Hawthorne, California

The City of Hawthorne is a working-class neighborhood bordered to the north by the 105 or Century Freeway and the cities of Lennox and Inglewood, to the east by Gardena and Athens, to the south by Lawndale, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach and to the west by El Segundo. 
   
Hawthorne has a population of approximately 90,000.  Thirty-nine percent are African American, 29% Caucasian and 25% Hispanic.  It is perhaps best known as the home of the Beach Boys, however, ironically, their family home was demolished to make way for the Century Freeway.  Marilyn Monroe also lived in Hawthorne as a child, as did sports icon Jim Thorpe (there is a park there named after him).

Since the Beach Boys and Marilyn Monroe lived there decades ago, the area has become less Caucasian and more African-American and Hispanic.

Hawthorne High School has produced some outstanding track athletes over the years, notably Henry Thomas, Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Marsh, Michael Graham and Sean Kelley.  The Hawthorne High school mile relay team from the mid-1980’s still holds the national record in the high school 4 x 400-meter relay, a record that has survived over 30 years.

The high school has also seen its share of gang-related fights over the years, often with Hispanic gangs fighting African-American gangs.  It merits mention that due to the school’s proximity to Inglewood, some teenagers at the school have a family history of being affiliated with certain gangs.

Legal disputes arising in Hawthorne are heard in the Inglewood Courthouse, although it often seems that the more appropriate choice would be the Airport Courthouse, which is closer.  Our office is well-acquainted with each of the judges in the Inglewood Courthouse, as well as most of the District Attorneys there and the two Hawthorne City Attorneys there.  We regularly have cases in the Inglewood Courthouse.

Most misdemeanor matters are heard in Department 7 of the Inglewood Courthouse.  Both Hawthorne City Attorneys there are older, more seasoned attorneys, which is good because they do not regard misdemeanor cases like it is a felony matter.  They know the difference is significant.  They are also quick to evaluate a fair plea bargain and they have the experience to appreciate what arguments by defendants have merit and which do not.

The Inglewood Courthouse hears both criminal and civil small claim and UD matters.  It draws jurors from Inglewood, Lennox, Lawndale, Athens and of course, Hawthorne.  However, it also summons jurors from as far away as Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, El Segundo, Lawndale, West Carson, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Lomita, and even parts of Harbor City. 

Our office does a fair amount of work in the Inglewood courthouse.  We see quite a few DUI’s, arising usually from traffic stops by the CHP along the 405 and 105 Freeways, as well as on some of the local surface streets such as Hawthorne Boulevard, Century and La Brea. 

We also handle a fair number of shoplifting cases, often arising from the cluster of stores near the Costco (i.e. Michael’s and Target) and including from the Costco itself.  There are also a fair number of domestic violence matters and possession of a controlled substance cases that our office regularly handles in the Inglewood Courthouse and arising from the City of Hawthorne.

While these cases are somewhat minor in nature as are all misdemeanors, our office has also handled some much more serious kidnapping matters, an arson case, felony domestic violence, felony DUI and several hit and run cases out of the Inglewood Courthouse as well. 

The Inglewood Juvenile courthouse is across Regent Street from the main (adult) courthouse.  It has three courtrooms.  Cases there are handled slowly and deliberately.

Parking for the Inglewood Courthouse is $7.00 if one parts in the parking structure near the courthouse.  However, there is parking meter parking nearby to the south, but with only a two-hour time limit, which is rarely enough for even the most routine matters in this courthouse.  The Inglewood Courthouse is affectionately known by many criminal defense attorneys as “the court that time forgot” because it takes so long to get much done there.  The Inglewood Courthouse recently included a cafeteria on the bottom floor. 

For more information about common cases that one might face if arrested in this city, click on the following articles:
  1. What Punishment Do I Face for Domestic Violence?
  2. What is Vandalism and Graffiti (Penal Code § 594)?
  3. What Punishment Do I Face for a First-Time DUI?
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