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COVID News Center:

Find all statewide emergency actions and orders by county here

Judicial Branch Emergency Actions

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that threatens the lives, health and safety of all Californians. Yet courts must also continue to provide critical services that affect the lives of Californians, particularly its most vulnerable residents. Through orders issued by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and emergency Rules of Court approved by the Judicial Council, the judicial branch seeks to give courts the tools to confront the impact of the pandemic. All emergency actions in criminal, civil and juvenile justice matters are listed below.

Superior courts are also authorized to adopt any proposed rules or rule amendment intended to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to take effect immediately, without advance circulation for public comment (Chief Justice Order).
 

Civil Justice Actions 
 
Evictions Suspended - Ended September 1
The entry of defaults in eviction actions is suspended, unless the court finds the action is necessary to protect public health and safety.
Emergency Rule 1
(Ended)
Judicial Foreclosures Suspended - Ended September 1
Judicial foreclosures are suspended, unless the court finds the action is necessary to further public health and safety.

Emergency Rule 2 
(Ended)

Remote Hearings
Courts may require hearings and court operations be conducted remotely via the use of technology, with the consent of the defendant in criminal cases.
Emergency Rule 3
Restraining Orders 
Courts must provide a way for requests to renew long-term civil restraining orders that expire during the state of emergency to be filed either at a physical location, drop box, or electronically.
Emergency Rule 8 
(Revised)
Civil Statute of Limitations Suspended - Amended May 29
The statute of limitations was suspended for all civil cases. Amended to suspend statutes of limitations until Aug. 3 (for case types with statutes of limitations of 180 days or less) and Oct. 1 (for case types with statutes of limitations 180 days or more). News release
Emergency Rule 9
(Revised)
Civil Statute of Limitations Suspended
For civil cases filed on or before April 6, six months are added to the statute of limitations.
Emergency Rule 10

Electronic Depositions
Parties may use technology to appear remotely for a deposition.

Emergency Rule 11

Electronic Service of Documents in Most Civil Cases
Requires attorneys to electronically serve and receive notices and documents in all general civil actions and family and probate proceedings if requested by the other party.

Emergency Rule 12
Changes to Support Orders
Gives judges discretion to backdate modified support order starting from when the person seeking the change mailed or served the request, rather than the date filed in the court.

Emergency Rule 13

Jury Trials Suspended
All jury trials are suspended and continued for 60 days. Courts may conduct a trial at an earlier date upon finding of good cause shown or through use of remote technology when appropriate.
Chief Justice Order

 

Criminal Justice Actions
 
Remote Hearings
Courts may require hearings and court operations be conducted remotely via the use of technology, with the consent of the defendant in criminal cases.
Emergency Rule 3

COVID-19 Emergency Bail Schedule - Rescinded June 10
Statewide emergency bail schedule set bail at $0 for most misdemeanor and lower-level felonies. Rule rescinded effective June 20, but courts may still keep COVID-19 emergency bail schedule or reduced bail schedules. (See: Counties with COVID-19 Emergency Bail Schedules)

Emergency Rule 4
(Ended)

Remote Technology
Criminal defendants may appear through counsel or remotely via technology in all pretrial criminal hearings.

Emergency Rule 5
Jury Trials Suspended
All jury trials are suspended and continued for 60 days. Courts may conduct a trial at an earlier date upon finding of good cause shown or through use of remote technology when appropriate.
Chief Justice Order
Preliminary Hearing Time Extension
The time period for holding a preliminary hearing and the defendant’s right of release is extended to 30 court days.
Chief Justice Order
Arraignment Time Extension - Rescinded June 10
The time period for a defendant charged with a felony offense to be taken before a judicial officer is extended up to 7 days. Order rescinded effective June 20, and again defendants must be arraigned within 48 hours. 
Chief Justice Order
(Ended)
Trial Time Extension
The time period to bring an action to trial or to hold a criminal trial is extended by more than 30 days.
Chief Justice Order

Trial Time Extension
The order adds a 30-day extension of time, bringing extensions of time to hold criminal trials during the pandemic to a total of 90 days.

Chief Justice Order 

 

Juvenile Court Actions
 
Prioritize Critical Hearings
Prioritize certain juvenile dependency and delinquency hearings and orders and set a structure for remote hearings and continuances.
Emergency Rule 6 &7