Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 8. THE ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF COURTS [68070 - 77655]

  ( Title 8 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 206. )

CHAPTER 2. The Judicial Council [68500 - 68641]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 206. )

ARTICLE 5. The Trial Court Delay Reduction Act [68600 - 68620]
  ( Article 5 repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3. )

68600.
  

This article shall be known and may be cited as the Trial Court Delay Reduction Act.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68603.
  

(a) The Judicial Council shall adopt standards of timely disposition for the processing and disposition of civil and criminal actions. The standards shall be guidelines by which the progress of litigation in the superior court of every county may be measured. In establishing these standards, the Judicial Council shall be guided by the principles that litigation, from commencement to resolution, should require only that time reasonably necessary for pleadings, discovery, preparation, and court events, and that any additional elapsed time is delay and should be eliminated.

(b) The Judicial Council may adopt the standards of timely disposition adopted by the National Conference of State Trial Judges and the American Bar Association or may adopt different standards, but in the latter event shall specify reasons for approval of any standard which permits greater elapsed time for the resolution of litigation than that provided in the standards of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.

(c) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules effective July 1, 1991, to be used by all delay reduction courts, establishing a case differentiation classification system based on the relative complexity of cases. The rules shall provide longer periods for the timely disposition of more complex cases. The rules may provide a presumption that all cases, when filed, shall be classified in the least complex category.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68604.
  

The Judicial Council shall collect and maintain statistics, and shall publish them at least on a yearly basis, regarding the compliance of the superior court of each county and of each branch court with the standards of timely disposition adopted pursuant to Section 68603. In collecting and publishing these statistics, the Judicial Council shall measure the time required for the resolution of civil cases from the filing of the first document invoking court jurisdiction, and for the resolution of criminal cases from the date of arrest, including a separate measurement in felony cases from the first appearance in superior court. The Judicial Council shall report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature in a biennial Report on the State of California’s Civil and Criminal Justice Systems.

The Judicial Council shall conduct a two-year study on the stipulated continuance authorized by subdivision (c) of Section 68616.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 745, Sec. 112. Effective October 12, 2001.)

68605.
  

The Judicial Council shall designate the four superior courts with 18 or more judicial positions which, as of June 30, 1986, had the highest ratio per judicial position of at-issue civil cases pending more than one year, and the five superior courts with more than eight judicial positions, not otherwise designated, with the highest such ratio. In each such court, an exemplary delay reduction program shall be established. The superior court of any other county, at the option of the presiding judge, may elect to establish an exemplary delay reduction program, and the Judicial Council may designate additional superior courts for participation in an exemplary delay reduction program.

This section shall cease to be operative on July 1, 1992.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3. Inoperative July 1, 1992, by its own provisions.)

68605.5.
  

On and after July 1, 1992, this article shall apply to all actions and proceedings in the superior court in each county, except actions and proceedings subject to subdivision (a) of Section 68608 or subdivision (b) of Section 68609.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68606.
  

In each of the counties in which an exemplary delay reduction program is established, the presiding judge shall, (a) select a sufficient number of judges for the program that will provide, consistent with the size of the court, an adequate basis for determining the effectiveness of the methods for reducing delay specified in this article; and (b) identify the particular judges who will participate in the program. However, a minimum of four judges shall be included in the program. Each presiding judge may select, and is encouraged to select, all the judges of the superior court or the branch of a superior court as the judges of an exemplary delay reduction program.

This section shall cease to be operative on July 1, 1992.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3. Inoperative July 1, 1992, by its own provisions.)

68607.
  

In accordance with this article and consistent with statute, judges shall have the responsibility to eliminate delay in the progress and ultimate resolution of litigation, to assume and maintain control over the pace of litigation, to actively manage the processing of litigation from commencement to disposition, and to compel attorneys and litigants to prepare and resolve all litigation without delay, from the filing of the first document invoking court jurisdiction to final disposition of the action.

