COVID 19 and a Look at Court Operating Statuses

At ADLI, we remain committed to providing you with all the latest developments in the Law and keeping you informed with any obstacles to your case. With COVID 19, we have seen the California State Court system locked down, then opened, and now partially open. The following information is referenced from and is current as of August 14, 2020.

Los Angeles County Superior Court:  The chief justice issued a seventh emergency order for the court on Aug. 10 authorizing delays in a host of proceedings where procedural deadlines would have otherwise expired between Aug. 10 and Sept. 8. Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile also announced Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile announced that civil jury trials will be delayed until January and that civil non-jury trials will not start before Nov. 16. “The Los Angles County Department of Public Health has expressed concerns to the Court about commencing jury trials and bringing jurors into County courthouses given the current COVID-19 numbers and trends,” Brazile said. Effective Aug. 10 the court extended remote appearance technology to all 250 criminal courtrooms.

San Francisco Superior Court: The court restored “a number of services” on June 1. The court issued nine pages of procedural guidance for the partial reopening here. Many proceedings will take place by telephone or video conferencing. Courthouse visitors will be required to bring and wear face coverings. “Please expect longer lines and wait times. The court will follow social distancing requirements inside and outside our facilities and some building access will be limited.” The chief justice issued a fourth emergency order for the court on May 27.

San Diego County Superior Court:  The chief justice issued a 13th emergency order for the court on Aug. 11 extending the time to arraign a felony suspect from 48 hours to no more than seven days in cases where the deadline would otherwise have expired between Aug. 13 and Sept. 9. A previous, 12th emergency order for the court on Aug. 7 authorized a delay of up to 30 days to start criminal trials that would have otherwise been required to start between Aug. 13 and Sept. 17. The court on July 8 announced that jury trials are suspended through Aug. 17. The court resumed most other operations on May 26 Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne on May 13 signed a general order outlining new procedures for civil cases. The court is rescheduling 87,000 hearings postponed due to the pandemic-related closures. The court is livestreaming certain proceedings Courthouse visitors and employees are required to wear masks. Anyone entering a courthouse will have their temperature checked.

San Bernardino County Superior Court: The chief justice issued a fifth emergency order for the court on July 16 authorizing delays in numerous classes of proceedings. The court began ramping up services on May 29. All courthouses, with the exception of those in Big Bear and Needles, are open for limited hours and modified services. Visitors are required to wear face masks and maintain physical distance from other people. Live audio streaming of certain proceedings is available.

Orange County Superior Court: The chief justice on July 16 issued a seventh emergency order for the court authorizing delays in certain dependency hearings. The court enacted temporary procedures on June 17 for establishing “good cause” to conduct civil and probate jury trials. A separate order issued July 7 bars, anyone, from engaging in “workouts, sports, and physical activities” on courthouse property. Jury trials have restarted after a soft reopening began on May 26. Preliminary hearings in felony matters began that day as did four criminal jury trials that were suspended during the pandemic closures. According to a notice posted May 1, civil “trial dates for all trials scheduled to begin as of March 17, 2020, forward will be rescheduled approximately 25 weeks from the currently scheduled trial date, with notice to all parties.” Civil trials in progress as of March 17 will be vacated.

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