Civil cases are assigned to a Judge upon the filing of an answer or other responsive pleading. Most cases are referred for mediation before being scheduled for a hearing with the Judge. If mediation is unsuccessful in settling a case, it will be scheduled for a pretrial or a trial before the Judge.
Motions and discovery are stayed until the conclusion of mediation. Permission from the Court is required to file a motion once a case is scheduled for hearing before the Judge.
Pretrial conferences are scheduled in all cases for discussion of the case, discovery, and complex issues. All parties should have authority to act on behalf of litigants, as it is not necessary for the actual litigants to be present at the pretrial. Litigants with attorneys appearing on their behalf must be available by telephone for consultation. Counsel are required to confer before the hearing pursuant to Local Court Rule 6.01, making a sincere effort to settle the case and to agree on evidentiary matters about which there is no genuine dispute. Request for telephone or Zoom pretrials should be submitted by motion and opposing parties must be contacted regarding the request. The party requesting the continuance must initiate the conference call and contact the Court at the designated time. If Zoom is requested, parties must provide the Court correct contact and emails for all parties three (3) days prior to the Zoom conference. Pretrial Statements must be provided according to Local Court Rule 6.01 at all second pretrials.
Motions & Briefs
All Motions and briefs are to be submitted timely and served on opposing parties. Courtesy copies delivered to the Judge will expedite rulings.
If a demand for a jury trial is made, the required deposit must be made by the requesting party within fourteen (14) days of the pleading demanding that the case be tried to a jury. If the deposit is not made, the case shall be tried to the Court.
Upon settlement of a case, an agreed entry may be submitted to the Court in advance of any hearing date. If settled the day of trial or hearing, an entry shall be submitted within thirty (30) days or the action will subject to dismissal.