The judges of the program shall, consistent with the policies of this article:

(a) Actively monitor, supervise and control the movement of all cases assigned to the program from the time of filing of the first document invoking court jurisdiction through final disposition.

(b) Seek to meet the standards for timely disposition adopted pursuant to Section 68603.

(c) Establish procedures for early identification of cases within the program which may be protracted and for giving those cases special administrative and judicial attention as appropriate, including special assignment.

(d) Establish procedures for early identification and timely and appropriate handling of cases within the program which may be amenable to settlement or other alternative disposition techniques.

(e) Adopt a trial setting policy which, to the maximum extent possible, schedules a trial date within the time standards adopted pursuant to Section 68603 and which schedules a sufficient number of cases to ensure efficient use of judicial time while minimizing resetting caused by overscheduling.

(f) Commence trials on the date scheduled.

(g) Adopt and utilize a firm, consistent policy against continuances, to the maximum extent possible and reasonable, in all stages of the litigation.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68607.5.
  

No action or proceeding may be removed from a delay reduction program because of a challenge filed under Section 170.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68608.
  

(a) Juvenile, probate, and domestic relations cases shall not be assigned to a delay reduction program, and cases which have been assigned to a judge or judges for all purposes based on subject matter need not be assigned to the program.

(b) Judges shall have all the powers to impose sanctions authorized by law, including the power to dismiss actions or strike pleadings, if it appears that less severe sanctions would not be effective after taking into account the effect of previous sanctions or previous lack of compliance in the case. Judges are encouraged to impose sanctions to achieve the purposes of this article.

(c) This section shall become operative July 1, 1992.

(Repealed (Jan. 1, 1991) and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3. Section operative July 1, 1992, by its own provisions.)

68609.
  

(a) The presiding judge of each superior court with an exemplary delay reduction program shall assign a pro rata share of new cases, and an appropriate number of existing cases, to the program, and these cases shall thereafter be handled by the judges of the program for all purposes.

(b) Juvenile, probate, and domestic relations cases shall not be assigned to an exemplary delay reduction program, and cases which have been assigned to a judge or judges for all purposes based on subject matter need not be assigned to the program.

(c) No case shall be removed from an exemplary delay reduction program because of a challenge filed under Section 170.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d) In order to enforce the requirements of an exemplary delay reduction program and orders issued in cases assigned to it, the judges of the program shall have all the powers to impose sanctions authorized by law, including the power to dismiss actions or strike pleadings, if it appears that less severe sanctions would not be effective after taking into account the effect of previous sanctions or previous lack of compliance in the case. Judges are encouraged to impose sanctions to achieve the purposes of this article.

(e) This section shall cease to be operative on July 1, 1992.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3. Inoperative July 1, 1992, by its own provisions.)

68609.5.
  

Each court and the Judicial Council, under subdivision (b) of Section 68619, shall adopt rules to allow for the arbitration of cases designated by the court as “Uninsured Motorist” in which an action is filed against a defendant who is an uninsured motorist and the plaintiff’s claim is subject to an arbitration provision.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68610.
  

The Judicial Council, in conjunction with other interested groups as it determines appropriate, may prepare and administer a program, consistent with the policies and requirements of this article, for the training of judges in administering the delay reduction program.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68612.
  

Judges shall, in consultation with the bar of the county to the maximum extent feasible develop and publish the procedures, standards, and policies which will be used in the program, including time standards for the conclusion of all critical steps in the litigation process, including discovery, and shall meet on a regular basis with the bar of the county in order to explain and publicize the program and the procedures, standards, and policies which shall govern cases assigned to the program. The procedures, standards, and policies to be used in the program shall be filed, distributed, and maintained pursuant to Section 68071 and the California Rules of Court, and shall also be published for general distribution. In its discretion, the Judicial Council may assist in the development of, or may develop and adopt, any or all of such procedures, standards, or policies on a statewide basis.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68613.
  

The Judicial Council may receive and expend on the programs established by this article any funds available from county, state, or federal government or other sources which may be available for such purposes.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68614.
  

