SAN FRANCISCO—The Judicial Council next week will consider ending remaining temporary emergency rules it approved to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the proposal, all emergency rules still in effect would sunset on June 30, which include rules relating to:
- Remote appearances and personal appearance waivers by criminal defendants
- Priority for certain juvenile proceedings
- Temporary restraining or protective order renewals
- Deadlines to file a civil action or bring a civil case to trial
- Changes to support orders
The proposal to rescind the remaining emergency rules comes in response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s rollback of executive orders related to the state’s pandemic response, as well as the courts’ increasing ability to accommodate the changes resulting from the pandemic.
This week, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye also rescinded, effective April 30, her remaining statewide emergency measures established to address pandemic-related challenges to court operations.
Proposed Legislation to Authorize Remote Proceedings in Criminal Cases
The council will consider sponsoring legislation to allow remote criminal proceedings to continue and expand a defendant’s right to waive their appearance and appear remotely or for counsel to appear on their behalf. The legislation would allow courts to continue these efficiencies authorized under temporary emergency rules, which if amended by the council, would sunset on June 30.
Other items on the March 11 council meeting agenda include:
Modernizing Court Operations: The council will receive a report on how $25 million from this year’s state budget continues to modernize trial court operations by supporting the expansion of electronic filing, hearing reminders, access to court records, and other online services.
New Data Analytics Committee: The council will consider establishing a Data Analytics Advisory Committee to analyze and share data to better inform judicial branch decision making and enhance public access to court data and information.
Improving the Juror Experience: The Chief Justice’s Ad Hoc Workgroup on Post-Pandemic Initiatives will preview a soon-to-be-released report on jury service.
The complete meeting agenda and council reports are posted to the California Courts Meeting Information Center. A link to a live webcast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website on the day of the meeting.