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
You can continue to request service of process through One Legal and our network of process servers continue to make attempts throughout the U.S.
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.
The Court has made the following changes to Emergency Local Rules, effective May 21, 2020:
Adopted Emergency Local Rule 1.8b
Adopted Emergency Local Rule 4.116
Amended Emergency Local Rule 4.115
Amended Emergency Local Rule 3.30
In a press release, the Court announced that it would “resume or expand numerous court functions” in a remote “reopening.” As part of this, the Court will resume hearing small claims trials, expand hearing opportunities for civil harassment, elder abuse, gun violence, and other similar cases, and begin to implement other remote procedures.
The Court announced that priority Family Law proceedings may be conducted remotely until further notice.
Beginning May 19, 2020, court operations resumed and facilities became accessible with precautions in place. The Public Notice shared information around court events and appearances, jury services, clerks’ offices, and more.
The Presiding Judge confirmed that while the Courthouse Building and County Offices are open to the public, all Humboldt County Superior Court courtrooms and offices remain closed to the public. Hearings have been expanded, but all appearances are remote or by restricted access.
The Court added an Emergency Rule requiring all persons entering a county courthouse to wear facial coverings.
The Court released remote access procedures that will apply to all matters effective June 1, 2020.
A General Order posted on May 20 that went into effect immediately laid out changes including:
- Court holidays for the purpose of computing time have been extended through June 10, 2020.
- The time period provided within which to hold a trial is extended where the deadline would otherwise expire between March 16 and June 15.
- Guidelines around the time provided within which a minor taken into custody must be released.
The Court announced that it will be re-opening courthouses for limited service on May 26, 2020. This includes conducting preliminary hearings and the return to normal processing by the eFiling staff.
If you have already submitted a filing, you will start to see documents getting accepted over the next week or so. Expect delays in getting your returned documents back as the Court deals with the influx of filings
The Court posted a news release establishing the process and timeline for restoring services in Family Law matters. Guidelines for filing emergency and non-emergency matters are also included.
On May 15, the Court extended prior court orders to be in full force and effect from May 16 through June 12, 2020. May 16-June 12 are declared court holidays for all purposes, except as specified in the March 19 Temporary Court Closure Order. This includes for purposes of computing time for filing papers.
A General Order from the Court established guidelines accessing the court and for attending remote proceedings.
San Diego County
The Court’s period of declared holidays ends at the end of today and the Court will reopen with limited access on May 26. Clerks will begin accepting documents that have already been submitted as of that date.
Additionally, the Family Law division will implement voluntary eFiling on May 26, 2020. Local Rules and FAQs have been posted to the Court’s website. One Legal is a certified eFiling service provider in San Diego for both Civil and Family Law case types. Log in on Tuesday to begin placing electronic court filings>>
The Court also updated the list of services that may be provided during the pandemic.
San Luis Obispo County
The Court announced plans to resume criminal jury trials.
San Mateo County
As per a General Order, the Court has declared May 15 through June 12, 2020 to be deemed holidays for purposes of computing time for filing papers and for computing time under Welfare and Institutions Codes. Additionally, court sessions may be held anywhere in the county and the time provided within which a minor taken into custody must be released has been extended.
A public notice laid out guidelines for limited access to the courthouse and confirmed that Clerk’s Offices will be closed through May 29.
In Local Rule No. 6, the Court confirmed that it will accept electronically signed documents filed with the Court as the original and as defined in California Rule of Court 2.257.
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