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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

Courts Sued Over Changes for Eviction Cases

The number of courthouses hearing eviction cases will be reduced from 26 down to five.

The lawsuit alleges the closures will disporportionately affect low-income and disabled residents. (Jessica Benson/ATVN)
The lawsuit alleges the closures will disporportionately affect low-income and disabled residents. (Jessica Benson/ATVN)
Legal aid groups announced a lawsuit against the state Thursday to protest Los Angeles County courthouses that no longer handle landlord disputes.

The groups, which include the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the Disability Rights Legal Center, claim the budget cuts unfairly affect low-income residents.

In the documents filed Wednesday, the organizations claim that reducing the number of courthouses that hear eviction cases from 26 to five will make seeking legal assistance difficult for low-income tenants and residents with disabilities. The lawuit seeks to stop the plan from being implemented.

Travelling "to the courthouse for these tenants will require numerous transfers and travel to unfamiliar areas and will be prohibitively difficult and expensive," according to the lawsuit.

Landlord cases will be heard in Pasadena, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Lancaster and the Stanley Mosk courthouse in downtown L.A.

Limiting eviction cases to certain courts is part of the county court system's cost-cutting effort which includes the closure of 10 regional courthouses.

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