As of August 2015 the Torrance Court on Maple will change the way DUI and other misdemeanours are heard. It used to be that each city in the jurisdiction would have its own Courtroom for arraignment, Redondo Beach and Hermosa were in Division 2, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes were in Division P for example. This all has changed.
Now, all new cases will start in Division 3 for arraignment and what is called EDP or early disposition. The case can be resolved there and stay there for purposes of resolution. The Judge in that Courtroom is the well respected Honorable George Bird, a former local criminal defense attorney himself so he knows the ins and outs of working out a fair disposition to cases.
Should the case proceed to trial ,after a not guilty plea, the case will be transferred to one of the previously assigned courtrooms such as Division 2, 5, and P as follows:
Division P of the Torrance Court is presided over by the Honorable Judge Nicole Bershon. This Court hears all misdemeanor cases originating from Manhattan Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Division 5 of the Southbay Court is presided over by the Honorable Gary Tanaka, a former public defender and County Counsel. This Court hears all cases coming the the city of Torrance, misdemeanors and drunk driving.
Division 2 is The Honorable Sandra Thompson who presides over all Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach DWI cases and misdemeanours such as drunk in public.
All felony cases are assigned, depending on the case number, to Div L, G, C and other courts in the building.