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.