The world of California courts is constantly shifting, now more than ever before. In an effort to highlight significant updates, One Legal will be compiling the biggest changes in court operations and messaging from the past week to help us all keep up.
For a full list of all 58 California courts and more information about their known status, visit our California courts updates page on the Support Center.
Please note: All resources shared by One Legal are intended as high-level summaries only. For a full picture of each court’s response to the challenges of COVID-19, please visit the individual court website.
Service of process
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California’s shelter-in-place order specifically exempts “Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and critical sector services,” which includes process serving.
Court updates this week
As courts work hard to determine a way to bring the full justice system back online, here are the courts that have updated their messaging in a significant way, shared plans to increase access, or established new protocols for filing and beyond.
Contra Costa County
The Court has announced that all court locations will reopen to the public on May 26, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. Clerk offices will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. until further notice. Jury service will resume and “all Emergency Local Rules remain in effect unless otherwise noted or as superseded by effect of the Court’s reopening.”
The Court has announced that it is currently hearing certain case types via remote technology. The main courthouse is open on a limited basis and the Court anticipates that jury trials will begin in the near future.
On May 11, the Court added Emergency Local Rule No. 1 – Compliance with Speedy Trial Act to outline steps for parties whose trials and hearings had been rescheduled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Los Angeles County
The Court extended courtroom closures for judicial business through June 10, except time-sensitive, essential functions. To prepare for the resumption of court hearings beginning June 22, the Clerk’s Office will reopen on June 15.
The Court issued a General Order announcing the reopen of certain courtrooms and return of staff on May 13. This order also established remote hearings through the end of May and the closure of Clerk’s Offices to the public except for filings on essential matters.
The Court released two Executive Order affecting courtroom operations in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- For the purpose of computing time for filing papers, May 11, 2020 to June 6, 2020 are deemed court holidays.
- For the purpose of computing time under Penal Code section 825 and others, May 11, 2020 to June 6, 2020 are deemed court holidays.
- In cases in which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire from May 11, 2020 to June 6, 2020, any judge may extend the time period provided.
- Nevada City courthouse and Truckee courthouses will remain open only for restricted business.
San Diego County
The Court announced livestream audio Broadcasting of certain court proceedings.
The Court also posted a General Order outlining gradual restoration of Civil services, such as how to obtain new hearing dates, Case Management Conference continuations, and the handling of other Civil case types.
In a May 14 release, the court announced the re-scheduling process for cases affected by the COVID-19 closure. This included plans by the Family Law division to implement voluntary eFiling by May 26, 2020. Local Rules and FAQs will be posted on the Court’s website soon.
San Mateo County
An Emergency Local Rule from May 11 confirmed that electronic court filing would become mandatory on June 1, 2020, established expectations for remote court appearances, and outlined the phased reopening of Civil Law & Motion Departments.
Also, on May 12, the Court posted a Fourth Emergency Response Memo to outline essential calendars that will continue to be heard, calendars to be continued, and judicial officer assignments.
Finally, on May 13, the Court posted information pertaining to Family Law Cases in light of the COVID-19 situation.
Santa Barbara County
On May 9, the Court updated its Court Operations Plan to outline current expectations around appearances, courthouse closures, and more.
Santa Clara County
On May 8, 2020, the Court announced that it would be adding additional judicial proceedings to its current limited operations.
Effective May 18, 2020, the Court will limit the number of persons entering the courthouse. Clerk’s Offices will be closed through May 29 and drop boxes continue to be available.
On May 12, 2020, the Court issued another Emergency Order renewing and restating all provisions of the Court’s General Orders from March 18, March 24, March 25, and April 1, 2020.
On May 13, 2020, the Court announced that they would begin a phased increase to services and operations starting on May 18, 2020.
The limited operations begun on March 19, 2020 will be continued through June 9th, according to a press release issued on May 12, 2020.
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