Nothing in this article is intended to prevent a presiding judge from directing the use of the methods of delay reduction specified in Section 68607 by judges who are not part of an exemplary delay reduction program.

This section shall cease to be operative on July 1, 1992.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3. Inoperative July 1, 1992, by its own provisions.)

68615.
  

In its discretion, the Judicial Council may contract out for performance of any of the duties imposed by this article.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68616.
  

Delay reduction rules shall not require shorter time periods than as follows:

(a) Service of the complaint within 60 days after filing. Exceptions, for longer periods of time, (1) may be granted as authorized by local rule, and (2) shall be granted on a showing that service could not reasonably be achieved within the time required with the exercise of due diligence, consistent with the amount in controversy.

(b) Service of responsive pleadings within 30 days after service of the complaint. The parties may stipulate to an additional 15 days. Exceptions, for longer periods of time, may be granted as authorized by local rule.

(c) Time for service of notice or other paper under Sections 1005 and 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and time to plead after service of summons under Section 412.20 of the Code of Civil Procedure, shall not be shortened, except as provided in those sections.

(d) Within 30 days of service of the responsive pleadings, the parties may, by stipulation filed with the court, agree to a single continuance not to exceed 30 days.

It is the intent of the Legislature that these stipulations not detract from the efforts of the courts to comply with standards of timely disposition. To this extent, the Judicial Council shall develop statistics that distinguish between cases involving, and not involving, these stipulations.

(e) A status conference, or similar event, other than a challenge to the jurisdiction of the court, shall not be required to be conducted sooner than 30 days after service of the first responsive pleadings, or 30 days after expiration of a stipulated continuance, if any, pursuant to subdivision (d).

(f) Title 4 (commencing with Section 2016.010) of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall govern discovery, except in arbitration proceedings.

(g) A case shall not be referred to arbitration prior to 210 days after the filing of the complaint, exclusive of the stipulated period provided for in subdivision (d). Any rule adopted pursuant to this article shall not contravene Sections 638 and 639 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(h) Unnamed (DOE) defendants shall not be dismissed or severed prior to the conclusion of the introduction of evidence at trial, except upon stipulation or motion of the parties.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 131, Sec. 2. (AB 1894) Effective January 1, 2011.)

68617.
  

On or before October 30, 2002, the Judicial Council shall submit a report to the Legislature and the Governor regarding the effectiveness of the Centers for Complex Litigation established pursuant to the Budget Act of 1999. The report shall examine, among other things, the number of complex cases filed, the impact of the centers on case and calendar management, and the impact on the trial courts, the attorneys, and the parties, and shall make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 67, Sec. 11. Effective July 6, 1999.)

68619.
  

(a) The Judicial Council shall review all local delay reduction rules adopted by courts and any revisions or new rules adopted by them and make recommendations to the courts of revisions so that these rules are consistent, to the extent desirable, with other court rules.

(b) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform delay reduction rules which shall apply to any court that adopts a delay reduction program pursuant to Section 68618.

This subdivision shall cease to be operative on July 1, 1992.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1232, Sec. 3.)

68620.
  

(a) Each superior court shall establish a delay reduction program for limited civil cases in consultation with the local bar that is consistent with the provisions of this article. In its discretion, the Judicial Council may assist in the development of, or may develop and adopt, any or all procedures, standards, or policies for a delay reduction program for limited civil cases in superior courts on a statewide basis which are consistent with the provisions of the Trial Court Delay Reduction Act.

(b) Actions and proceedings subject to the provisions of Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 116.110) of Title 1 of Part 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure or provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1159) of Title 3 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure may not be assigned to or governed by the provisions of any delay reduction program established pursuant to this section.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the civil discovery in actions and proceedings subject to a program established pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 90) of Chapter 5.1 of Title 1 of Part 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall be governed by the times and procedures specified in that article. Civil discovery in these actions and proceedings is not affected by the provisions of any delay reduction program adopted pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 149, Sec. 28. Effective January 1, 2004.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV5