Covid-19 Updates for Orange County Superior Court

for more information: see our list of court closures updated daily

 

UPDATE – Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Effective May 26, 2020 and until further notice, all Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Order related services will only be provided at the Central Justice Center. No restraining order related services will be provided at the branch courts.
Due to pandemic social distancing, the public will have limited access to court buildings. Unless the court orders otherwise, appearances will be conducted via video appearance.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Submission of filings
a. Filings related to restraining orders can be submitted to the court as note below.
➢ By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact;
➢ By electronic filing (eFiling);
➢ By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact;
➢ In-person by appointment only- appointment can be scheduled through the court’s website https://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CourtCalendarAppointments.html;
➢ By US Mail at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
b. Once the request for temporary restraining order is reviewed by the court:
➢ If filed in person, via appointment the order will be provided to petitioner;
➢ If filed via email, the order will be sent to petitioner via email and certified copies via mail;
➢ If filed via mail or drop box, certified copies will be sent via mail.
2. Self Help Assistance The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
Additional information regarding restraining orders can be found on the court’s website at http://www.occourts.org/self-help/restrainingorders and https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL.
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3. Law enforcement emergency GVRO requests will continue to be processed via the on-call EPO Referee procedure.
4. Hearing on the Request for Restraining Order- Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Order-
a. All hearings on requests for a restraining order will be conducted by video appearance via Microsoft Teams. No in-person hearings will be conducted unless specifically ordered by the court.
b. All parties must follow the instructions on the notice provided to appear by video. If a party does not have the ability to connect via video, the party is to call the courtroom or 657-622-8513 to request an alternate means to appear.

 

 

UPDATE – Monday, June 8, 2020

Civil- Small Claims

 

Effective May 26, 2020 and until further notice, all Small Claims related services will only be provided in Santa Ana. Filings will be processed at the Central Justice Center and hearings will be conducted as noted below via in-person appearance. Services will not be provided at the branch courts.
Due to social distancing, the public will have limited access to court buildings.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Submission of filings
a. Filings related to small claims matters can be submitted to the court as noted below.
➢ By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact;
➢ By electronic filing (eFiling);
➢ By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact;
➢ In-person by appointment only- appointment can be scheduled through the court’s website https://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CourtCalendarAppointments.html;
➢ By US Mail at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
b. Self Help Assistance- The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
c. All filings received by the Court during the designated holiday period of March 17, 2020 through May 22, 2020 will be deemed filed as of May 26, 2020.
2. Small Claims Hearings
Starting June 15, 2020, small claims trials, motions and judgment debtor examinations will be heard at the Civil Complex Center located at 751 Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana CA 92701.
a. Parties will be allowed to enter the building near the hearing time to limit public presence in the building.
b. Upon the conclusion of the case, parties will be expected to exit the building.
c. Mediation services will be offered onsite for trials to assist the parties with resolution of their case on a voluntary basis.
3. Small Claims Appeals
Small Claims Appeals hearings will be heard at the Central Justice Center by in-person appearance starting June 22, 2020. Notice will be provided to all parties.

 

UPDATE – Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Civil- Unlawful Detainers (Evictions)

Effective May 26, 2020 and until further notice, all unlawful detainer (eviction) matters will only be processed at the Central Justice Center. Services will not be provided at the branch courts.
Due to social distancing, the public will have limited access to the building. Unless the court orders otherwise, appearances will be conducted via video appearance.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Submission of Filings
a. All filings related to unlawful detainer (eviction) matters can be submitted to the court as noted below.
➢ By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
➢ By electronic filing (eFiling).
➢ By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
➢ In-person by appointment only- appointment can be scheduled through the court’s website https://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CourtCalendarAppointments.html;
➢ By US Mail at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
b. Self Help Assistance- The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
c. All filings received by the Court during the designated holiday period of March 17, 2020 through May 22, 2020 are deemed filed as of May 26, 2020.
d. New Unlawful Detainer/Eviction matters will be processed in accordance with COVID-19 emergency orders issued as follows:
➢ Governor Newsom’s Executive Orders 28/20, which continued to be in effect through July 28, 2020 per Executive Order 66-20 regarding the enforcement of evictions affected by COVID-19;
➢ Relevant Ordinances as issued by various cities;
➢ Judicial Council of California’s Emergency Rule 1 impacting the issuance of summons, entry of default and trial setting that is in place until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency related to COVID-19.
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2. Appearances
Due to various restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court will significantly limit in-person appearances until further notice. Unless specifically ordered otherwise by the court, eviction relating hearings will be conducted via video appearance.
In-person appearances
➢ Starting July 2, 2020, all Judgement Debtor Examinations will be scheduled for in-person appearance at the Civil Complex Center located at 751 West Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
Video Appearances
➢ Unlawful Detainer/Eviction related hearings have been rescheduled to resume June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties.
➢ All hearings will be conducted by video via Microsoft Teams, unless ordered otherwise by the court.
➢ If a party does not have the ability to connect via video, the party is to call the courtroom or 657-622-8513 to request an alternative means to appear.
➢ Further instructions regarding video appearances will be posted by Friday, June 12, 2020.

 

UPDATE – Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Civil – Administrative Appeals

Effective March 26, 2020, the court began processing administrative appeal matters.
Due to the COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the public will have limited access to court buildings. Unless the court orders otherwise, appearances will be conducted via video appearance.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Civil – Administrative Appeals
Administrative appeals are processed in Civil and heard by Department C66 at the Central Justice Center. They generally include the following types of cases:
➢ Appeal from final decision of parking citation;
➢ Appeal from civil administrative fine or penalty;
➢ Appeal from Labor Commissioner’s award of wages, penalties and compensation;
➢ Determination of dangerous dog or vicious dog.
2. The court resumed processing Administrative Appeals as of May 26, 2020. All filings received by the Court during the designated holiday period of March 17, 2020 through May 22, 2020 will be deemed filed as of May 26, 2020.
3. Submission of filings
Filings related to Administrative Appeals can be submitted to the court as noted below.
➢ By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact;
➢ By electronic filing (eFiling);
➢ By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact;
➢ In person-by appointment only- appointment can be scheduled through the court’s websitehttps://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CourtCalendarAppointments.html;
➢ By US Mail at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
4. Self Help Assistance
The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
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5. Remote Appearances
Unless specifically ordered otherwise by the court, all Civil – Administrative Appeals hearings will be heard via remote appearance in Department C66 as noted below.
a. All hearings on Civil – Administrative Appeals will be conducted by video appearance via Microsoft Teams. No in-person hearings will be conducted unless specifically ordered by the court.
b. If a party does not have the ability to connect via video, the party is to call the courtroom or 657-622-8513 to request an alternative means to appear.
c. Further details regarding video appearances will be posted by June 15, 2020.

Update: May 29, 2020

Court Launches Counter Service Self-Scheduling App

Santa Ana, CA – The Superior Court of California, County of Orange, is launching a new online scheduling tool to allow members of the public to self-schedule an in-person appointment at the public counters.
Currently, due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, members of the public are generally not allowed to enter and only are only allowed limited access to Court facilities. During the current phase of the gradual reopening of the Court, members of the public are allowed to enter Court facilities only they have been notified by the Court that they have an in-person hearing or an appointment scheduled. This phased approach will enable the Court to slowly increase the caseload and visitor level at each courthouse, while at the same time to monitor that health protocols are being followed.
This new online app (https://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CourtCalendarAppointments.html) will support the needs of the public for services offered at the public kiosks and counters inside the courthouse.
At this time, the Court is offering online appointments for the following areas:
Civil
Probate
Appeals
Court Records and Exhibits
This app was created to assist parties on an in-person basis, but the Court will continue to provide various means to file documents, such as drop boxes, email, eFiling, etc.
As part of the soft reopening, the Court will be strictly enforcing health protocols. The use of facemasks or face coverings is mandatory for anyone entering a courthouse. Social distancing rules will also be strictly enforced in all facilities, thus the number of individuals entering public courtrooms and elevators will be subject to space limitations. Persons displaying possible coronavirus symptoms will not be allowed in Court facilities.
Superior Court of California County of Orange News Release
Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis, (657) 622-7097 PIO@occourts.org
The Court recommends all persons consult the Court’s coronavirus website (https://www.occourts.org/mediarelations/CoronaVirusUpdate.html) for more details and the most up-to-date information regarding their case type.
The public is encouraged to visit the OC Health Care Agency website for up-to-date information about COVID-19 symptoms:
http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus
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Update: May 29, 2020

Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Effective May 26, 2020 and until further notice, all Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Order related services will only be provided at the Central Justice Center. Services will not be provided at the branch courts.
Due to pandemic social distancing, the public will have limited access to court buildings. In addition, appearances for hearings on requests for restraining orders will be conducted via video appearance.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Submission of filings:
a. Filings related to restraining orders can be submitted to the court as follows:
 By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
 By electronic filing (eFiling).
 By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
 In person-by appointment only (appointment can be scheduled through the court’s website) .
 By US Mail- 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
b. Once the request for temporary restraining order is reviewed by the court:
 If filed in person via appointment the order will be provided to petitioner
 If filed via email, the order will be sent to petitioner via email and certified copies via mail
 If filed via mail or drop box, certified copies will be sent via mail
2. Self Help Assistance: The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
For additional information regarding restraining can be found on the court’s website at http://www.occourts.org/self-help/restrainingorders and https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL
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3. Law enforcement emergency GVRO requests will continue to be supported via the on-call EPO Referee process.
4. Hearing on the Request for Restraining Order- Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Order:
a. All hearings on requests for restraining order will be conducted by video appearance via Microsoft Teams. No in-person hearings will be conducted unless specifically ordered by the court.
b. All parties must follow the instructions on the notice provided to appear by video. If a party does not have the ability to connect via video, the party is to call the court to request an alternative means to appear.
c. Microsoft Teams software can be downloaded for free and parties are encouraged to download the software prior to your hearing date.

Update: May 29, 2020

Civil- Unlawful Detainers (Evictions)

Effective May 26, 2020 and until further notice, all unlawful detainer (eviction) matters will only be processed at the Central Justice Center. Services will not be provided at the branch courts.
Due to social distancing, the public will have limited access to the building. In addition, appearances will be conducted via video appearance.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Submission of filings:
a. All filings related to unlawful detainer (eviction) matters can be submitted to the court as follows:
 By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
 By electronic filing (eFiling)
 By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
 In person-by appointment only (appointment can be scheduled through the court’s website)
 By US mail- 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
b. Self Help Assistance: The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
c. All filings received by the Court during the designated holiday period of March 17, 2020 through May 22, 2020 will be deemed filed as of May 26, 2020.
d. New Unlawful Detainer/Eviction matters will be processed in accordance with COVID-19 emergency orders issued as follows:
 Governor Newsom’s executive order regarding the enforcement of evictions affected by COVID-19
 Judicial Council of California’s Emergency Rule 1 impacting the issuance of summons, entry of default and trial setting that is in place until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency related to COVID-19
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2. Remote Hearings:
a. Unlawful Detainer/Eviction related hearings will be scheduled to a date after June 15, 2020 via video appearance, with notice to all parties.
b. All hearings will be conducted by video via Microsoft Teams, unless ordered otherwise by the court. Microsoft Teams software can be downloaded for free and parties are encouraged to download the software prior to your hearing date.
c. Further details including instructions on how to appear via Microsoft Teams will be posted on the court’s website no later than July 8, 2020.

Update May 29, 2020

Small Claims

Effective May 26, 2020 and until further notice, all Small Claims related services will only be provided in Santa Ana. Filings will be processed at the Central Justice Center and hearings will be conducted at the Civil Complex Center via in-person appearance. Services will not be provided at the branch courts. Due to pandemic social distancing, the public will have limited access to court buildings.
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW CAREFULLY BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE CENTRAL JUSTICE CENTER.
1. Submission of filings:
a. Filings related to small claims matters can be submitted to the court as follows:
 By email to CivilSRL@occourts.org (for self-represented litigants only). Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
 By electronic filing (eFiling).
 By drop-box located by the front entrance of the Central Justice Center. Party is to provide a phone number for court contact.
 In person-by appointment only (appointment can be scheduled through the court’s website).
 By US mail- 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
If filings fees are due, the parties will be contacted by phone regarding payment.
b. Self Help Assistance: The public is encouraged to consult Self Help services prior to filing documents. Self Help assistance is available via telephone at 657-622-8511.
c. All filings received by the Court during the designated holiday period of March 17, 2020 through May 22, 2020 will be deemed filed as of May 26, 2020.
2. Small Claims Trials:
Starting June 15, 2020, small claims trials and motions will be heard at the Civil Complex Center located at 751 Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana CA 92701.
a. Hearings times will be staggered to preserve social distancing requirements.
b. Parties will be allowed to enter the building close to the hearing time to limit public presence in the building.
c. Upon the conclusion of the case, parties will be expected to exit the building.
d. Mediation services will be offered onsite for trials to assist the parties with resolution of their case on a voluntary basis.
3. Small Claims Appeals:
Small Claims Appeals hearings will be heard at the Central Justice Center by in-person appearance starting June 22, 2020. Notice will be provided to all parties.

Update: May 27, 2020

 

REQUIRED SAFETY MEASURES FOR COVID-19 EXPOSURE

On March 18, 2020, the Orange County Health Officer issued an amended order and guidance
directing the public to operate in compliance with social distancing guidelines issued by the
California Department of Public Health.
On March 19, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom and the State Public Health
Officer issued Executive Order N-33-20 , ordering all individuals living in the State of California
to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed, to maintain continuity of
operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors. Courts are designated Essential Critical
Infrastructure Workers and provide essential services during the stay at home order.
On April 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended
wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other distancing measures are difficult to
maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission .
On May 22, 2020 County of Orange Health Officer Nicole Quick issued an order
requiring all County residents who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 to
immediately isolate themselves for a minimum of three days after they have “recovered,” as
that term is defined in the order. The May 22, 2020 order also requires that all County
residents who know they have been in “close contact,” as defined in the order, with a person
diagnosed or likely to have COVID-19, shall self-quarantine until 14 days from the last date
they were in close contact with a person diagnosed or likely to have COVID-19.

As of May 23, 2020, Orange County has had 5,157 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and
130 deaths from COVID-19.
Pursuant to my authority to control matters before the Court (Code Civ. Proc., § 128;
Gov. Code, § 68070); my authority as the Presiding Judge (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 10.603);
the inherent powers of the Court (In re Reno (2012) 565 Cal.4th 428, 522); and in compliance
with state and local guidelines and ordinances, I therefore order as follows:
Effective May 26, 2020, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect public health,
all members of the public entering the court are subject to the following restrictions:
1. Anyone who has been diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 is prohibited from
entering the Court, and shall instead be required to strictly adhere to the isolation and
testing requirements detailed in the May 22, 2020 order issued by the County of Orange
Health Officer ;
a. A person is considered to be diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19, if the
person has:
i. Received a positive COVI D-19 PCR laboratory test result; and/or
ii. Been informed by a physician that he or she is likely to have COVID-19;
and/or
iii. Signs and symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 (e.g., new onset
of fever, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing).
b. If a more specific isolation order is issued by the County of Orange Health Officer
for any county resident, that order shall be followed instead of the May 22, 2020
order .
2. Anyone who knows they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with or
likely to have COVID-19, is prohibited from entering the Court, and shall follow the selfquarantine
requirements detailed in the May 22, 2020 order issued by the County of
Orange Health Officer. Such individuals will not be permitted to enter the Court until
they have self-quarantined for a period of 14 days from the last date they were in close
contact with a person who has been diagnosed or likely to have COVID-19, or tested
§uμerior (!!ourt of Wnlifornin
(!!ountu of @rnngt May 26, 2020
negative after coming in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with or
likely to have COVID-19.
a. Close contact refers to any person who has been within 6 feet of an infectious
COVID-19 person for 15 minutes or more. A person who is diagnosed with or
likely to have COVI D-19 is considered infections from 48 hours before his or her
symptoms first appeared until the person is no longer required to be isolated.
This Order will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares that the
State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, or until amended or repealed.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 26th day of May, 2020, at Santa Ana, California.
Kirk H. Nakamura
Presiding Judge

