Alameda Superior Court Notices
Update: May 7, 2020
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Superior Court of Alameda County announces plan to “re-open” civil filings, including new complaints.
The Superior Court of Alameda County (Court) announced today that, beginning Monday, May 11, 2020, it will resume accepting nearly all civil, family, and probate filings, including filings initiating new actions. While the Court has steadily expanded the list of permissible filings over the last several weeks, today’s announcement represents a significant expansion of the public’s access to justice. The filing expansion, along with related details regarding mail, drop box, and fax filing, is detailed in newly adopted amendments to emergency Local Rule 1.8a and Local Rule 3.30, and has been added to a revised version of the Frequently Asked Questions list for civil, family, and probate cases.
The Court’s decision to begin accepting and processing nearly all filings is part of its ongoing effort to resume as many Court functions as can be conducted remotely and in compliance with public health directives. That decision also reflects Governor Newsom’s announcement and plan, detailed today, to move the State of California into “Phase 2” of its reopening efforts.
At this time, resource constraints do not permit the Court to resume accepting filings relating to appeals, although the Court anticipates being able to do so in the near future. Further, given the recently announced stay on unlawful detainer proceedings, the Court will not begin accepting filings relating to those matters at this time.
As the current Alameda County shelter in place period progresses, the Court will continue to stand up as many remote operations as possible, including expanding the number and types of remote hearings that will be available. The Court will provide further updates via press release and through its COVID-19 web page and Twitter account.
Update: April 22, 2020
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Superior Court of Alameda County enacts new emergency Local Rule and Local Rule amendments to facilitate the resumption of Court services during the COVID-19 crisis, posts traffic court FAQ and begins accepting some traffic documents via drop box.
On April 21, 2020, the Judicial Executive Committee of the Superior Court of Alameda County (Court) approved the adoption of new emergency Local Rule 5.38, which expands the opportunity for emergency restraining order hearings, and multiple amendments to its Local Rules and emergency Local Rules to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All of these rules are effective as of April 22, 2020 and are linked on both the Court’s COVID-19 web page and the Court’s Local Rules page.
Specifically, the amendments to Local Rule 3.30 and emergency Local Rules 1.8a, 3.29, 4.115, 5.27, 5.6, and 5.66 are designed to facilitate the Court’s ongoing resumption of numerous services—despite the Court’s general closure to the public—during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the amendments:
Provide additional guidance on the conduct of remote hearings;
Clarify that the Court will accept requests to renew, modify, withdraw, or terminate restraining orders via fax or drop box;
Detail how the public may obtain tentative rulings; and
Make an additional clarification to the Court’s local Emergency Bail Schedule.
In addition, the Court adopted new emergency Local Rule 5.38 in anticipation of its plan to start conducting a limited number of emergency hearings on requests for temporary restraining orders the week of May 4, 2020.
The Court has also updated its COVID-19 web page with a link to a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list pertaining to traffic court. As noted in the FAQ, effective immediately the Court will begin accepting requests to waive time for traffic trials, and requests to appear at traffic trials via remote video appearance, via drop box at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, and Fremont Hall of Justice. Those requests can also be submitted via email to AskTraffic@alameda.courts.ca.gov.
April 22, 2020
Within the parameters of public health directives and available resources, the Court will continue its efforts to expand both the number of services offered to the public and the avenues of access to those services. Future updates on those efforts will be made through additional press releases and updates to the Court’s COVID-19 web page.
Update: April 17, 2020
Superior Court of California
COUNTY OF ALAMEDA
Tara M. Desautels, Presiding Judge
Charles Smiley, Assistant Presiding Judge
Chad Finke, Executive Officer
René C. Davidson Courthouse
1225 Fallon Street
Oakland, California 94612
For more information about this news
release, please contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday , April 16 2020
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Superior Court of Alameda County resumes limited hearings in Civil, Family, and Probate matters, issues related Emergency Local Rules and FAQs, permits limited public courthouse access, and orders additional jail releases.
The Superior Court of Alameda County (Court) is pleased to announce that, beginning April 20, 2020, it will resume a limited number of hearings in Civil, Family, and Probate matters. Given the COVID-19 crisis and related health and safety concerns and resource constraints, the hearings will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference and will be limited to emergency hearings and matters filed and scheduled before the March 17, 2020 Court closure. The Court will notify parties or their counsel in cases that are being set for hearing the week before the anticipated hearing date.
To facilitate operations during the COVID-19 crisis, the Court has also enacted a number of new emergency Family and Probate Local Rules, and a new Family form, effective April 20, 2020. Litigants can find further guidance in the Court’s newly created Frequently Asked Questions list, which is posted on the Court’s COVID-19 web page.
