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

LA County Courts Restrict Courthouse Access to Parties, Attorneys, Witnesses until June 22, 2020

Order Delays Criminal and Civil Cases for the Next 60 Days. Bail review a priority.


March 28, 2020

Mary Leipziger

A courthouse employee places a "Closed due to Coronavirus" sign in front of the Santa Monica Courthouse.

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile today signed a General Order to enact unprecedented measures in the nation's largest trial court to protect the public's health and safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Presiding Judge Brazile took this action after obtaining emergency powers pursuant to the provisions of California Government Code section 68115 and authorization by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil- Sakauye, who conveyed those powers to him last week.

"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court has taken numerous measures to protect the public it serves, as well as its staff and judicial officers, while fulfilling its statutory duties," Presiding Judge Brazile said. "In so doing, the Court is committed to implementing measures recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) and that are consistent with our obligation to maintain a safe workplace."

Presiding Judge Brazile ordered, effective immediately, as follows:

Access to any and all Los Angeles County Courthouses shall be restricted at all times to Judges, Commissioners, court staff and authorized persons until further notice;

Access to any and all court proceedings, including but not limited to arraignments, preliminary hearings, motions, ex partes or trials, shall be limited to parties, attorneys, witnesses and authorized persons until further notice;

The full and complete temporary public closure of the Sylmar Juvenile Courthouse for three (3) days;

The full and complete public closure of the Beverly Hills, Catalina and Spring Street courthouses, until further notice;

The Executive Officer/Clerk of Court may provide telephonic and electronic assistance to assist in those essential services as outlined in the March 17, 2020 and March 19, 2020 Administrative Order of the Presiding Judge re: COVID-19 Pandemic;

The suspension of any and all Criminal or Civil jury or non-jury trials per the March 19, 2020 Administrative Order of the Presiding Judge re: COVID-19 Pandemic, including Unlawful Detainer trials, until further notice;

In all Criminal cases, a 90-day continuance of any and all status reports and progress reports;

The continuance of any and all Criminal Misdemeanor cases with out-of- custody defendants, for 90 days, unless otherwise statutorily required;

Bail review hearings under Penal Code section 1275 for any and all Misdemeanor or Felony pretrial detainees will be deemed a priority matter on the court's calendar for the next 60 days; and

Social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall be enforced in all courthouses and courtrooms, to the extent

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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