Our weekly roundup of updates from local courts. This post will be updated as new information comes across our desks.
Many Courts Suspending In Person Trials
Temporary change to telephone, drop box, and clerk’s office hours. Details here.
1.7.22: To respond to rapidly increasing safety concerns occasioned by the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, the court will seek a temporary emergency order from the Judicial Council that would apply for 30 days starting January 7, 2022, and permit the court to extend arraignments to 7 days, preliminary examinations for 30 days, and trials for 30 days. While we hope to not have to use these measures, our responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for staff, attorneys, jurors and all who have business in the courts requires this extraordinary step.
Objections, if any, may be addressed directly to the Judicial Council. I am advised that objections may be directed to the following person:
Charles Perkins, Supervising Attorney
Legal Services | Leadership Services Division
Judicial Council of California
455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
Friday, 1.7.22 the Court applied for an order extending jury trials by 30 days and arraignments by 7 days starting 1.6.22. The Judicial Council approved an emergency order granting this request. Signed EO – Alameda #6
Contra Costa County
Only criminal jury trials where time hasn’t been waived are moving forward through Feb. 4. All other criminal jury trials not currently in progress are being continued to after March 1. Civil jury trials not currently in progress are being continued until after March 31, with some statutory exceptions. Everything at the Court is being moved to remote appearances when possible.
San Mateo County
Chief Justice has granted the San Mateo County Court’s request for an extension of 30 days to hold criminal trials. San Mateo has also paused jury trials criminal and civil during the weeks of January 3rd and 10th. Read more
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County is proceeding with caution on a week to week/day to day basis. So far so good, but they have contingency plans if needed.
Los Angeles County
Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor utilized the authority granted by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye under Government Code section 68115 to extend statutory deadlines for Criminal jury trials in which the original or previously extended statutory deadline otherwise would expire from January 5 to January 19, 2022, inclusive.
Our Presiding Judge has requested we provide a copy of the attached Amended Administrative Order 21.25, which includes limits on public access, re-institutes 6 feet of social distancing and livestreaming, subject to the discretion of the individual judge in their courtroom.
Also, per our Supervising Criminal Judge – based on the surge of the variant and for the safety of everyone, the court has decided that it is best not to conduct any jury trials for the next couple of weeks. The court is looking to resuming after the MLK holiday. The court hopes that the DA and defense counsel can continue to mutually agree to continue their matters to some date in late January or early February. If this cannot be done, the court will be invoking it’s emergency powers. The court also hopes to safely continue with prelims during this time, as they call for less people to be in a courtroom.