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Elimination of Inefficiencies and Delays in Case Processing

Dec 31, 2019 | California

What Is Elimination?

According to the dictionary “Elimination” is the act of contemplating and refusing every option until only one is left She learned who he was through (the) elimination process.

Superior and local courts deal with parts of the same case in many cases. When a matter is passed between the courts because the “lower” court level is not empowered to dispose of the whole case, the inevitable result is cost and delay.

Preliminary proceedings are a prime example of criminal cases.

Most criminal defendants, particularly in Los Angeles County, send their cases for a preliminary hearing transcript decision.

A municipal court judge is currently conducting the preliminary hearing but is not allowed to sentence the accused because criminal sentences are not levied by the municipal court judge.

Therefore, in order to dispose of such a case:

  • the transcript has to be prepared;
  • the case has to be moved to the superior court;
  • the defendant has to be brought before the superior court (he has already been arraigned once before the municipal court);
  • the transcript has to be read by a Superior court judge; and/ or
  • the defendant’s sentence has to be handed down.

Since the judge of the municipal court has no authority to dispose of the case immediately after delivery of the transcript, the defendant is liable to delay in the final disposition of his case, a delay that is also costly for the trial.

There seems to be little countervailing public benefit in having 2 (two) judges examine the same content, unless one assumes that sentencing is better than sentencing a municipal court judge who does not see live witnesses.

Multiple other “friction costs” arise from various trial court structures getting elements of a single criminal case handled. Defendants must always be arraigned in both courts and they must be named twice as indigent lawyers. Motions can be made in both courts to set bail, to restrict pre-trial ads, and for discovery. If a defendant pleads not guilty to a crime because of insanity, that component of a municipal court case has to be prosecuted in the higher court.

There are also several points of inter-system conflict in civil cases. If a lawsuit is brought in a municipal court seeking less than 15,000$ (fifteen thousand USD) in damages, a cross-appeal for an amount over 15,000$ (fifteen thousand USD) allows the entire case to be appealed to the Superior Court.

Therefore, a cross complaint with an exaggerated claim of harm will easily deprive the defendant of his option of the Municipal Court platform. Similar problems occur when an application for declaratory relief is made, that the municipal court can’t fully grant.

Any manager who sees 2 (two) separate and fairly uncoordinated service delivery systems dealing with aspects of the same problem will undoubtedly want to combine the 2 (two) systems, in the absence of extremely important countervailing considerations.

This is only the little part of the problems on elimination of inefficiencies and delays in case processing.