 

Update: May 22, 2020

Court to Resume Jury Trials

Santa Ana, CA – The Superior Court of California, County of Orange will resume jury trials, as it begins the process of reopening to the public, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
“We will be carefully resuming four criminal jury trials that were suspended due to the Court closure and we hope to commence additional criminal jury trials in early June,” said Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kirk Nakamura. Jury trials were suspended when the Court closed to the public on March 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the soft re-opening, the Court is kicking off the “Safe Access to Justice Initiative,” a program designed to assure strict enforcement of safety precautions in order to protect jurors and all members of the public who enter Court facilities. The use of facemasks or face coverings is mandatory for anyone entering a courthouse. Physical distancing rules will also be strictly enforced in all facilities, thus the number of individuals entering public courtrooms and elevators will be subject to space limitations. Persons displaying possible coronavirus symptoms will not be allowed in court facilities.
To alleviate concerns regarding physical distancing, the Court recently implemented a mobile device-based check-in process for jurors. “Our jurors may now skip the check-in line altogether and take a seat directly in the jury assembly room,” said Jury Services Manager Pete Hernandez, adding “by accessing a dedicated Court network for jurors on their mobile device, they can check-in for jury service and obtain access to the free Wifi. All they need to use is their 9-digit juror ID number that is printed on their summons. It’s as simple as that.” The Juror Mobile-Check-in is currently available at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, but will be available at the Harbor, North and West Justice Centers later this year.
“Our court is committed to keeping our community healthy,” said Presiding Judge Nakamura, adding “as we begin to resume jury trials, we are implementing strict cleaning procedures and physical distancing protocols to support the health and wellness of everyone that enters Court facilities. We are also significantly reducing the number of jurors being called for service at any one time.”
Remember, we cannot do it without the participation of citizens. Trial by jury is more than just a fundamental Constitutional right in the United States and California. It is a critical safeguard of the individual liberties and keep us anchored to our constitutional principles. Along with representative government, “trial by jury [is] the heart and lungs of liberty.” –John Adams
Superior Court of California County of Orange News Release
Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis, PIO@occourts.org
In the Orange County Superior Court Justice Centers, and in every courthouse in our nation, jurors set standards of conduct by deciding what is fair, reasonable and tolerable, and what is wrong, unreasonable and intolerable in our society. The Court cannot provide jury trials without the participation of citizens. With the “Safe Access to Justice Initiative,” the Court is ready to safely welcome this critical part of the justice system back into our courtrooms.
Jurors are encouraged to follow step one of their summons and complete their online questionnaire before they come to the Court. For more information on jury service, visit www.occourts.org and click on “Jury Service,” or call the Office of the Jury Commissioner at (657) 622-7000.
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Update: May 21, 2020

Orange County Superior Court Announces Soft Re-Opening

On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the Superior Court of California, County of Orange will re-open courthouses for limited services, but members of the public should not visit a courthouse unless they have been notified by the Court that they have a hearing scheduled on their matter.
Beginning May 26, 2020, the branch courthouses will begin conducting preliminary hearings on felony matters. Criminal jury trials will start up in June. The number of hearings and trials is expected to grow over the coming weeks, as conditions allow. “We will be resuming four criminal jury trials that were suspended due to the Court closure and we hope to commence additional criminal jury trials in early June,” said Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kirk Nakamura.
Public service windows will remain closed, as this is a soft reopening. Since the Court is not yet able to assist parties on a walk-in basis, it will continue to provide drop boxes for filing documents. The Court recommends all persons consult the Court’s coronavirus website (https://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CoronaVirusUpdate.html) for more details and the most up-to-date information regarding their case type.
As part of the soft opening, the Court will be strictly enforcing health protocols. The the use of facemasks or face coverings is mandatory for anyone entering a courthouse. Social distancing rules will also be strictly enforced in all facilities, thus the number of individuals entering public courtrooms and elevators will be subject to space limitations. Persons displaying possible coronavirus symptoms will not be allowed in court facilities.
The gradual reopening is necessary to ensure that the Court, as well all court users, comply with all Federal, State, and local health guidelines. The gradual reopening will enable the Court to slowly increase the caseload and visitor level at each courthouse, while at the same time monitor that health protocols are being followed.
The public is encouraged to visit the OC Health Care Agency website for up-to-date information about COVID-19 symptoms: http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus
###
Superior Court of California County of Orange News Release
Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis, (520) 548-6061 PIO@occourts.org

Update: May 7, 2020

 

