For several years now I have been successfully handling unlawful detainer actions in the Central District of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. I never ceased to be amazed by the way these matters are handled by the master calendar department. This past week, I filed a request to set case for trial on behalf of a client and asked for a jury trial. At the same time, I filed a notice of demand for jury trial and paid the jury fee deposit. Despite filing these three documents the court clerk set the trial for a non-jury trial. It will not matter in the end because I have preserved my client’s right to a jury trial. That being said, I am disappointed in how that department is run.
In the past, I have filed Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 challeneges to disqualify the commissioner, but that just places the matter in procedural limbo because the master calendar department then claims that it does not know how to assign a trial judge if it is divested of its powers via the Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 peremptory challenge. This is a pretty interesting issue.
The master calendar department for unlawful detainers is unavoidable, but I always counsel my clients to get assigned to a different department as soon as possible.