A pilot program that funds free legal services for low-income Californians facing critical civil cases drastically increased the likelihood of settlement, improved the longevity of court orders, and reduced court costs, a new study shows.
The Judicial Council on Friday awarded millions of dollars to fund pretrial projects in 16 trial courts throughout the state.
The Judicial Council received a report on how the state’s trial courts used additional funding included in this fiscal year’s judicial branch budget to expand hours, reopen closed locations, and invest in new technology to increase access to justice for the public.
At its March 15 business meeting, the Judicial Council approved recommendations for updating guidelines for video remote interpreting (VRI) and voted to have its staff coordinate a new VRI program for the judicial branch.
The Judicial Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday, April 6, at 12:20 p.m. via teleconference, to consider a slate of 11 temporary emergency rules in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Emergency meeting of court and branch leaders from around the state will focus on measures to ensure California courts can meet stringent health directives while also providing due process and access to justice.
The formula forms the basis of the Judicial Needs Assessment, which estimates California needs an additional 173 judges.
The Judicial Council of California will consider ending three temporary emergency rules governing evictions, judicial foreclosures and an emergency bail schedule, as California begins a phased re-opening and courts restore services shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Judicial Council approved a revision to emergency rule 9 regarding the statutes of limitations for filing civil cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to clarify that the emergency rule also applies to “statutes of repose”.
At its May 15 teleconference meeting, the council received reports on potential reductions to judicial branch funding, as well as planning efforts to restore court access and services restricted due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The council's latest temporary emergency rule requires attorneys to electronically serve and receive notices and documents in all general civil actions and family and probate proceedings when requested to do so.
Judge Chan credits his experience as a public defender, coupled with his cultural background, for his ability to be the judge he is today.