SELF HELP SERVICES
UPDATE – Wednesday, May 6, 2020
In response to the health concerns raised by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Orange County Superior Court Self-Help Services will be closed for in-person assistance at all locations.
Telephone and other assistance will be provided for:
Family Law: All non-emergency matters have been continued by order of the court, Admin Order 20/08. Emergency family law matters are being processed. They include Request for and Response to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Emergency Child Custody requests that involve an imminent threat of injury or death. Filings received on or before 4:00pm will be processed the same day, and filings on or after 4:01pm will be processed the following business day. For questions regarding family law e-filing contact: efiling@occourts.org or call 657-622-6504.
Emergency Civil and Probate Services: The Self-Help Center is available to help with the following emergency services by calling 657-622-8511:
• Temporary Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
• Elder Abuse Restraining Orders
• Emergency Unlawful Detainer Lockouts
• Emergency Guardianships and Conservatorships
Self-Help Services can provide forms, including form packets, for Civil and Probate emergency services.
Additional Family Law, Civil, Probate and other information can be found on the court’s public website under COVID-19 Court Information.
Self-Help Services:
For all other matters, please contact the Self‐Help Center Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. by phone or email at:
Lamoreaux Justice Center
(657) 622-6630
LJCSHC@occourts.org
Central Justice Center
(657) 622-7577
CJCSHC@occourts.org
Emergency Civil and Probate Services
(657) 622-8511
CJCSHC@occourts.org
Superior Court of California County of Orange
Court Closure Questions:
To submit questions regarding the court closure, please use the blue Court Closure Q tool at the bottom right of the court’s website available Monday through Friday: https://www.occourts.org/
Forms:
State, local and form packets can be found on our court’s website at: https://www.occourts.org/forms/forms.html.
Orange County Sheriff’s Service Instructions for Temporary Restraining Orders: https://www.occourts.org/forms/local/ocsd1.pdf
Odyssey Guide and File:
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders can be completed and e-filed by using Odyssey Guide and File.
Orange County Sheriff:
If you need help serving a Temporary Restraining Order, please call (714) 569-3700.

Update: May 5, 2020

Superior Court of California
County of Orange
Probate & Mental Health
UPDATE – Monday May 5, 2020
Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Orange County Superior Court significantly reduced services to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, matters identified as time sensitive or pertain to the safety and security of our community will be heard.
Elder Abuse Temporary Restraining Orders
The court will continue to be available to process Elder Abuse Temporary Restraining Orders.
Request can be submitted via paper filing or electronically as follows:
➢ Email: Submit applicable forms/petitions to EATRO@occourts.org
➢ Paper: Alternatively, submit applicable forms/petitions in person at Central Justice Center via the drop box by the front entrance
➢ For assistance, Self Help Services will be available onsite at Central Justice Center; follow the instructions posted on the front entrance by the table
➢ Once reviewed by the court,
• If filed in person via drop box, the order will be provided to petitioner
• If filed via email, the order will be sent to petitioner via email and certified copies via mail
For information regarding Elder Abuse Restraining Orders, please visit the court’s website at http://www.occourts.org/self-help/restrainingorders and https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL
Hearings on the Request for Elder Abuse Restraining Order will be rescheduled starting in June with notice to all parties.
Emergency Ex-parte Requests
The court will continue to hear Emergency Ex-parte Requests as follows:
➢ Only request will be considered that clearly comply with California Rule of Court 3.1202 involving irreparable harm, immediate danger, or other statutory basis for granting relief ex parte
➢ Attorneys are required to submit requests via eFiling
➢ Self-represented parties may submit request via eFiling or in paper via the drop box located at the front entrance of Central Justice Center; for assistance Self Help Services will be available onsite at Central Justice Center. Follow the instructions posted on the front entrance by the table.
Riese Hearings
The court will continue to hear matters related to Riese hearings.
➢ Riese Appeals will be heard in Department C9 via video remote appearance through Microsoft Teams.

➢ Riese Petition Hearings will continue to be heard at each facility and will be conducted by Riese Hearing Officers. If the hearing officers become unavailable, the matters will be heard through Department C9.
Bonds, Letters of Guardianship & Conservatorship and Orders
1. Until further notice, the court will accept electronic submission as follows:
➢ Electronic submission of letters of guardianship and conservatorships will be allowed and require a signature (digital or otherwise). Letters with blank signatures will not be accepted for processing.
➢ Electronic submission of bonds will be allowed. The submitting party must retain possession of the original bond and make it available to the court upon request.
2. Effective April 27, 2020, the court will begin processing orders and letters in priority order for matters that had been approved prior to March 17, 2020.
Probate Conservatorships, LPS Conservatorships, Guardianships and Minor’s Compromise
Effective April 27, 2020, the court resumed processing matters relating to Probate Conservatorships, LPS Conservatorships, Guardianships and Minor’s Compromise.
1. All filings received from March 17, 2020 through April 24, 2020 will be deemed filed as of April 27, 2020.
2. New filings can be submitted through eFiling or in person at Central Justice Center via the drop box by the front entrance.
3. Minor’s Compromise hearings will be scheduled to be heard starting the week of May 4, 2020. Notice will be provided to all parties and all appearances will be conducted via video appearance through Microsoft Teams. See Minor’s Compromise Remote Appearance Process posted on the court’s COVID-19 Probate & Mental Health website.
4. Petitions for the appointment, reappointment, modification, or termination of an LPS Conservatorship will be scheduled to be heard starting the week of May 4, 2020. Notice will be provided to all parties and appearances will be conducted via video appearance through Microsoft Teams.
➢ All expiring LPS Letters of Conservatorship are extended until April 27, 2020, or to the earliest available date thereafter upon which hearing may be scheduled as to any pending reappointment petition. Acts by an LPS conservator which may occur beyond the expiration period and prior to hearing on the reappointment petition are permitted pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5363 and will be considered for ratification at the time of hearing.
5. Petitions for the appointment, modification, or termination of Probate Conservatorships and Guardianships will be scheduled to be heard starting the week of June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties. Extra calendars will be scheduled to process backlogged hearings. Check the court’s COVID-19 Probate & Mental Health website closer to the hearing date for appearance options.
➢ Temporary letters of guardianship and probate conservatorship which may otherwise expire during this time period are extended until the hearing date.

