘hub’ courthouse; downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Antelope Valley.
Existing limited jurisdiction unlawful detainer cases will be handled where they were originally filed until court notification is given to litigants prior to their existing unlawful detainer cases being transferred to a hub courthouse, according to the notice.
Boundaries for new limited jurisdiction unlawful detainer case filings can be found at the court’s website at www.lasuperiorcourt.org.
The same method will be handled for new small claims cases, which also will be filed in six ‘hub’ locations. That directive took place last March.
All Los Angeles Superior Court small claims cases must be filed in a hub courthouse: downtown Los Angeles (Stanley Mosk), Antelope Valley, Alhambra,  Downey, Inglewood, and Van Nuys (east building).
“LASC will continue to adjudicate existing small claims cases where ever they were oringally filed. An LASC court clerk will notifiy the litigants before LASC transfers any existing small claims cases to a hub courthouse or sets any new hearing dates,” the notice concludes.
The amount of traffic generated by the consolidation and the lines predicted to form by the increased activity at the hubs has some Malibu observers wondering if the traveling judge could be brought back to town.

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