LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT - New General Order
PRESIDING JUDGE KEVIN C. BRAZILE ISSUES GENERAL ORDER OUTLINING SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS AS COURT GRADUALLY EXPANDS OPERATIONS EFFECTIVE JUNE 22
Probate, Mental Health, Juvenile Dependency & Delinquency and Certain Civil Courtrooms will Resume Operations With the Help of Remote Courtroom Appearances Trials Continued Under Terms of the Order in Effect Through July 9, 2020 Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile announced today he has received approval from Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to issue a new Order on a phased expansion of court operations and social distancing requirements pursuant to the emergency powers granted to him under Government Code 68115. Under today’s Order, access to courthouses is restricted at all times to judicial officers, court employees, co -lessees, Judicial Council staff, vendors, authorized persons (which includes news reporters and media representatives), attorneys, litigants and witnesses with matters on calendar or individuals with confirmed appointments.
“As we go deeper into the phased recovery allowed by state and county public health officials, the Court has a gradual approach to assure safe access to justice in the nation’s largest trial court,” Presiding Judge Brazile said. “We are going to take this COVID-19 recovery slowly and carefully with the help of remote courtroom technology, mandatory use of masks/facial coverings, social distancing protocols and barriers, enhanced cleaning, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, and signs to direct visitors where to stand. We are doing all we can to re-open our doors safely to restore access to justice in Los Angeles County.”
In addition to time-sensitive and essential functions listed in the Order, Court operations will be expanded gradually as follows:
June 22, 2020:
• Probate courtrooms will resume expanded operations and conduct proceedings remotely using LACourtConnect (LACC), the Court’s new audio and video remote courtroom appearance technology.
• Mental Health courtrooms will resume full operations at the Hollywood Courthouse. The courtroom hearing proceedings pursuant to the Lanterman Petris Short Act (LPS) will resume operations at the Metropolitan Courthouse. Riese hearings and hospital hearings will be conducted remotely by video.
• Juvenile Dependency courtrooms will resume full operations. The Court will prioritize adjudications and dispositions involving children who are detained, and continue to conduct remote appearances via Webex.
• Juvenile Delinquency courtrooms will resume full operations. Priority will be given to arraignments, adjudication, disposition and Welfare and Institutions Code section 777 hearings for detained minors, competency hearings, transfer hearings, warrants and emergency health and safety matters. Remote appearances will continue via Webex.
• Civil courtrooms, except for courtrooms hearing Small Claims and Collections matters, will expand operations to include case management conferences, Law and Motion and informal conferences, which may be conducted remotely via CourtCall until after LACC is more widely available on July 6, and thereafter, for remote appearances.
• Settlement courts will resume mandatory settlement conferences and will conduct them remotely using LACC.
• Writs and Receivers courtrooms will resume full operations.
• Complex Civil and Personal Injury courtrooms located at the Spring Street Courthouse will resume full operations and conduct remote hearings and proceedings via CourtCall until LACC is available on July 6 and onwards.
• Family Law courtrooms will resume proceedings in a gradual, phased-in fashion, based on the Division’s uniform four-category triaging plan for matters and exparte applications. Proceedings are initially limited to Restraining Orders, postarraignment contempt and Family Code 3130 matters.
June 25, 2020:
• Appellate Division will resume full operations and hold oral arguments.
June 29, 2020:
• Unlawful Detainer courtrooms may resume Law and Motion and ex-parte applications.
July 6, 2020:
• The Criminal Division will commence a phased expansion of operations and expand the use of remote proceedings via Webex.
Under the Order:
• Proceedings shall be limited to the judicial officer presiding, court personnel, parties, counsel, witnesses and however many members of the public, including the news media, as can be accommodated in the designated courtroom while enforcing social distancing.
• The determination of courtroom capacity is made by the presiding judicial officer based on social distancing measurements.
• To enforce social distancing, each courtroom resuming full operations shall schedule only the number of matters during each session that will comply with social distancing requirements.
• Parties and counsel are strongly urged and encouraged to make use of technology for remote appearances, and to exchange and stipulate to the authenticity of documentary evidence.
To prepare for the June 22 phased reopening of courtrooms and resumption of hearings and court operations, the Clerk’s Office — which has been closed since March 23 — will reopen on June 15. In-person service at the Clerk’s Office and Self-Help Centers will require an appointment. Call centers at each courthouse will be available to reserve appointments for in-person service and get answers to questions.
To enforce social distancing and further reduce foot traffic, the Court has placed drop boxes outside courthouses for filings; established a virtual Clerk’s Office; enhanced virtual services to self-help litigants; facilitated remote proceedings in Criminal courtrooms; implemented remote arraignments from various law enforcement stations; and developed LACC, a remote audio and video courtroom appearance technology.
The Court is reopening under its Here For You | Safe For You initiative to provide a safe courthouse environment while offering services that allow court business to be conducted remotely. Whether appearing by phone, from home, the office or coming to the courthouse, the Court provides safe, efficient options to access justice. The Court’s remote technology options promote social distancing by reducing the number of people appearing in person.
Click here to see the clerks notice.
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