Los Angeles Court Expands Remote Hearings to Hundreds of Criminal, Family Law Courtrooms
Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday expanded audio and video hearings to each of its 250 criminal courtrooms in nearly two dozen courthouses throughout the county. Remote hearings are held at the judge’s discretion and with the defendant’s consent.
Presiding Judge Brazile
“The court has prioritized and expedited remote appearance options throughout the nation’s largest trial court system to achieve social distancing and to provide safe, convenient alternatives to in-person court appearances during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile said.
The court also expanded remote hearings to courtrooms handling small claims, evictions, and collections cases, and will offer hearings in family law courtrooms beginning August 17. The court is developing virtual options for safe jury selection and jury service for criminal trials, which are expected to begin in September, followed by civil trials in 2021.
To enforce physical distancing, the court has placed drop boxes outside courthouses for filings; established a virtual clerk’s office; required prescheduled appointments to access in-person clerk’s office services; enhanced virtual services to self-help litigants; and prioritized remote appearance solutions.