More than two months after the closing of most of the courts in Southern California, we are starting to see courts beginning to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though some courts have begun to resume operations, by no means should we take this as a sign that the emergency has subsided. Most courts will require that you wear a face covering and maintain social distancing guidelines as a condition of entering the courthouse. We encourage all of you to continue to follow the directives of the state and local governments in your area.
Here are the updates as of May 29, 2020:
The Orange County Superior Court has re-opened courthouses for limited services as of May 26, 2020. Members of the public should only visit a courthouse if they have been notified by the Court that they have a hearing scheduled on their matter. The public service windows remain closed. For more information on how courts are handling various types of cases, you can read the court’s latest releases here.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court remains closed for most non-essential services until after June 10, 2020. Traffic and non-traffic citations will not be heard before June 22, 2020. You can view the Court’s updates here.
The Riverside County Superior Court is closed through May 29, 2020 to all non-emergency business. At the time of this article, it is unknown whether the court will extend that closure, or if the court will be open on June 1, 2020. Additionally, for those who do appear for the limited matters that the Court is hearing, face coverings (masks, bandanas, etc.) are required. The Court’s news page is available here.
The San Bernardino Superior Court will gradually reopen on May 29, 2020 with modified service hours from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Face coverings and social distancing are required. For information on specific services that will be available, please review the court’s information page here.
The San Diego Superior Court is now open for most business operations, but hearings are limited to telephone or video conference only. Emergency-related needs (temporary restraining orders, landlord-tenant matters and more) can still be accessed in-person. For information about services that may still be available, you can read the court’s latest update here.
The Santa Barbara County Superior Court has begun to open up for non-emergency matters as of May 26, 2020. The courts are currently handling civil hearings via telephonic appearance, and will be implenting video conference capabilities as of June 8, 2020. Please read the court’s information page here.
The Ventura County Superior Court closed all courthouses as of March 23, 2020 and has extended its closure until June 9, 2020. All civil and non-emergency hearings are suspended for 90 days. For more information, you can read the court’s update here.
In addition to the state courts, the United Stated District Court for the Central District of California is closed at all locations until June 1, 2020. All civil matters except for emergency hearings are postponed, and those matters still to be heard will be conducted via telephonic hearing. For criminal cases, criminal duty matters will go forward at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Los Angeles only. Telephonic hearings on other criminal matters may proceed as directed by the assigned judicial officer. For more information, please view the court’s annoucement here.
We will keep updating this page with more information as it becomes available. Stay safe, everyone.