Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Honorable Steve Kim

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Magistrate Judge

Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse
255 E. Temple Street, Courtroom 540, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90012

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Recording, copying, photographing and rebroadcasting of court proceedings is prohibited by federal law. A violation of this prohibition may result in sanctions, including suspension of your license to practice before this court, referral to the state bar, denial of the right to appear by video or telephonically at future proceedings, criminal prosecution, contempt, denial of admission to future hearings, and any other sanctions deemed necessary by the Court.

Law and Motion Schedule: 
  • Civil Motions: Unless otherwise directed by the Court, civil motions shall be heard on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM. It is not necessary to clear a civil motion hearing date with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk (CRD) prior to filing a motion; however, counsel shall check the Closed Motion Dates before filing a motion. The Court may continue a motion sua sponte or take a motion under submission without oral argument.
  • Criminal Motions: In criminal cases, the parties shall contact the CRD to schedule hearings on motions.
If any party is in federal or state custody and is proceeding pro se, the pro se moving party shall file the motion without requesting a hearing date, and the Court will determine whether a hearing is necessary.
  • Consent Calendar: Civil parties may consent to Judge Kim for all proceedings, including trial and entry of judgment, under the Voluntary Consent Program or the Direct Assignment Program. For optimal case management, parties should contact the Court's CRD as soon as practicable to secure the earliest mutually-agreeable dates on the Court's consent calendar. There are no adverse substantive consequences for declining to consent. JURY TRIALS WILL RESUME IN-PERSON EFFECTIVE JUNE 7, 2021, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS SET FORTH IN GO 21-07.
Judge's Procedures: 
  1. Discovery Matters: Discovery motions are to be set before the Magistrate Judge unless ordered otherwise by the District Judge to whom the case is assigned. All proposed protective orders and other filings pertaining to discovery shall include in the caption: “[Discovery Document: Referred to Magistrate Judge Steve Kim].” Absent an emergency, ex parte applications are not an allowed method of bringing a discovery dispute to the attention of the Court. The Court may take a discovery motion under submission without oral argument. Prior to the filing of any discovery motion, counsel for the parties must meet-and-confer in person if both counsel are located within the same county of the Central District.  See L.R. 37-1.  Failure to comply with this rule may result in summary dismissal of the discovery motion. Before filing a discovery motion, counsel must read and be familiar with Judge Kim's Standing Order on Discovery Disputes, which is available for download below. Parties are also encouraged to use the court's ESI Conference Checklist to aid Rule 26(f) discussions about ESI and the court's Model Stipulated E-Discovery Order, which is available for download in Word version and may be modified as needed. Whenever possible, disputed discovery requests involving the same issue(s) should be logically grouped under one section in the parties' Joint Stipulation with a consolidated position statement by each side.  L.R. 37-2.1
  2. Informal Discovery Dispute Resolution: With the agreement of the parties, the Court may in its discretion conduct informal telephonic conferences to resolve discovery disputes outside the formal Local Rule 37 procedures. Before any such telephonic conference, however, the parties must engage in at least two attempts to resolve the dispute without court involvement consistent with the pre-filing conference of counsel required by Local Rule 37-1. If after two meet-and-confer attempts, the parties reach an impasse and agree to an informal telephonic conference with the Court, the moving party should email (with a cc to the opposing party) the completed form entitled "Request for Informal Discovery Conference" (available for download below), to the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, providing the following information: (a) at least three proposed dates and times, agreeable to the parties, for the telephonic conference; (b) a brief, neutral statement of the discovery dispute and the specific relief requested; (c) a brief summary of the parties' respective positions; and (d) the two dates of the parties' meet-and-confer efforts to resolve the dispute without court intervention. After its review of the email request, the Court will schedule the telephonic conference if appropriate or advise the parties to proceed by motion under Local Rule 37-2.
  3. Tentative Rulings: Tentative rulings may be issued as appropriate. If issued, they will be made available to counsel no later than the time that counsel check in with the CRD on the day of the hearing. If all parties submit on the tentative ruling, they shall advise the CRD and no appearance will be required.
  4. Appearances by Counsel: The Court does not permit telephonic appearances for hearings (other than for ex parte applications as ordered by the Court) absent extraordinary circumstances. The Court does not permit special appearances. Counsel of record shall appear at all court proceedings.
  5. The Court encourages parties to permit young lawyers who are counsel of record to appear in court or argue at hearings. (The only exception is for informal discovery conferences where the participants in the telephonic conference, no matter the number of years of experience, must have discretionary and final authority to agree on compromises to discovery disputes.) Therefore, in any case where a motion has been submitted for decision without oral argument or a properly-noticed hearing date has been vacated sua sponte without final disposition of the motion, the parties may contact the CRD and jointly request that a hearing be held to allow an attorney for each side, who was principally responsible for the research, analysis and drafting of the papers on the motion, with less than four years of experience after becoming a member of the California bar to appear and argue the motion for the parties on each side. So long as there is no scheduling conflict, the Court shall hold such hearings to give young attorneys an opportunity to make court appearances.