Also beginning Monday, April 20, 2020, the Court is offering limited public courthouse access for records searches. Between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., members of the public may enter the criminal and civil clerk’s offices of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland (RCD) to conduct records searches. The Court offers this public opportunity in recognition of the fact that criminal and family records are not permitted to be offered remotely per the California Rules of Court. Members of the public who wish access will only be admitted if they wear a respiratory covering or mask, use their own or Court-provided hand sanitizer, and comply with social distancing directives. Access will be limited to one person in the criminal office and two people in the civil office at any given time; computer use will be limited to 15 minutes per user. Those waiting will be asked to wait outside weapons-screening at 6-foot increments. Failure to follow any of these directives will result in denial of access.
Finally, the Court notes that its Presiding Judge, Hon. Tara M. Desautels, issued General Orders on April 14 and 16, 2020, releasing an additional 14 persons from the Santa Rita Jail. The released persons all had their bail reduced to $0.00 pursuant to Emergency Rule 4, adopted by the Judicial
April 16, 2020
Council of California on April 6, 2020, and Alameda County Superior Court Local Rule 4.115, which the Court adopted on April 8, 2020.
The Court appreciates the patience and understanding of the public as it works to restore Court services while complying with public health guidelines.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
, March 27 2020
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Superior Court of Alameda County expands remote services offered during COVID-19 crisis.
The Superior Court of Alameda County (Court) is pleased to announce a number of remote opportunities developed to enhance its provision of essential services while also maintaining COVID-19 related health and safety efforts.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Court tested a video arraignment calendar in Department 105 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. The calendar comprised county-wide in-custody arrestees charged with misdemeanor offenses. The judge and Court staff were present in Department 105, while arrestees appeared via video from the Santa Rita Jail and were both linked to, and broadcast in, the courtroom. Attorneys from the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, and the private defense bar participated from the courtroom and remotely. The Court anticipates conducting a similar video arraignment calendar on Wednesday, April 1, following the Cesar Chavez holiday on Tuesday, March 31.
In addition, beginning Monday, March 30, staff from the Court’s Self-Help Center will be available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. to assist customers via the web using LiveChat software. Customers can find the LiveChat feature on the bottom right corner of the Court’s Self-Help Center web site. The LiveChat Self-Help service will supplement the Court’s telephone Self-Help Center hours during this closure period, which are Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Also beginning on March 30, Self-Help Center staff will have the ability to schedule one-on-one video appointments using the BlueJeans videoconferencing service. Self-Help Center staff will identify customers during LiveChat or telephonic sessions who might be better served through a one-on-one appointment hosted on the BlueJeans web site or through the BlueJeans app (on iOS or Android).
Last, the Court is pleased to announce that it will resume Family Court Services mediation sessions beginning the week of March 30. These sessions will be conducted remotely via telephone conference. Court staff will contact affected parties in Family Law cases to schedule these telephonic mediation sessions.
The Court appreciates the patience and understanding of the public during these challenging times and looks forward to announcing further remote services in the future.
March 23 Notice
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF ALAMEDA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On March 14, 2020, the Superior Court of Alameda County (Court) issued a press release detailing its proactive efforts to substantially alter court operations to mitigate the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Subsequently, on March 16, 2020, the Alameda County Public Health Department (County Health) issued a “Shelter in Place” Order (Order) intended to “ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.”
the Alameda County Superior Court supports the Shelter in Place Order and has determined that it cannot adequately comply with COVID-related guidance from Centers for Disease Control, County Health, and other authorities and still remain open to the public.
Accordingly, on March 16, 2020, the Court requested an Emergency Order from Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council of California pursuant to Government Code section 68115. The Emergency Order requests permission for the Alameda County Superior Court to close all courthouse locations to the public during the Shelter in Place period, from Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through end of day, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
If granted, pursuant to its inherent authority and the specific authorization conferred by the Emergency Order, the Court will suspend virtually all Court operations during the public closure period. To the extent permitted by law, the days in the closure period that would otherwise be business days will be treated as “Court Holidays” for the purpose of statutory time and date calculations.
Notwithstanding the above, the Court will endeavor to provide a limited ability for the public to file applications for Temporary Restraining Orders via drop box at the Hayward Hall of Justice only. The Court will issue further guidance to the public via its COVID-19 web site if and when limited restraining order filing becomes available. Per the anticipated Emergency
Order, all current Temporary Restraining Orders will be extended by 30 days.
During this public closure period, because the Clerk’s Office will not be open to process unlawful detainer stay requests, the Court is also ordering the stay of all evictions pending between Tuesday, March 17, 2020, up to and through Wednesday, April 8, 2020, the anticipated reopening of the Court.
Litigants may continue to electronically file documents in Criminal and Juvenile case types during the closure period. However, please be aware that processing will likely be delayed until after the Court’s reopening.
The Court thanks the public, its Court partners, and its employees for their support and understanding during this unprecedented emergency, and will make every effort to re-open and increase services as soon as health and safety directives permit.