All Other Probate Matters
For all other Probate matters, the processing of filings will resume on May 26, 2020.
1. All filings received from March 17, 2020 through May 2, 2020 will be deemed filed as of May 26, 2020.
2. New filings processing will resume on May 26, 2020.
3. Law and Motion hearings scheduled from March 17, 2020 through June 12, 2020 will be heard starting the week of June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties. Extra calendars will be scheduled to process backlogged hearings. Check the court’s COVID-19 Probate & Mental Health website closer to the hearing date for appearance options.
4. Decedent Estates hearings scheduled from March 17, 2020 through June 12, 2020 will be heard starting the week of June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties. Check the court’s COVID-19 Probate & Mental Health website closer to the hearing date for appearance options.
➢ Special letters of administration which may otherwise expire during this time period are extended until the hearing date set pursuant to paragraph 8.
5. Hearings related to Sales of Real Property scheduled from March 17, 2020 through June 12, 2020 will be heard starting the week of June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties.
6. Hearings related to Accounts & Miscellaneous and Trust matters will be rescheduled approximately 24 weeks from the currently scheduled hearing date, with notice to all parties. Hearings will resume the week of August 31, 2020.
➢ Interim trustee appointments which may otherwise expire during this time period are extended until the hearing date set pursuant to paragraph 9.
Although hearings may continue to display as calendared in electronic online case access, no hearings besides those noted above will be conducted through May 22, 2020.
The court continues to assess possibility of increasing services and conducting remote hearings for matters that are not time-sensitive and will distribute information accordingly as those decisions are made.

 

 

 

Superior Court of California
County of Orange
Minor’s Compromise Remote Appearances Process
UPDATE – Monday May 5, 2020
Video Appearance Process:
Parties will receive a notice of the date and time for the rescheduled hearing. Until further notice, all appearance will be conducted via video appearance through Microsoft Teams software that can be downloaded for free. The court strongly suggests that you download the Microsoft Teams software prior to the date of your hearing.
To appear by video:
1. From the Court’s COVID-19 website, select Probate & Mental Health button to reach the Probate & Mental Health COVID-19 page.
2. In the box located at the top of the page, select the “Appear For Probate Hearings” button.
3. On the next page, click the link for the courtroom you are scheduled to appear or scroll down the page to locate the courtroom.
4. Locate the day of your appearance and click on the time you are scheduled to appear. Ensure you select the right day of the week and time of the day.
5. Upon clicking, you will be navigated to Microsoft Teams site.
6. If you have previously downloaded the Teams software:
➢ Enter your name for the court to know you are connected. If you are an attorney also enter the party you present. For example:
▪ Attorney Smith for G. Jones matter
▪ G. Jones, party
➢ Select “Join as a Guest” and you will be navigated to the video page and wait to be admitted into the session
7. If you have not previously downloaded the Teams software,
➢ You will be promoted to download, follow the steps on your device

➢ Once download is complete, enter your name as noted on #6 and select “Join as a Guest” and you will be navigated to the video page and wait to be admitted into the session
Tips while appearing via video:
1. You will wait in the video lobby until the court is ready to admit you. Please be patient.
2. All individuals participating in this video session will be able to hear one another unless you place your microphone one mute.
3. If you have background noise, mute your speaker when your case is not being heard to not disrupt proceedings. You must unmute yourself when your case is called.
4. The Court has the ability to mute anyone during this hearing. If the Court mutes you, you will have to unmute yourself before the Judicial Officer can hear you again.
5. To mute your microphone, tap or click your screen or move your mouse to have the control panel appear on your screen.
➢ If the microphone icon does not display as slash , everyone can hear you. To mute, click on the microphone icon.
➢ If the microphone icon displays a slash , everyone cannot hear you. To unmute, click on the microphone icon.
➢ If the court takes a recess during your session, you will see the Court symbol on the screen. Please be aware that although you do not see the courtroom, the court can still see and hear you.
6. If at any time you become disconnected from the hearing, please rejoin the meeting through the same link and you will be re-admitted into the video session.

