The criminal court in Torrance is composed of a number of different divisions. These divisions hear cases from various parts of the region and each has a different Judge or commissioner to adjudicate cases. Though the criminal bench hears both felony and misdemeanor cases, this post will deal only with the misdemeanor courts.
First is Division 2, it is on the 2nd floor and is presided over by the Honorable Judge Mireles, this Court hears all misdemeanor matters from Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes Estates, Lomita, Rolling Hills Estates and Manhattan Beach. These cases in Division 2 are prosecuted by the District Attorneys Office. Also in 2 is the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor who handles all misdemeanor cases in that city, mainly DUI and alcohol type matters such as public intoxication. This Courtroom can get quite busy and according to one attorney from the region, the docket on any given day can far exceed 50 to 60 cases so get there early if you want to be out by noon.
The next Courtroom in order is that of Division 5, also on the second floor, which handles only Redondo Beach misdemeanors. The Prosecutor in this court is the Redondo Beach City Attorney which is supervised by the chief prosecutor Brenda Wells. Judge Sotello currently presides over this Court but rumor has it this will change very soon. Most of the cases litigated in this Court are drunk driving, domestic violence, and petty theft. One local Redondo Beach Criminal Lawyer relates that this division is very busy but the Court clerk is extremely efficient and treats all defendants and their attorneys with courtesy and respect.
Next, up the building is Division P presided over by Judge Honeycutt, a well-respected Jurist. This Court processes all of the City of Torrance misdemeanor cases. The local city prosecutor pursues all cases in this division among the most common being driving under the influence, shoplifting (the Del Amo Mall is in the City), and domestic violence cases. This Court is one of the largest in size in the entire building. It is located at the far end of the hall and, according to one law firm in Torrance, it can be very packed but the staff are very experienced and nice which makes the visit there seem less stressful.
The last misdemeanor criminal court is on the fourth floor, Division 6. This Court is presided over by the Hon. Judge Alan Honeycutt. This Court oversees all Gardena cases as well as some El Camino College citations and Lawndale. The Prosecutor is the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office. This division is the first on the left when you exit the elevator. This Court also handle all Drug Court matters as well as Prop 36 cases. One local lawyer comments that this court is very pleasant to appear in due to the professionalism of the staff and the kind demeanor of the Judge. As is the case with most of the other Torrance Courtrooms, the most common cases seen here are DUI, domestic violence and driving on a suspended license.
In summary, the Torrance Judges are all very well liked and experienced. Most attorneys appearing before the Court have positive comments and very rarely do you hear of defendants complaining that the Torrance Court is a difficult place to be. Parking is free and most of the time very plentiful.