2011 Year in Review: Pittsburg Court – The Arnason Justice Center

Hon. Lewis A. Davis

From its opening in November 2010 to the present, the Arnason Justice Center (AJC) has been expanding the public’s access to court services while maintaining the court’s commitment to the delivery of justice and service to the public. Judge Spanos, Judge White and Judge Hardie join Commissioners Houghton, Huffaker, Richards, and me as we hear all of the East County Felony preliminary hearings (PXs), Misdemeanor Jury Trials, Family law matters, Domestic Violence cases, Small Claims cases and appeals, Traffic cases, Unlawful Detainer matters, and both Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency cases. The successful expansion of the AJC to include Family Law and Juvenile matters is attributable in part to the excellence and hard work of the Clerk’s Office despite an approximate 30% reduction in personnel.

  • ŠŠCriminal trials are held on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Felony PXs are heard on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while longer cause matters are held on Thursdays when possible.
  • ŠŠUnlawful Detainer cases are heard Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays at 2:30 p.m.
  • ŠŠDomestic Violence Restraining Orders are heard Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.
  • ŠŠCriminal Law and Motion is heard on Mondays at 8:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.
  • ŠŠTraffic matters are heard Monday- Friday at 8:30 a.m. except for the second and fourth Mondays of each month when they are heard from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • ŠŠSmall claims cases are heard Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Fridays at 1:15 p.m.
  • ŠŠJuvenile Dependency matters are heard Mondays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m., and Juvenile Delinquency cases are heard Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:30 a.m.

The AJC is exceptionally proud of the following new (or substantially enhanced) programs:


The Children’s Waiting Room (CWR) is a free service (with a targeted start date of September 6, 2011) for those who have court business (other than jury duty) at the AJC.

  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Anyone with court business may use the CWR including:
    • Defendants, witnesses, and litigants
    • ŠŠAnyone (other than jurors) who must appear before a judge
    • Anyone who needs to file papers


The AJCs Family Law Facilitator workshops are held on Thursdays @ 1:00 p.m. in the Law Library. The workshops assist people who do not have attorneys to handle their divorce, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support and paternity cases.

Specifically the FLF can help either party to:

  • Prepare the filings to obtain or modify child and/or spousal support orders;
  • ŠŠPrepare the filings to obtain or modify child custody and visitation orders;
  • Respond to divorce, custody, support or paternity actions;
  • ŠŠRun computer-generated child and spousal support calculations;
  • ŠŠPrepare Orders after Hearings and Wage Assignments;
  • ŠŠFile motions to establish paternity

There are no appointments for these services, but the Facilitator’s objective is to meet with everyone as quickly as possible. Persons wishing to use these services are requested to bring all court papers and proof of current income where necessary (e.g. tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, and three recent pay stubs.

BAY AREA LEGAL AID – Free Legal Clinics

Legal assistance is available for eviction cases and for domestic violence restraining orders. The Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic provides assistance on Tuesdays, from 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. at the AJC’s Self Help Legal Center. The Housing Law Clinic is designed for low-income persons needing assistance in eviction cases. The clinic operates on Wednesdays, from 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. at the AJC’s Self Help Legal Center.

Filed Under: Spotlight


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