Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Superior Court to Move From CCW to Federal Courthouse
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Superior Court will move from its leased courthouse space at Sixth Street and Occidental Boulevard to the U.S. Courthouse on Spring St., likely beginning next year, Presiding Judge Carolyn Kuhl told the court’s judicial officers yesterday.
In an email, Kuhl said the Judicial Council staff had negotiated a lease for four floors that the federal government will vacate with the completion of its new downtown courthouse. The judicial branch will terminate its lease at Sixth and Occidental, where the court facilities are called Central Civil West, and funding will be redeployed to the federal facility, which will initially be shared, as some federal magistrate judges will remain.
The move will give the court more space for the same amount of money, permit bench officers who now share chambers and courtrooms at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse to have their own spaces, eliminate the three-mile trip that jurors have to make if transferred from Mosk to CCW, and allow the child support courts now at CCW to join the other family law courts at Mosk, the presiding judge said.
There will also be benefits from the reorganization of probate and family law courtrooms and Mosk and more accessible space for family law services such as child custody mediation, Kuhl said, and possible space for additional probate and family courtrooms later.
“For our community, it is symbolically important that the historic Spring Street courthouse continue to be used for the administration of justice, rather than for commercial purposes,” she wrote.
Kuhl clarified that the move “does not foreshadow any further centralization of our courtroom operations,” and that the court still hopes to restore to the districts some of the operations that were moved downtown due to budget cuts, in particular unlawful detainer cases.
The court may occupy two of the four floors by early next year, with the move being completed by the end of 2018.
Until then, Kuhl explained, the existing security policies—requiring that all entrants show valid identification or be personally escorted to their destinations—will continue.
The General Services Administration—which is responsible for the management of federal courthouses and other buildings—has insisted that criminal matters not be heard at Spring St., and the security policies will limit the other types of cases that can be heard there, Kuhl said, so the facilities will likely be used for civil matters, including settlement conferences and mediations.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company