Update May 1, 2020

Informal Discovery Conferences

Effective May 1, 2020
The Civil Panel is pleased to offer Informal Discovery Conferences to resolve discovery disputes in cases impacted by our reduced staffing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scope. Any currently pending civil case may take advantage of the IDC program.
Initiation – Two paths. IDCs may be set at the party’s request or the court’s own motion.
1. Any party requesting an IDC shall email the IDC program coordinator at Civil-IDC@occourts.org. The request shall specify the case name and number, as well as provide contact information for all counsel of record. The party must copy all parties on the email to avoid an ex parte communication. The program coordinator will confer with the case’s assigned judicial officer, who may grant or decline the request. The program coordinator will notify the parties of the court’s decision. If the court does not grant the request within 10 calendar days, it shall be deemed denied.
2. A court may schedule an IDC on its own motion in any pending case.
However the IDC is initiated, the court may toll the deadline for filing discovery motions or make any other appropriate order. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 2016.080, subd. (c)(2).)
Scheduling the Conference. To accommodate reduced staffing, the court may use any clerk, research attorney, or other court staff member to inform the parties (through counsel of record, if any) whether it has granted an IDC request or set one on its own motion.
The program coordinator may communicate with the parties to schedule the date and time, but may not discuss substantive matters or anything else that may give any party a procedural or tactical advantage. (See Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, Canon 3B(7)(b).)
The program coordinator will update a list of scheduled IDCs on the court website to ensure transparency.
Conducting the Conference. The court may use remote technology such as conference call, videoconferencing, or email to conduct the IDC. (See Cal. Rules of Court, 4/6/20 Emergency rule 3.) The program coordinator will provide any necessary log-in information to the parties.
The participants shall ensure they can participate without distraction for the scheduled duration. All participants must have access during the IDC to email and a way to send signed documents (such as an electronic signature, fax, or an email attaching a photograph of a signature).
Informal Discovery Conferences Page 2 of 2
All participants must maintain safe social distancing consistent with all orders and recommendations of state and local government. No participants shall have physical contact with, pass documents to, share equipment with, or come within 6 feet of any other participant, unless they are already residing in the same household. The court will not condone or facilitate any conduct that increases the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The assigned judicial officer will preside over the IDC, making sure all participants can hear/see each other and confirming no one else is listening/watching. The judicial officer has discretion over how to conduct the conference, including (with the parties’ stipulation) the use of “breakout rooms” or separate sessions as needed. (See Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, canon 3B(7)(c).)
“The outcome of an [IDC] does not bar any party from filing a discovery motion or prejudice the disposition of a discovery motion.” (See Code Civ. Proc., § 2016.080, subd. (e).)
Resolution. If the parties are able to reach a stipulation resolving the discovery dispute, they shall reduce their agreement to writing. All required signatures must be exchanged in counterpart by electronic signature, fax, or email.
The parties will send a written “IDC Statement” to the program coordinator confirming whether the IDC took place and whether it resulted in a stipulation. The program coordinator will ensure that, as staffing permits, the IDC Statement is imaged into the case file.

 

 

Update May 1, 2020

Voluntary Settlement Conferences

 

Effective May 1, 2020
The Civil Panel is pleased to offer Voluntary Settlement Conferences to resolve cases impacted by our reduced staffing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scope. Any currently pending civil case may take advantage of the VSC program.
Initiation. If all parties to a pending civil case agree to participate in a VSC, they shall select one person to contact the VSC program coordinator by emailing CivilVSC@occourts.org, indicating that all parties have agreed to participate in a VSC and identifying the case name, case number, names of attorneys for all parties, and the attorneys’ contact information.
The program coordinator will contact the judicial officer assigned to the case. If the judicial officer will be conducting the VSC, the program coordinator will email a waiver to the parties. The program coordinator will retain the waivers in the event the assigned judicial officer conducts the VSC until the court has staff that can process the waivers.
If the judicial officer will not be conducting the VSC, then the program coordinator will assign an Orange County Superior Court temporary judge to conduct the VSC. The temporary judge will email the parties to determine whether any actual or potential conflict requires disclosure. If the temporary judge is disqualified, the temporary judge will alert the program coordinator, who will assign a new temporary judge.
The program coordinator will get acceptable dates and times from the judicial officer or temporary judge. Then the program coordinator will work with the parties to schedule the VSC. The program coordinator will ask the parties to identify any nonparty participants, i.e., persons whose consent is needed to settle, or insurance carriers for defendants or cross-defendants with an acknowledged or alleged duty to indemnify.
The judicial officer or temporary judge will select a remote conference media that is accessible to all participants and provides a secure platform at no cost to the participants. The judicial officer or temporary judge will provide the necessary log-in information to the program coordinator, who will send it to the parties. The parties must provide the log-in information to any nonparty participants, i.e., persons whose consent is needed to settle or insurance carriers.
Any emails between the judicial officer or temporary judge on one side and any VSC participant on the other must be copied to all parties to avoid ex parte communications. In the unlikely event the judicial officer or temporary judge must “initiate, permit, or consider” scheduling, administrative, or emergency ex parte communications, the judicial officer or temporary judge must comply with California Code of Judicial Ethics, canon 3B(7)(b).
Voluntary Settlement Conferences Page 2 of 2
Conducting the Conference. The participants shall ensure they can participate without distraction for the scheduled duration. All participants must have access during the VSC to email and a way to send signed documents (such as an electronic signature, fax, or an email attaching a photograph of a signature).
All participants must keep the VSCs confidential and agree not to record any portion of it. Conduct or statements during the VSCs may be inadmissible to prove liability. (See Evid. Code, § 1152.)
All participants must maintain safe social distancing consistent with all orders and recommendations of state and local government. No participants shall have physical contact with, pass documents to, share equipment with, or come within 6 feet of any other participant, unless they are already residing in the same household. The court will not condone or facilitate any conduct that increases the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The judicial officer or temporary judge will preside over the VSC, making sure all participants can hear/see each other and confirming no one else is listening/watching. The judicial officer or temporary judge has discretion over how to conduct the conference, including (with the parties’ stipulation) the use of “breakout rooms” or separate sessions as needed. (See Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, canon 3B(7)(c).)
Settlement. The judicial officer or temporary judge will ensure any settlement is reduced to writing, including a provision that the parties themselves agree that the settlement is enforceable pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 and that the court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the settlement. All required signatures must be exchanged in counterpart by electronic signature, fax, or email.
Because no court reporter will be present, the settlement agreement must contain detailed representations that the parties understand and accept the agreement freely, without any threats or undisclosed promises, and that any questions they have about the settlement have been answered.
The judicial officer or temporary judge will designate a party to send a written “VSC Statement” to the program coordinator confirming whether the VSC took place and whether the case settled. The program coordinator will ensure that, as staffing permits, the VSC Statement is imaged into the case file. If the parties reach a settlement, the parties will be instructed to electronically submit their notice of settlement or dismissal and the case will be updated accordingly in the court’s case management system.

