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Local News in Brief : U.S. Judge Declines Action on Court Suit

A federal judge Monday declined to take action on an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit charging that Los Angeles Superior Court judges have violated state law by not disposing of criminal cases more expeditiously.

U.S. District Judge William P. Gray, saying that he was concerned about interfering with the jurisdiction of the state’s judicial system, told the ACLU at a court hearing to seek a ruling in the state court system.

But Gray, saying that he believes trial delays are “a tremendous problem” in Los Angeles, stayed the ACLU suit indefinitely, pending state court action, rather than dismissing the suit outright.

For more than a decade, the ACLU has campaigned against County Jail overcrowding. In the current case, the organization is demanding that Superior Court judges be ordered to adhere to state law requirements before granting continuances that delay pending criminal cases.

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