Re-opening of Court Procedures Following COVID-19
With the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the state of California imposed several emergency rules in order to accommodate the necessary changes as required by public health authorities. Some of these rules concerned the normal proceedings of the justice system. Now, as the state beings reopening and easing some restrictions, certain temporary rules have been lifted. What follows below is a summary of some of these changes, but we encourage you to reach out to us with your questions and concerns. We look forward to helping you.
The Judicial Council held a vote regarding the temporary bail schedule and presumptive bail. Due to COVID-19, there was an effort to not spread the virus through the jail and prison system. Those facing certain charges (like misdemeanors and some felonies) had their bail set at $0, which allowed them to meet bail. However, the recent 17-2 vote removed this rule, thereby reverting the procedure to normal bail rules and schedules.
Nonetheless, California is adopting a local approach to the easing of restrictions. While the emergency bail schedule was rescinded at the state level, local counties can continue with their own temporary schedules as required. However, rescinded emergency rules can be put in place again if the COVID-19 situation changes.
Along with other recovery recommendations, counties and courts can reopen and resume certain procedures depending on their local COVID-19 situations. For example, in Los Angeles County Superior Court all those entering must wear face coverings. Furthermore, Los Angeles will also begin opening 400 courtrooms that had been closed due to the pandemic. This reopening is scheduled to begin on June 22nd, 2020. Another example is Modoc County Superior Court, which fully resumed on June 1st, 2020.
Almost every county has its own schedule for re-opening and easing of restrictions. It may be confusing or difficult to determine what rules are in place in your county. Contact us if you have any questions about your court case or legal process.