  6. Extensions: Requests to extend any scheduled filing date (either by ex parte application or stipulation) shall be filed at least three business days prior to the scheduled deadline. The request shall detail good cause for the requested extension and set forth if any prior extensions have been sought and whether they were granted or denied. If it is necessary to file an ex parte application to request an extension of time, the application shall forthrightly set forth opposing counsel’s position.
  7. Continuances: To request a continuance of any scheduled court proceeding, the parties shall telephonically notify the CRD as soon as the need to reschedule a hearing is discovered and then submit a stipulation and proposed order no less than three business days before the scheduled hearing. In the event of a calendar conflict, counsel shall immediately advise the CRD telephonically and attempt to secure opposing counsel’s agreement to stipulate to a new date. If opposing counsel will not agree to a continuance, the request for continuance shall be made by ex parte application.
  8. Ex Parte Applications: Ex parte applications shall identify in the caption whether it is “OPPOSED” or “UNOPPOSED.” Any opposition shall be served and filed within 24 hours of electronic filing of the application. Conformed paper copies of the filed application and any opposition shall be delivered directly to Chambers. Ex parte applications will ordinarily be decided on the papers without oral argument. The Court will notify the parties if it desires an in-court or telephonic hearing. A party submitting an ex parte application need not provide a party in custody with oral notice prior to filing, but shall make all reasonable efforts to provide notice as quickly as practicable, consistent with Local Civil Rules 7-19 and 7-19.1. Any party relying on this policy shall state in the application (1) that the party in custody is incarcerated, and (2) all steps that have or will be taken to provide the person in custody with prompt notice.
  9. Protective Orders: Absent unusual circumstances, parties shall prepare their protective orders based on the model protective order that is available for download below. When the parties submit a protective order based on this model order, a redline in Microsoft Word format shall also be provided by email to Chambers at that shows all differences between the submitted order and model order. All proposed orders approving stipulated protective orders shall be submitted in Microsoft Word format with the full text of the stipulated protective order.
  10. Under Seal Documents: Parties and counsel in civil cases shall follow the procedures outlined in Local Civil Rule 79-5 for filing under seal documents. Parties and counsel may consult the Guide to Electronically Filing Under Seal Documents in Civil Cases, which is available for download below.
    In criminal cases, all proposed sealed documents shall be submitted via e-mail to the Chambers e-mail address at and comply with the procedures set forth in the Order regarding the Pilot Project for Electronic Submission and Filing of Under Seal Documents for Criminal Cases, which is also available for download below. 
  11. Criminal Duty Matters Electronic Filing Pilot Project: In accordance with General Order 19-01 and the Local Rules of the Central District of California, counsel are directed to email proposed documents to: Additionally, the following guidelines apply:
    1. Federal law enforcement agents and the U.S. Attorney's Office shall advise the CRD in advance if any affidavits in support of warrants, criminal complaints, or other law enforcement applications are expected to be unusually lengthy or complex, or otherwise require special attention by the Court.
    2. Applications requiring a personal appearance by an agent: Once determined that the documents are in compliance, the agent will be asked to report to Chambers with the original and, if a conformed copy is requested, copy of the documents, with the CM-ECF header. Chambers will not make or print copies for conforming.
    3. If counsel amends a document, they must promptly notify the CRD and indicate where and why the document is being amended.
  12. Citation Format: Although not required, the Court prefers and encourages the use of hyperlinks for citations to legal authorities or docket entries in filings by represented parties, whenever practicable. For technical assistance, a guide to hyperlinking in documents is available for download below. When no reporter cite is available for a case citation, counsel for represented parties are requested to cite Westlaw instead of Lexis.
  13. Communications with the Court: Inquiries regarding the status of a motion, stipulation, or proposed order shall be made by checking the docket. If such information does not timely appear on the docket when expected, counsel may sparingly contact the CRD for status inquiries. Parties and counsel are not allowed to contact the Court’s law clerks or to communicate with Chambers by any means, except as expressly provided herein or otherwise ordered by the Court.
  14. Settlement Conferences: The parties shall contact the CRD about dates available for settlement conferences. The proposed date(s) should be at least three weeks in advance. After the date is selected, the Court will issue an order regarding settlement conference procedures. The parties are advised that Judge Kim's settlement calendar is routinely booked at least two months ahead; therefore, requests for settlement conferences sooner than that typically may not be accomodated. The parties must secure any necessary extension of the District Judge's ADR deadline before setting a date with Judge Kim. SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES WILL RESUME IN-PERSON EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2021.
  15. Transcripts: For information on ordering transcripts of a reported or digitally recorded proceeding, the parties shall refer to Court Reporting Services.
  16. Interpreters: It is the responsibility of the parties to obtain the services of an interpreter in a civil case if one is needed. If the government is the moving party, the government shall contact the CRD. For further information, the parties are referred to Interpreter Services.
  17. Clerkship Opportunities: Prospective law clerk applicants should submit via a cover letter, law school transcript, resume, and recent, unedited writing sample.