“The Worst Courthouse in the State” –  County shuts down Mental Health Courthouse in Cypress Park

Cypress Park - The building isn't safe to use as a courthouse. But could it be turned into housing?

The old Mental Health Courthouse on San Fernando Road is up for grabs, and could go to the city, possibly as a donation to be turned into low-income and permanent supportive housing, according to a motion from City Councilmember Gil Cedillo

But if so, it would need a lot of work. Or be torn down for something totally new.

The Los Angeles Superior Court’s Mental Health Courthouse at 1150 N. San Fernando Road shut down abruptly in 2016 because of structural damage to the roof, according to CBS Los Angeles. The presiding judge at the time told CBS that the building - which had been handling competency hearings and cases involving mental health legal issues - was “the worst courthouse in the state.”

Nearly five years later, the roof still hasn’t been repaired, according to Blaine Corren, a public affairs analyst with the Judicial Council of California, which is responsible for the building. The structure is still closed.

As for transferring the property to the city, Councilmember Cedillo’s office said state courts representatives seem open to the idea.

“However, it has been conveyed to our office that they need to clarify constitutional, legislative, and jurisdictional issues,” said a statement from Cedillo’s office.

Corren added that the Judicial Council has not yet decided what to do with the site.

Last week, the city council approved conducting a feasibility study that Cedillo had requested in his motion.

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Barry Lank has worked for newspapers on the East and West Coasts, and earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University. He formerly produced "National Lampoon Presents: The Final Edition." A native of San Gabriel Valley, he now lives in East Hollywood.

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