Wednesday, March 18, 2020
In Response to Epidemic…
Hearings to Be Held on Certain ‘Time Sensitive, Essential Matters’
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile yesterday declared that all civil and criminal trials in the county will be halted through April 16 in light of the coronavirus epidemic, though some courtrooms will be open to handle such matters as temporary restraining orders, preliminary hearings, and sentencing.
Brazile on Monday proclaimed that the Superior Court would be closed for business totally yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
“This order will allow us to comply with social distancing and to prevent the spread of the virus within our community,” the presiding judge said. “The court will reopen Friday only for emergency and essential matters to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Brazile acted under authority granted to him late Monday, pursuant to Government Code §68115, by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.
That section provides, in part, that where there is an epidemic or a condition leading to either the president or the governor declaring a state of emergency—and both President Donald Trump and Gov. Gavin Newsom have done so—and “the orderly operation of a superior court location or locations within a county” are threatened, the chief justice may authorize various actions. These include the Superior Court declaring days to be holidays and extending time periods.
Here are Brazile’s findings and orders:
1. March 17, 2020 to March 19, 2020, inclusive, for purposes of computing time for filing papers under CCP Sections 12 and 12(a), are deemed holidays.
2. March 17, 2020 to March 19, 2020, inclusive, for the purpose of computing time under the Penal Code, the Welfare and Institutions Code, the Government Code and the Code of Civil Procedure, and any other statutory deadlines, are deemed holidays.
3. March 17, 2020 to March 19, 2020, inclusive, all courthouses shall be closed to the public.
4. From March 20, 2020 until April 16, 2020, inclusive, all courtrooms will remain closed for judicial business, except for the following time-sensitive, essential functions:
a. Civil Temporary Restraining Orders
b. Family Temporary Restraining Orders
c. Civil Ex Parte Proceedings
d. Family Ex Parte Proceedings
e. Contempt Proceedings in Family Law Where Custody is at Issue
f. Hague Convention (International Kidnapping)
g. Probate Ex Parte Hearings
h. Probate Emergency Petitions for Temporary Conservatorship
i. Probate Emergency Petitions for Temporary Guardianship
j. Riese Hearings
k. Search Warrants
m. Criminal Preliminary Hearings
n. Criminal Ex Parte Hearing
o. Bail Bond and Cash Bail Processing
p. Bail Review
q. Criminal Mental Competency Hearings
r. Criminal sentencing proceedings
s. Criminal post-sentencing proceedings
t. Grand Jury Indictments
u. Criminal Jury Trials — where there is no consent to continuance and enhanced statutory limits (see below) have been reached
v. Juvenile Ex Parte Orders
w. Emergency Orders Relating to (he Health and Safety of a Child
x. Juvenile Restraining Orders
y. Juvenile Delinquency Detention Hearings and related case processing
z. Juvenile Dependency Detention Hearings and related case processing
aa. Traffic Arraignments
bb. Traffic Trials - where there is no consent to continuance
cc. Petitions for Writ Seeking Emergency Relief in Misdemeanor, Limited Civil and Infractions
dd. Emergency Writs Challenging COVID-19 Emergency Measures
ee. Writs of Habeas Corpus Challenging Medical Quarantines
5. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT ALL OTHER MATTERS HAVE BEEN CONTINUED BY THE COURT. The parties shall receive further notice stating the specific time and date of the continuance in their cases.
6. Pursuant to the authority granted pursuant to section 68115 of the Government Code, the court extends the following deadlines for the period March 17, 2020 to April 16, 2020, inclusive:
a. Code of Civil Procedure sections 583.310 and 583.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure to bring an action to trial has been extended by 30 days.
b. The duration of any temporary restraining order that would otherwise expire because the emergency condition prevented the court from conducting proceedings to determine whether the permanent order should be entered is extended by 21 days.
c. The court extends the time periods provided in section 859b of the Penal Code for the holding of a preliminary examination from 10 court days to not more than 15 court days.
d. The court extends the time periods provided in section 1382 of the Penal Code within which a trial must be held by 30 days.
e. The court extends the time periods provided in section 825 of the Penal Code within which a defendant charged with a felony offense must be taken before a magistrate from 48 hours to no more than seven days.
f. The court extends the time periods provided in section 313 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a minor taken into custody pending dependency proceedings must be released from custody to not more than seven days.
g. The court extends the time periods provided in section 315 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a minor taken into custody pending dependency proceedings must be given a detention hearing to not more than seven days.
h. The court extends the time periods provided in sections 632 and 637 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a minor taken into custody pending wardship proceedings and charged with a felony offense must be given a detention hearing or rehearing to not more than seven days.
i. Extend the time period provided in section 334 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a hearing on a juvenile dependency petition must be held by not more than 15 days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline otherwise would expire on from March 17, 2020, to April 16, 2020, inclusive; and
j. Extend the time period provided in section 657 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a hearing on a wardship petition for a minor charged with a felony offense must be held by not more than 15 days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline otherwise would expire on from March 17, 2020, to April 16, 2020, inclusive.
