NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Family law issues during the COVID-19 pandemic

August 01, 2020 | Asian Journal News
Even though there may be an increase in domestic violence during this period, neither law enforcement nor the family courts may hear about the domestic violence and abuse because it is usually the community that reports these incidents when children go to school, when people see their friends, when people are in a situation where other people see what’s going on.

Proposed bill puts chief justice closer to new crisis powers

July 31, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is a step closer to gaining new emergency powers after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday. The body also passed measures on wrongful death and workplace lawsuits during a 4-hour session.

Opinion: Judicial ethics and independence must guide judges’ responses to racial injustice

July 31, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) We are judges who are committed to our ethical obligations under our Oath of Office, and the Code of Judicial Ethics, and we believe that in this instance, the perspective of the CJA guidance provides judges with clearer direction, and more properly defers to each judge to decide how to personally uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
AB 1436: Housing Justice During the Pandemic

AB 1436: Housing Justice During the Pandemic

July 31, 2020 |
At the moment, California Judicial Council Emergency Rule 1 prevents eviction filings from being processed. Landlords may file an eviction action but no summonses will be issued by the court until Rule 1 is lifted. This is the strongest protection tenants have against eviction in the State of California. However, the Judicial Council has signaled that it intends to repeal Rule 1, and it is calling upon the legislature to take up the matter.

California Supreme Court considers applying lower bar passage score retroactively

July 30, 2020 | The Jurist
Since the decision, the Court has received numerous letters from recent law school graduates, professors, and deans urging them to apply the new minimum score to the previous February 2020 exam on grounds of equity. Most recently, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair, Mark Stone, asked the Court to apply the lower passage score retroactively to applicants who sat for the bar as far back as 2015.

Marin County extends eviction ban through September

July 30, 2020 | Marin Independent Journal
Under the countywide moratorium, a landlord cannot evict a residential tenant who is unable to pay rent due to financial losses stemming from the pandemic. Those can include increased child care expenses because of school closures, or lost wages due to reduced hours or layoffs.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Petitions Supreme Court Over Hollywood Developments

July 30, 2020 | MyNewsLA
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced Thursday it has filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court regarding its lawsuit to have housing laws enforced against four Hollywood residential and mixed-use development projects and require them to offer more affordable units.

California landlords are locking out struggling tenants. A 'tsunami of evictions' may be next

July 30, 2020 | The Guardian
One of the most critical protections came from the state court system, which stopped processing evictions in April. That could soon change, though. The state’s judiciary council announced last week that it was considering rescinding its halt on eviction processing, a move that would reopen the courts to enforce removal cases against tenants.

Bill to limit peremptory challenges gets amendments and calls for a delay

July 30, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Lawmakers aiming to impose stricter limitations on the use of peremptory challenges in jury selection issued a slew of proposed amendments to a bill that would do just that, hinting that a final version may reflect a compromise sought by some judges and attorneys.

Ninth Circuit sees no need to send first impression issue to Supreme Court in Ashley Judd v. Harvey Weinstein appeal

July 29, 2020 | At the Lectern
The federal panel said it could predict how the Supreme Court would construe Civil Code section 51.9, which provides a cause of action for sexual harassment during certain professional relationships. It concluded, “We have no difficulty concluding that the California Supreme Court would reach the same conclusion, obviating the need to certify the question” to the Supreme Court.

Editorial: California lawmakers, you have a month to get crucial work done. Get serious

July 29, 2020 | Desert Sun
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has said that the council, which she chairs, always intended the COVID-19-spurred moratorium to be temporary and was imposed because the Legislature, at that time, was not meeting. Cantil-Sakauye expects to call a vote ending the moratorium by Aug. 14, leaving it to the Legislature to craft something to help tenants moving forward.

How COVID-19 Is Impacting California Courts: Roundup of Services

July 29, 2020 | The Recorder
California courts were just beginning to ease months of pandemic-related closures and then the state’s infection numbers spiked. Here’s a look at how courts across the state are grappling with all the changes associated with the novel coronavirus as of July 29.

Opinion: A reengineered path for what the legal system must become

July 29, 2020 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judges and the courts must equally enter into this AI-empowered realm, willingly adopting such technologies that are already available and giving due attention to those emerging ones that are coming down the pike.

Monterey County Judge Susan Matcham to retire

July 29, 2020 | Monterey Herald
“We will miss Judge Matcham,” said Presiding Judge Julie Culver in a press release. “She has been a dedicated and hard-working colleague, committed to Monterey County, to all appearing in her courtroom, and our courts statewide. We will particularly miss her thoughtful leadership and assistance in setting the future vision of our Monterey County Superior Court.”

California High Court Debates Making Lower Bar Exam Passing Threshold Retroactive

July 29, 2020 | Courthouse News Service
Since announcing its decision earlier this month, the court has received letters and petitions signed by hundreds of law graduates, professors and deans asking that the minimum score be extended to those who sat for the February exam. But the latest letter from California Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, urged the court to go even further and make the 1390 cut score retroactive to 2015.

California Eviction Moratorium Could End As Soon As Next Month

July 29, 2020 | California Globe
The Council is deciding on such changes due to Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature proposing various tenant and landlord protections, including many blanket protections proposed in the $100 billion California stimulus plan.
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