Emergency drills and exercises are standard practice for hospitals, schools, hotels, and many other businesses. But what happens if an emergency—earthquake, fire, or envelope filled with what may be anthrax—strikes a courthouse?
“The court must be available when parties need judicial intervention,” said Judge Kirk Nakamura, presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County. “For example, abused spouses, the elderly, and others need restraining orders. The court may also be called on to issue gun violence restraining orders under the new laws. Moreover, those accused of crimes must be given their constitutionally mandated right to a speedy trial.”
To prepare for potential emergencies, the court collaborated with Cal State Fullerton to practice using the campus’s emergency operations center as a makeshift courtroom. On Oct. 29, Operation Mobile Justice was “in session.”
During the exercise, Court Commissioner Carmen R. Luege pretended to hear time sensitive matters according to standard operating procedures. Cal State Fullerton students portrayed those involved in the cases, and all attendees went through security before entering the temporary courtroom.