Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Liz Miller
Observer Staff Writer 

Los Angeles Superior Court to re-open Friday for urgent matters.

Coronavirus aside, the LA Superior Court will reopen tomorrow morning.

 

March 23, 2020

In an encouraging sign, the Los Angeles Superior Court has announced that it will reopen tomorrow for urgent matters.

36 courthouses will open, including some that do not do criminal law. It had been debated how suspects arrested, who must be arraigned within 48 hours or must be released, would be handled. The press release from the superior court is below.

The Superior Court later issued a different press release noting that public counters would not be opened, and that the general public is urged to stay at home and practice social distancing, in line with County of Los Angeles health guidelines.

SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY TO RE-OPEN TOMORROW FOR ESSENTIAL AND EMERGENCY FUNCTIONS

36 of 38 Courthouses Will Open at 8:30 a.m.

Nearly 400 courtrooms will Remain Closed At Least Through April 16, 2020

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile today announced an amended General Order that clarifies the time-sensitive and essential functions the Court will handle when it reopens most of its courthouses tomorrow after a three-day closure.

“The Court is working with our Judicial Officers and employees on a court-wide operations plan designed to keep as many people out of our courthouses as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, while prioritizing our time-sensitive, essential functions,” Presiding Judge Brazile said. “Although 36 of 38 courthouses in Los Angeles County will re-open tomorrow, our trial court operations will be downsized and scaled back substantially due to the closure of nearly 400 courtrooms starting Friday, March 20, 2020.”

Today’s “Administrative Order of the Presiding Judge Re: COVID-19 Pandemic” retroactively amends his original 30-day emergency order signed on March 17, 2020, and remains in effect until April 16, 2020.

Under today’s amended Order, the Court finds good cause to continue all Unlawful Detainer trials without a determination pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1170.5(c).

Presiding Judge Brazile’s Order also retroactively deletes from Paragraph 4 of the functions:

• Contempt Proceedings in Family Law Where Custody is at Issue

• Traffic Arraignments and Traffic Trials

Today’s amended Order also retroactively adds these matters to the list of time-

sensitive, essential functions:

• Emergency Protective Orders

• Proceedings under the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act

• Judicial Commitments for Dangerous Persons based on Mental Health

Conditions

• Parole and post-release community supervision revocation hearings

• Juvenile Arraignment/Detention Hearings, Adjudication and Disposition

All courthouses will re-open tomorrow except the Beverly Hills Courthouse and the Catalina Courthouse. Signs in the courthouses will indicate the open courtrooms.

The Order also retroactively amends the original order by clarifying that, “The duration of any emergency protective order that would otherwise expire because the emergency condition requiring all courthouses be closed to the public prevented the party from obtaining a temporary restraining order in a timely manner is extended to March 20, 2020.”

“The Court has used the last three days to plan for measures to adhere to and promote social distancing,” Judge Brazile said. “The public is reminded that when they return for court business tomorrow, we are seeking their help to remain at least six feet away from any other person.”

As the nation’s largest trial court continues to adapt to a vastly reduced operation through April 16, it is important to emphasize that:

• All Civil and Criminal jury and non-jury trials are suspended;

• Jury service is suspended temporarily;

• No pre-trial conferences will be held; and

• Next week, more courtrooms and/or departments will be closed to reflect

the Court’s reorganized functions and further downsizing.

The original General Order was issued March 17, 2020, under the authority granted by Government Code Section 68115 and the March 16, 2020, authorization and order of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

For the latest updates on Coronavirus/COVID-19-related impacts to Court operations, please consult the Court’s COVID-19 News Center located at the top of our homepage and follow us on Twitter.

 

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