Our weekly roundup of local court news. This post will be updated as new information comes across our desks.
Alameda County Superior Court
Oakland, Calif. – June 26, 2023 – Court Expands Electronic Filing; Offers Demonstrations
Family law, probate, mental health and adoption case files will transition to electronic database.
The Superior Court of Alameda County will transition all family law, probate, mental health and adoption cases to a new electronic case management system this fall and is now offering demonstrations and informational sessions to raise awareness on how to use the system.
Beginning this week, the Court will provide demonstrations and answer questions from attorneys and others who frequently file and access court fillings for family court, probate, mental health and adoption. These demonstrations are being offered in anticipation of a transition of court files to the Journal Technologies’ eCourt case management system on September 5, 2023.
“We’re excited to be finally transitioning our last large volume of cases to a modern, secure and easy-to-use case management system,” said Presiding Judge Charles Smiley. “We hope to make the transition for these groups of users seamless and are offering as much assistance as possible before the transition is complete.”
Attorneys will be encouraged to begin e-filing on September 5, 2023, but mandatory usage will not occur until October 23, 2023. Litigants representing themselves can continue to visit the courthouse to file cases but are encouraged to e-file using the eCourt system. The final day to fax file documents will be September 1, 2023.
eCourt will provide all users a more streamlined approach to filing, reviewing and monitoring the development of cases in the court system. Among the significant changes will be electronic filing of most documents related to a case, an online court reservation system, elimination of fax filing and a modern interface that provides easier access to case files. (Please note: A limited number of documents such as bench warrants, subpoenaed documents, and bonds, will continue to require in-person filings. Please review the court’s local rules for specific exemptions. Local rules for each area of law can be found here: https://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/general-information/local-rules-forms).
While the Court does not oversee the electronic filing of cases, it can offer support and guidance to users on how to access and manage files once they are in the Court’s eCourt database. The electronic filling of cases is accomplished through third-party e-filing service providers.
If you’d like to participate in a Court online demonstration, please register by following the link below:
Online eCourt and e-filing demonstration registration: https://forms.office.com/g/GN5aVecrzX
A probate demonstration and Q&A session will take place on June 28 at 12:30 p.m. A family law demonstration and Q&A will take place on July 11 at Noon.
Oakland, Calif. – June 30, 2023 – Court Offers New Way to Apply for Traffic Citation Financial Relief
Superior Court of Alameda County joins statewide financial relief program
Motorists unable to pay traffic citations due to a financial hardship will have a more convenient way to request relief as the Superior Court of Alameda County transitions to a statewide, online tool that will help determine eligibility and provide alternatives to full payment.
Beginning July 5, 2023, people who received citations in Alameda County can visit MyCitations.courts.ca.gov to apply for a reduction in the amount owed, request a payment plan, seek an extended due date for payment or request community service as an option in lieu of payment.
Eligibility for a reduction in a citation amount is based on one of three factors including income or if a person receives public benefits such as social security income, CalWORKS or Medi-Cal.
Those applying for relief from a citation fine can either have the citation number or be prepared to provide a name, birthdate and driver’s license number. Proof of income status or public benefits might also be necessary.
This service is available once a citation has been issued, a fine has been ordered by the Court and while the judgement remains unpaid, including if a fine is delinquent or has been referred to collections. Fines associated with misdemeanors or felonies are not included in this program. Parking tickets are also not included in this program.
The MyCitations: Ability to Pay tool is a program operated by the Judicial Council of California and was developed after California received a “Price of Justice Initiative” grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to develop and implement the program.
This new program will replace the Court’s current internal program and allows the public to apply for a hardship online without having to submit paperwork at a courthouse.
This new program can be accessed directly for Alameda County-based citations starting July 5, 2023 by visiting MyCitations.courts.ca.gov or visiting the Court’s website at: https://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/divisions/traffic.
For more of our coverage on local court news, check out the ACBA Blog.