Current California law circumscribes the authority of the Chief Justice during emergencies. Presiding judges of county superior courts may petition the Chief Justice—as chair of the Judicial Council—for an emergency order to support their local needs.

The following are the latest actions in response to COVID-19:

Apr 6

Judicial Council Adopts New Rules to Lower Jail Population, Suspend Evictions and Foreclosures
11 temporary emergency rules include $0 statewide bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies during COVID-19 pandemic to “safely reduce jail populations”

Mar 30

Chief Justice Issues Order Implementing Temporary Court Emergency Measures
Order implements action approved by Judicial Council on March 28; clarifies order suspending jury trials for 60 days.

Mar 28

Judicial Council Approves Temporary Emergency Measures to Aid Courts During COVID-19 Pandemic
Measures aim to continue essential court services while guarding the health and safety of the public, court employees, attorneys, litigants, judicial officers, law enforcement, and staff and inmates in detention facilities

Mar 27

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye Comments on Governor Newsom's Executive Order on Judicial Council Emergency Authority
"I understand and appreciate the Governor’s order to use the authority of my office to protect the public and to ensure that access to justice is available to all."

Mar 26

Judicial Council to Hold Special Meeting Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Telephonic meeting, Mar 28 at 12:20 p.m.

Mar 23 Chief Justice Issues Statewide Order Suspending Jury Trials 
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye issued a statewide order suspending all jury trials for 60 days and allowing courts to immediately adopt new rules to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mar 22 Chief Justice Cancels March Judicial Council Meeting
"Judicial Council members should attend to essential work in their trial and appellate courts," the Chief Justice said.

Mar 20

California Chief Justice Issues Second Advisory on Emergency Relief Measures
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued new guidance to the state's superior courts to mitigate some of the health risks to judicial officers, court staff, and court users.

Mar 20

Emergency Orders: 53 Superior Courts and 6 Appellate Courts (updated 3/30)
Directory of superior court emergency orders that have been signed by the Chief Justice.

Mar 18

California Supreme Court Expands Electronic Filing in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
The Supreme Court of California on Wednesday expanded mandatory electronic filing of all documents, including briefs.


Mar 16

California Chief Justice Issues Guidance to Expedite Court Emergency Orders
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued guidance to trial courts seeking emergency orders to adjust or suspend court operations.

Mar 16

Court Emergency Orders Directory posted
 Presiding judges of county superior courts may petition the Chief Justice—as chair of the Judicial Council—for an emergency order to support their local needs.

Mar 16   Supreme Court of California Amends Oral Argument Procedures in Response to COVID-19
The California Supreme Court issued an order amending oral argument procedure "to protect the health and safety of the public."
Mar 13 Chief Justice Issues Statement on Emergency Response in California Courts