Monday, April 13, 2020
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile, in a webinar on Friday, said that when trials resume—and he is hoping for that to occur June 22—criminal cases and unlawful detainer matters will have a priority.
In light of that, he noted, civil judges are being cross-trained in those areas.
Brazile speculated that civil trials will start up again in August or September, and said civil trials now scheduled for late June will probably be continued.
Discovery and motion cut-off dates, he advised, will be based on the new trial date that is assigned.
The court is only partially functioning in light of the epidemic—basically, the only civil matters being heard are ex parte applications—with many judges at home, some idle, some engaged in proceedings through teleconferencing.
The presiding judge noted that in teleconferencing, participants are not permitted to be wearing tee-shirts or shorts, but jeans are permissible. Neither he nor Assistant Presiding Judge Eric Taylor was wearing a tie.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday announced that temporary relief is available to all traffic and non-traffic infraction defendants including a 90-day grace period on making payments.
A statement said that during this period, the court won’t be sending matters to collection or taking on civil assessments based on nonpayment. Relief will be automatic, the court specified, obviating any need to contact the Clerk’s Office.
Anyone whose driver’s license has been suspended based on nonpayment of tickets, the statement indicated, can telephone the court to set a hearing date, upon which the court will ask the Department of Motor Vehicles to lift the hold. It cautioned, however, that the COVID-19 epidemic “has affected the DMV’s ability to process these requests, so there may be some delays in having the holds lifted.”
Brazile was quoted in the statement as commenting:
“Our court’s sole focus during this crisis has been how best to serve our community and this has remained my North Star. Our traffic operations—the part of our court that has the broadest interaction with the public and touches Angelenos from all walks of life—presents a unique opportunity for our court to join the efforts of numerous public and private entities in acknowledging the economic devastation caused by this virus and mitigating its impact.
“I look forward to working with our community partners in getting the word out to the people of Los Angeles County: while you are facing an unprecedented threat to your lives and your livelihood, one thing you do not have to worry about is paying a traffic ticket or losing your license. Focus on staying safer at home and riding out this storm.”
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