7. Further, the court declares that from March 17, 2020 to April 16, 2020, inclusive, is deemed a holiday/holidays for purposes of computing time under Code of Civil Procedure 1167 (five-day period within which defendant must respond to a complaint in unlawful detainer action).
8. Further, the court declares that from March 17, 2020 to April 16, 2020, inclusive, be deemed a holiday/holidays for purposes of computing the time under Code of Civil Procedure 116.330(a) (requires a small claims matter to be scheduled for hearing no earlier than 20 days but not more than 70 days from the date of the order directing the parties to appear at the hearing).
9. Courthouses providing time-sensitive, essential services will be open beginning on March 20, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
10. Any judge of the Court may extend the time periods provided in §§583.310 and 583.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure to bring an action to trial by not more than 30 days, applicable only to cases in which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire from March 16, 2020 to April 16, 2020, inclusive.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL APRIL 16, 2020 AND MAY BE AMENDED AS CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE.
Ninth Circuit Issues Emergency Orders
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday issued this updated advisory:
In light of the rapidly expanding limitations on social interactions in public spaces due to the spread of COVID-19. the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is making the following adjustments to its operations:
Arguments currently scheduled in March, April, and May 2020 are being evaluated one at a time and orders will issue in those cases giving direction to the parties. Panels may exercise their discretion under the rules to submit cases without argument; to postpone argument to a later date: or to hold argument via telephone or video. When argument is held, it will be live streamed to facilitate public access.
Access to the Courthouses
Until further notice, our courthouses are closed to the public during non-court weeks. Attorneys and parties who have access to CM/ECF are strongly encouraged to use it for everything, including new petitions for review and original proceedings. If unrepresented litigants have access to email, they are encouraged to submit their filings, including petitions for review and all other pleadings, directly to the Court at this email address: prose email@example.com. We also have a drop box (for petitions for review and original proceedings) in the lobby of the Browning Courthouse at 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco. CA 94103. and the Court continues to receive filings sent via U.S. Mail or commercial delivery services.
Filing Deadlines & Paper Copies
Because the national response to the pandemic has disrupted services of all kinds, the Court will extend non-jurisdictional filing dates as needed. Due dates for notices of appeal, petitions for review, and any document that confers jurisdiction on this Court, are set by statute or rule and are unaffected by this notice. Please follow the instructions in the next section to seek an extension of tune to file a brief. The court will issue instructions for seeking extensions of other types of non-jurisdictional deadlines in the coming days.
For any case not yet calendared, please do not submit paper copies of electronically filed briefs or excepts pending further order of the court.
Extensions of time for filing briefs
(1) If a party needs an extension of time to file a brief due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus, the party must file a notice with the Court.
a. The notice should use the CM/ECF document filing type: “Correspondence”
b. The notice should state: “NOTICE: The court is notified that due to logistical issues related to the COVID-19 vims. [PARTY] requires a 60-day extension of time to file the [TYPE OF] brief, currently due on [CURRENT BRIEF DUE DATE].”
(2) The filing of this notice will result in the automatic extension of the briefing schedule by 60 days, unless the court notifies the parties otherwise.
(3) Any request for an extension to file a brief after this automatic 60-day period must be made by written motion.
(4) This automatic extension may not be used in the following circumstances:
a. Cases that have been previously expedited
b. Cases where a notice of oral argument has issued
Court Hours & Staffing
Because we have limited staff available to answer phone calls, we are also accepting queries sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to prioritize incoming filings and questions, but there might be some delay in responding.
A lawyer or litigant who seeks an emergency stay or relief that requires immediate attention should file a request per the instructions set out in the rules, by contacting the court at email@example.com or (415) 355-8020.
Further updates will be posted on the Court’s website as the situation warrants.
Court of Appeal Won’t Hold Arguments in Los Angeles
Court of Appeal Supervising Presiding Justice Elwood has issued the following order pertaining to this district:
In light of the current public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, to protect the health and safety of the public this court hereby exercises its “ ‘fundamental inherent equity, supervisory, and administrative powers, as well as [its] inherent power to control litigation’ ” before it, and its power “ ‘ “to adopt any suitable method of practice, both in ordinary actions and special proceedings, if the procedure is not specified by statute or by rules adopted by the Judicial Council” ’ ” (In re Reno (2012) 55 Cal.4th 428, 522, quoting Rutherford v. Owens-Illinois, Inc. (1997) 16 Cal.4th 953, 967), and adopts the following procedures:
1. In-person oral argument sessions in this court (excluding Division Six) are suspended. Counsel will appear remotely via video conference, by telephone conference, or by other electronic means as available and arranged by the Clerk’s Office.
2. All oral argument sessions will be held in the Court of Appeals courtroom, 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California. The sessions will be open to the public, but seating will be strictly limited in order to achieve appropriate distancing. Division Six will issue its own order on this subject.
These adjustments will remain in place until, by further order, it is determined to be prudent to resume normal procedures.
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