How Long Will It Take For My Case To Go To Trial?


Eric Hartnett

by Eric Hartnett on August 21, 2010

in Court & Appearances

As real estate and lending law trial attorneys in Palo Alto, we often appear in the Superior Courts of Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Alameda County, and San Francisco County.

In our experience, a case typically reaches trial within two years after it was filed, but the time to trial can vary greatly based on the county the lawsuit is in.

Please note that the above two year estimate does not include summary proceedings, such as unlawful detainer actions. Those proceedings will be heard in a much shorter time window.

For example, unlawful detainer actions will usually be resolved or go to trial within 45 days of the initial Court filing.

The State of California has been pushing hard to shorten the time to trial. In fact, in the Trial Court Delay Reduction Act, California enunciated a goal for state courts managing general civil cases to dispose of 100 percent of their cases within two years.

The state courts also aim to dispose of 75% of the general civil cases within one year of the initial filing. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of lawsuits, California budgetary concerns, and the actions of parties to the lawsuit (discovery disputes, pre-trial law and motion practice), these goals are sometimes not met.

Please note that if you are over 70 years old or in extremely poor health, your case may be entitled to preference under California Code of Civil Procedure §36. An entitlement to preference will greatly reduce your wait for trial.

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