University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Public Counsel v. Presiding Judge, Superior Court of LA Cty CJ-CA-0028
Docket / Court 21STCV05124 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Public Counsel
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: In this case, various attorneys filed a lawsuit to stop the Los Angeles Superior Courts from requiring in-person appearances for non-essential civil matters, like traffic and unlawful detainer matters. The plaintiffs filed a request for a temporary restraining order, but a month ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: In this case, various attorneys filed a lawsuit to stop the Los Angeles Superior Courts from requiring in-person appearances for non-essential civil matters, like traffic and unlawful detainer matters. The plaintiffs filed a request for a temporary restraining order, but a month later filed a dismissal and the case is now closed.


In late 2020, a group of attorneys wrote to the presiding judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, citing concerns with in-person appearance requirements. In response, the Chief Deputy of the Superior Court defended the choice to continue in-person, non-essential operations in the court. On January 29, 2021 the presiding judge extended an emergency continuance for criminal and juvenile dependency matters, citing a high number of COVID-19 cases in the county. Yet, in this same time period, individuals with traffic and unlawful detainer matters, were required to appear in person and the consequences for not appearing, were severe -- ranging from fines to driver's license suspensions and evictions for unlawful detainer orders.

In response, on February 9, 2021, attorneys at Public Counsel, Inner City Law Center, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Bet Tzedek, and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, filed this lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiffs sued the presiding judge and the clerk of court of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, seeking to enjoin them from permitting and mandating in-person appearances in unlawful detainer and traffic matters. The plaintiffs cited various state law claims, including Public Nuisance, Dangerous Condition of Public Property, Equal Protection and Due Process in the California Constitution, and sought an injunction and declaratory relief that the defendants had violated the statutes and the California Constitution. They stated that the court facilities were built in a way that did not make it possible to social distance.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for temporary restraining order and and order to show cause regarding the preliminary injunction on February 18. The defendants filed their objection on February 22.

On March 15, the plaintiffs filed a request for dismissal.The same day, the defendant filed a demurrer. The court dismissed the action with prejudice on March 17, 2021 and the case is now closed.

Caitlin Kierum - 10/30/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
COVID-19
Mitigation Denied
Mitigation Requested
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Courts
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Clerk of Court of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Plaintiff Description Attorney organizations on behalf of themselves and their clients
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Public Counsel
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 02/09/2021
Case Closing Year 2021
Case Ongoing No
Court Docket(s)
State Trial Court
03/17/2021
21STCV05124
CJ-CA-0028-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
State Trial Court
02/09/2021
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
CJ-CA-0028-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Source: Public.Resource.Org
show all people docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adler, Joanna (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Cameron-Banks, Indira (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Carnahan, Douglas G (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Eidmann, Kathryn A. (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Friley, Jesselyn (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Glenn, T.E. (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Lopez, Lorraine (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Miara, Jenna L (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Ocampo, Trinidad (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Pallack, David Scott (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Schultz, Barbara J (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001
Zuniga, Ana A (California) show/hide docs
CJ-CA-0028-0001

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -