GRADUAL PHASE OUT OF PERSONAL INJURY HUB COMING SOON TO SUPPORT MORE PROACTIVE JUDICIAL MANAGEMENT OF CASES AND RETURN TO COMMUNITY-BASED ADJUDICATION
The Court is launching a gradual, phased transition of personal injury (PI) cases out of the PI Hub at the Spring Street Courthouse and back to local community-based Independent Calendar (IC) courts. This significant change will allow judges to proactively manage cases, provide litigants greater predictability in case disposition, bring about quicker dispute resolution and increase access to justice for litigants, attorneys, and witnesses, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announced today.
Effective October 10, new personal injury (PI) cases, except those originating in the Central District, will be handled in IC courts in the courthouses located in the district where the accident occurred – for adjudication by the same judge from start to finish. This model restores civil courts to the districts that closed departments because of severe budget cuts during the Great Recession and reestablishes a system that allows judges throughout the county to proactively manage this large inventory of cases to yield a more timely resolution. During Phase I, pending non-complicated PI cases will continue to be heard in the PI Hub until sent to Department 1 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse for assignment to a trial court. In addition, new Central District PI cases will continue to be heard in the Hub until Phase II can begin.
“The Court is grateful to the Legislature and the Governor for providing increased funding for the trial courts in California, which will allow us to manage PI cases more proactively and return the largest trial court in the nation to our community-based approach to access to justice,” Presiding Judge Taylor said. “This huge undertaking is the result of the excellent leadership of Civil Supervising Judge David J. Cowan, who, together with court staff and other judicial leaders, has recognized the necessity of finding a solution to tackle the volume of pending PI cases, increased filings and delays to other matters when these cases have trial dates but are not ready to proceed at the final status conference.”
Other benefits to augment this transition include:
– Continued convenient efiling of pleadings;
– Choice to appear remotely via LACourtConnect, the Court’s remote courtroom appearance solution;
– A gradual transition with close monitoring of impacts in case filings and inventories in all districts;
– Anticipated conversion of civil trial courtrooms in other districts to IC courtrooms as need develops and;
– Continued role of Dept. 1 at the Mosk Courthouse as a “safety valve” for assignment to a trial court where an IC courtroom needs extra support in handling an excessive number of trials.
With state funding to pay for more courtroom and legal staff to support judges, the Court plans to establish IC courts for new, non-Central, PI cases as follows:
– Pomona, Dept. A;
– Pasadena, Dept. P;
– Chatsworth, Dept. F-51;
– Compton, Dept. B;
– Inglewood, Dept. 8; and
– Beverly Hills, Dept. 200.
In Phase II, Central (Mosk) also will hear PI cases in the 42 IC courtrooms; the start of which will depend on how quickly the PI Hub is able to reduce its inventory, currently at 45,000 cases, and the ongoing review of case filings and inventories in other districts. After Phase I has reduced the PI case inventory, and PI Hub judges have fewer pending PI cases, Phase II also will allow for the transition of the PI Hub courtrooms to Central or other districts, depending on need.
The relevant portions of the Court’s Local Rules 2.3, 3.23, and 3.24 will be revised to reflect these changes. Pending adoption of revised rules, new Temporary Suspension of Local Rules Applicable to Unlimited Personal Injury Cases General Order 2022-GEN-017-00 will suspend the applicable portions of those rules that have been changed. The General Order is available at this link. There also is a new mandatory Civil Case Cover Sheet Addendum (LASC CIV109) attached below and approved for use effective October 10, 2022, and an Eighth Amended Standing Order for Procedures in the Personal Injury Hub Courts 2022-SJ-008-03, which incorporate these changes.
You can see the full notice here.
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