Judge: Stephen I. Goorvitch, Case: 19STCV23804, Date: 2023-05-18 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 19STCV23804    Hearing Date: May 18, 2023    Dept: 39

Gilbert Bell v. Kyle Johnson, Case No. 19STCV23804


Defendant and Cross-Complainant Kyle Johnson filed an ex parte application to continue the trial date.  Good cause having been shown, the Court granted the ex parte application.  The Court advanced and vacated the final status conference and trial dates and set the following dates:


Final Status Conference:           January 12, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.


Trial:                                       January 23, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.


The discovery and motions deadlines shall be based on the new trial date.  There shall be no further continuances absent good cause.

The Court issued the following additional orders: (1) The parties shall disclose all witnesses to be called in their respective cases-in-chief, and identify and, if necessary, produce all exhibits to be introduced in their respective cases-in-chief on or before January 2, 2024; and (2) The parties shall file joint trial documents on or before January 5, 2024.  A list of the required joint trial documents may be found on the Court’s website: www.LACourt.org under the “Civil” tab in the “Courtroom Information” section.


The Court issues an Order to Show Cause why the five-year date should not be re-set.  This case was filed on July 10, 2019.  Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 583.310, an action shall be brought to trial within five years.  Under normal circumstances, the deadline for this case to proceed to trial would be July 10, 2024.  However, for purposes of computing this time, the Court excludes all time for which “[b]ringing the action to trial . . . was impossible, impracticable, or futile.”  (Code Civ. Proc. s 583.340(c).)  The Court makes the following findings:  


Beginning on March 16, 2020, civil jury trials were suspended in the Los Angeles County Superior Court due to COVID-19.  Pursuant to the Presiding Judge’s order of July 10, 2020, civil jury trials would resume on the first court day in January 2021, which is January 4, 2021.  Therefore, this time period—March 16, 2020, to January 4, 2021—which is 294 days, is excludable.


Although the Court reopened for civil jury trials on January 4, 2021, the Presiding Judge authorized the civil judges to determine whether it was feasible to conduct jury trials in their respective courtrooms, in consideration of issues such as the size of the courtroom, the number of participants, and the length of the trial.  It was impossible for Department #39 to proceed with jury trials from January 4, 2021, to May 11, 2021, due to the requirements of social distancing, the number of attorneys and parties involved in jury trials, and the minimum length of jury trials.  Therefore, this time period—January 4, 2021, to May 11, 2021—which is 127 days, is excludable.


Based upon the foregoing, the Court issues an Order to Show Cause why 421 days should not be excluded from the five-year period during which this case shall be brought to trial.  Accordingly, the new deadline for this case to proceed to trial would be September 4, 2025.  The Court shall hold a hearing on this Order to Show Cause on June 1, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. at the following location:


Stanley Mosk Courthouse

111 North Hill Street

Department #39 (Goorvitch, J.)

Los Angeles, California 90012


The parties may appear remotely or in-person, or may waive their appearances and submit to the Court’s order on this OSC. 


The Court provides notice that absent objection, it intends to exclude 421 days from the time during which this case must proceed to trial and re-set the five-year date as September 4, 2025.  Any party who objects must file a written objection detailing the factual and/or legal reasons why the Court cannot do so.  All objections must be filed on or before May 26, 2023.  The Court provides notice that any party who does not file a written objection and appear at the hearing, either remotely or in-person, shall waive the right to be heard on this issue and shall submit to the Court’s order.


The Court’s clerk shall provide notice.