Who knew? Cypress Park is home to Mental Health Court

Jon Regardie of the Downtown News writes this week about his recent jury duty, which took him to a dreary brick building on San Fernando Road in Cypress Park that serves as the county’s Mental Health Courthouse.  This part of the L.A. County Superior Court on San Fernando Road near Alice Street is where juries hear cases involving conservatorship and “severe emotional problems for which they are unable or unwilling to seek voluntary care.”  Regardie said that he and other potential jurors did not know what to expect when they learned of their assignment:

I know what you’re thinking: You’ve never heard of the Mental Health Courthouse. You had no idea such a thing exists. It was the same for everyone in our group. Driving by the facility, you’d never notice it. Slugged on a gritty stretch near auto body shops and across from a Metrolink repair yard, it’s about as appealing as, well, an auto body shop. Since I like to say nice things, I can state that, from the outside, it’s definitely slightly nicer than a crack house.

Our confused crowd entered a hot waiting room with 10 fewer chairs than people. Finally we were led to a nondescript courtroom. A dozen of us were called to the jury box. I was number 12.

Regardie was assigned to a case where a man was trying to win his independence from his son.  Unlike the downtown courthouses, there are no restaurants nearby. On the positive side, for jurors, the trials begin at 1:30 p.m., Regardie said.


  1. Who Knew? I drive in this area frequently (on my way to Out of the Closet or Super King) and while I did wonder what was to be found on Media Center Drive I doubt I would have given the building a second look.
    Interesting story. Nice to know there are some controls over involuntary commitments but I wonder why, given the father’s actions, two people would vote to release him? I wonder if these might be the same people who could complain that the police don’t get crazy people off the street soon enough…

    Also, knowing the area, I would pity anyone who had to serve there and didn’t drive. NOT good bus service.

  2. Me! Me! I knew! I grew up right across the street. We played in the parking lot all the time. It was never very crowded back in the day.

  3. Playboy is at Media Center Drive 😉

  4. Restaurants eh? Well they can walk to Cypress Ave and hit King Taco or La Morenita lol

  5. i served there years ago. and took the bus. a sad case involving a troubled teenager.

  6. San Fernando Rd and Cypress Ave have plenty of bus service. I always wondered what that building was. I’ve seen Sheriff Buses once in a blue moon around the area, always got me curious as to why….

  7. Not that the person who wrote the story will go there again, but maybe someone will stumble upon this before their own adventure to that little courthouse. Continue up Alice to Cypress Ave and make a right. King Taco is just a couple blocks down on the right (you can walk, but you probably don’t want to). Best place to eat in Cypress Park in my opinion and very close to the mental courthouse. For sit down (you’ll have to drive), there is iHop on Figueroa couple blocks north of San Fernando Rd. or Denny the opposite way on San Fernando near Fletcher.

  8. If your driving, a left turn on fig from cypress will take you towards El Atacor which I prefer to King Taco.

  9. i knew my mother in law used to work there..

  10. I observed committal hearing at the building in the 1970s for a psychology class report. Most of the cases heard are for people held by the state mental health facilities for observation to determine if they should released and do not have a jury present. If law enforcement believes you have mental health issues then you can be detained for psychiatric evaluation. After intervals starting with a short time and then lengthening a person detained will have a hearing to determine if they should be should be retained because they may be a threat to themselves or others.

  11. @Velvet’s Toys
    lol the neighborhood isn’t that shady that you will be afraid to walk to King Taco. At lunch time it is all hipster white, you’re like ummm where did all these white people come from

    Hmmmm Atacor is in a shady strip mall. Or you can try the one next to Footsie. Food is good but very very greasy. Patras Burgers. El Pescador. iHop on Figueroa. Nast McDonalds. Nasty Burger King across from Nightingale MS. Cypress Best Burgers also across from Nightingale MS.

    Though the closest places to grub that are walking distance would be King Taco and La Morenita. YUMMMMMMY

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