Monday, July 1, 2019

You're inside but where's the courtroom?

The least populated county in California is Alpine County, population 1120 in 2017.
Alpine County, California
It is located high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, with elevations between 4,500 and 11,500 feet above sea level.
Welcome to Alpine County
The county seat is a town called Markleeville.
Downtown Markleeville

It has one courthouse with one courtroom and two judges.
Markleeville courthouse
In Los Angeles County, there are currently 38 courthouses in operation.
Los Angeles County
The Catalina courthouse has one courtroom and is open every other Friday in the morning only.  This courthouse serves the 4100 folks who live on Catalina Island.
Avalon, Catalina Island
Because Los Angeles is the most  populous county in California, all the other courthouses have more than just one part-time courtroom.

Courthouses with numbered courtrooms include downtown Los Angeles civil courthouse with courtrooms 1 through 99 on nine floors.  It's not that easy tho.  For example, it starts with 1, 1A [both on the 5th floor], 2, 2A, 2B, 2C [all on the 2nd floor], 2D [on the 6th floor].  After that, it's a normal progression through 99 with certain numbers skipped.  I have no idea why.

Here's a courtroom number 205A, see the sign on the right?
Courthouses with lettered courtrooms include Norwalk, with courtrooms A through Z on seven floors with certain letters skipped.

Then to really mess with your mind, there are courthouses with both lettered and numbered courtrooms.  For example, in Compton the courthouse has twelve floors and courtrooms are labeled 1 through 14, 260 and 261, A through Q, and “traffic” which apparently wasn't important enough to be assigned any number or letter.

So what do you do?  If you're in court for a traffic hearing, those courtrooms are usually on the first or second floor and are reasonably easy to find.  Just ask one of the Sheriff deputies at the security checkpoint and you'll be on your way.

Otherwise, you'll usually be able to find a marquis on the wall by the elevators/escalators with a list of courtrooms and what floor they are on. 
Check the paper you brought with you [you did bring it, right?] to find the courtroom number/letter.
The last line on the middle right shows the courtroom number
Otherwise, you might see several large screens that list the names of people who have a case on the calendar for that day.  Here's an example of one such screen.  Next to your name will be the courtroom number/letter.
If all else fails, find a court employee and ask for directions!

Let us know in the comments your last time trying to find where to go.

Come back next week to learn what to do once you find the courtroom.

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