|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page

2014 California Rules of Court

Standard 2.2. Trial court case disposition time goals

(a) Trial Court Delay Reduction Act

The recommended goals for case disposition time in the trial courts in this standard are adopted under Government Code sections 68603 and 68620.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective July 1, 1987; relettered effective January 1, 1989; previously amended effective January 1, 2004.)

(b) Statement of purpose

The recommended time goals are intended to guide the trial courts in applying the policies and principles of standard 2.1. They are administrative, justice-oriented guidelines to be used in the management of the courts. They are intended to improve the administration of justice by encouraging prompt disposition of all matters coming before the courts. The goals apply to all cases filed and are not meant to create deadlines for individual cases. Through its case management practices, a court may achieve or exceed the goals stated in this standard for the overall disposition of cases. The goals should be applied in a fair, practical, and flexible manner. They are not to be used as the basis for sanctions against any court or judge.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective July 1, 1987, as (1); relettered effective January 1, 1989; previously amended effective January 1, 2004.)

(c) Definition

The definition of "general civil case" in rule 1.6 applies to this section. It includes both unlimited and limited civil cases.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(d) Civil cases-processing time goals

The goal of each trial court should be to process general civil cases so that all cases are disposed of within two years of filing.

(Subd (d) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2004; adopted effective July 1, 1987, as (2); previously amended effective July 1, 1988; amended and relettered as subd (c) effective January 1, 1989.)

(e) Civil cases-rate of disposition

Each trial court should dispose of at least as many civil cases as are filed each year and, if necessary to meet the case-processing goal in (d), dispose of more cases than are filed. As the court disposes of inactive cases, it should identify active cases that may require judicial attention.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective July 1, 1987, as (3); previously amended effective July 1, 1988; previously amended and relettered as subd (d) effective January 1, 1989, and as subd (e) effective January 1, 2004.)

(f) General civil cases-case disposition time goals

The goal of each trial court should be to manage general civil cases, except those exempt under (g), so that they meet the following case disposition time goals:

(1)Unlimited civil cases:

The goal of each trial court should be to manage unlimited civil cases from filing so that:

(A)75 percent are disposed of within 12 months;

(B)85 percent are disposed of within 18 months; and

(C)100 percent are disposed of within 24 months.

(2)em] Limited civil cases:

The goal of each trial court should be to manage limited civil cases from filing so that:

(A)90 percent are disposed of within 12 months;

(B)98 percent are disposed of within 18 months; and

(C)100 percent are disposed of within 24 months.

(3)Individualized case management

The goals in (1) and (2) are guidelines for the court's disposition of all unlimited and limited civil cases filed in that court. In managing individual civil cases, the court must consider each case on its merits. To enable the fair and efficient resolution of civil cases, each case should be set for trial as soon as appropriate for that individual case consistent with rule 3.729.

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted as subd (g) effective July 1, 1987; relettered as subd (h) effective January 1, 1989; amended effective July 1, 1991; previously amended and relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 2004.)

(g) Exceptional civil cases

A general civil case that meets the criteria in rules 3.715 and 3.400 and that involves exceptional circumstances or will require continuing review is exempt from the time goals in (d) and (f). Every exceptional case should be monitored to ensure its timely disposition consistent with the exceptional circumstances, with the goal of disposing of the case within three years.

(Subd (g) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(h) Small claims cases

The goals for small claims cases are:

(1) 90 percent disposed of within 75 days after filing; and

(2) 100 percent disposed of within 95 days after filing.

(Subd (h) adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(i) Unlawful detainer cases

The goals for unlawful detainer cases are:

(1) 90 percent disposed of within 30 days after filing; and

(2) 100 percent disposed of within 45 days after filing.

(Subd (i) adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(j) Felony cases-processing time goals

Except for capital cases, all felony cases disposed of should have a total elapsed processing time of no more than one year from the defendant's first arraignment to disposition.

(Subd (j) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(k) Misdemeanor cases

The goals for misdemeanor cases are:

(1)90 percent disposed of within 30 days after the defendant's first arraignment on the complaint;

(2)98 percent disposed of within 90 days after the defendant's first arraignment on the complaint; and

(3)100 percent disposed of within 120 days after the defendant's first arraignment on the complaint.

(Subd (k) adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(l) Felony preliminary examinations

The goal for felony cases at the time of the preliminary examination (excluding murder cases in which the prosecution seeks the death penalty) should be disposition by dismissal, by interim disposition by certified plea of guilty, or by finding of probable cause, so that:

(1)90 percent of cases are disposed of within 30 days after the defendant's first arraignment on the complaint;

(2)98 percent of cases are disposed of within 45 days after the defendant's first arraignment on the complaint; and

(3)100 percent of cases are disposed of within 90 days after the defendant's first arraignment on the complaint.

(Subd (l) adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(m) Exceptional criminal cases

An exceptional criminal case is not exempt from the time goal in (j), but case progress should be separately reported under the Judicial Branch Statistical Information System (JBSIS) regulations.

(Subd (m) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(n) Cases removed from court's control excluded from computation of time

If a case is removed from the court's control, the period of time until the case is restored to court control should be excluded from the case disposition time goals. The matters that remove a case from the court's control for the purposes of this section include:

(1)Civil cases:

(A)The filing of a notice of conditional settlement under rule 3.1385;

(B)An automatic stay resulting from the filing of an action in a federal bankruptcy court;

(C)The removal of the case to federal court;

(D)An order of a federal court or higher state court staying the case;

(E)An order staying the case based on proceedings in a court of equal standing in another jurisdiction;

(F)The pendency of contractual arbitration under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.4;

(G)The pendency of attorney fee arbitration under Business and Professions Code section 6201;

(H)A stay by the reporting court for active military duty or incarceration; and

(I)For 180 days, the exemption for uninsured motorist cases under rule 3.712(b).

(2)Felony or misdemeanor cases:

(A)Issuance of warrant;

(B)Imposition of a civil assessment under Penal Code section 1214.1;

(C)Pendency of completion of diversion under Penal Code section 1000 et seq.;

(D)Evaluation of mental competence under Penal Code section 1368;

(E)Evaluation as a narcotics addict under Welfare and Institutions Code sections 3050 and 3051;

(F)90-day diagnostic and treatment program under Penal Code section 1203.3;

(G)90-day evaluation period for a juvenile under Welfare and Institutions Code section 707.2;

(H)Stay by a higher court or by a federal court for proceedings in another jurisdiction;

(I)Stay by the reporting court for active military duty or incarceration; and

(J)Time granted by the court to secure counsel if the defendant is not represented at the first appearance.

(Subd (n) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

(o) Problems

A court that finds its ability to comply with these goals impeded by a rule of court or statute should notify the Judicial Council.

(Subd (o) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 2004.)

Standard 2.2 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as sec. 2.1 effective July 1, 1987; previously amended effective January 1, 1988, July 1, 1988, January 1, 1989, January 1, 1990, July 1, 1991, and January 1, 2004.

[ Back to Top ]