Update: April 30

Civil Limited, Unlimited and Complex

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Orange County Superior Court significantly reduced services to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, only matters identified as time sensitive or pertain to the safety and security of our community will be heard.
Civil Limited, Unlimited, Complex
The court will be available for the following Civil Limited, Unlimited and Complex related service:
1. Emergency Civil Temporary Injunctions (CRC 3.1150)
Requests for emergency relief per CRC 3.1120 shall be submitted via email as follows:
 Email: Submit applicable forms/petitions to CivilUrgent@occourts.org (Note: eFiling should not be used for these filings during the period of reduced services)
 Any required appearance shall be done via court call or via video when ordered by the court.
 If filing fees are due, notice of fees due will be included and fees will be collected at the next court hearing
2. Opposition to Claim of Exemption
The court will accept and process filings for Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption as follows:
 Email: Submit applicable forms to CivilUrgent@occourts.org
 Paper: Alternatively, submit applicable forms/petitions in person at Central Justice Center via the drop box by the front entrance
 For assistance, Self Help Services will be available onsite at Central Justice Center. Follow the instructions posted on the front entrance by the table
 The filing will be processed and scheduled for hearing after June 15, 2020 with notice to all parties.
As a result of reduced services during the COVID-19 crisis, the court will reschedule Civil Limited, Unlimited and Complex hearings as follows:
1. Trials in progress as of March 17, 2020 will be vacated and a Status Conference will be set for June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties.
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2. Trial dates for all trials scheduled to begin as of March 17, 2020 forward will be rescheduled approximately 25 weeks from the currently scheduled trial date, with notice to all parties.
 The rescheduling of the trial date resets all dates tied to the trial date.
 Modification to the newly set trial dates will be considered by the court via stipulation and order.
 Trials approaching the 5 year or 3 year deadlines set forth in Civil Code of Procedure sections 538.310 and 583.320, and subject to California Rules of Court Emergency Rule 10, will be granted preference by separate minute order.
3. Mandatory Settlement Conferences (MSC) set as of March 17, 2020 forward will be rescheduled approximately 21 weeks from the currently scheduled MSC date, with notice to all parties.
4. Civil Limited and Unlimited Unlawful Detainer hearings set from March 17, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be rescheduled in priority order for a date after June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties. All hearings will be heard at the Central Justice Center. At this time, there is no change to hearings scheduled on or after July 1, 2020.
5. All other Civil Limited, Unlimited, and Complex hearings set as of March 17, 2020 forward, including law and motion matters, will be rescheduled approximately 13 weeks from the currently scheduled hearing date, with notice to all parties. Hearings will resume the week of June 15, 2020.
6. Pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.720(b) and a forthcoming local rule, no Case Management Conference (CMC) hearings will be heard through December 31, 2020.
For cases not deemed complex:
 All currently scheduled CMC hearings are vacated and a Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) and Trial date will be scheduled 19 to 21 months from the date the case was filed.
 Cases filed that have not been previously set for CMC and new cases filed through December 31, 2020 not already exempt from case management review (e.g. unlawful detainers and cases exempt under the California Rules of Court), will not be set for CMC hearing. MSC and Trial dates will be scheduled 19 to 21 months from the date the case was filed.
For cases deemed complex:
 All currently scheduled CMC hearings are vacated and a Status Conference hearing will be scheduled after June 15, 2020.
 Cases filed that have not been previously set for CMC and new cases filed through December 31, 2020 will have a Status Conference hearing scheduled within 120 days from the date the case was filed.

Update April 30, 2020

Civil- Unlawful Detainers (Evictions) and Small Claims

UPDATE – Thursday, April 30, 2020
Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Orange County Superior Court significantly reduced services to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, only matters identified as time sensitive or pertain to the safety and security of our community will be heard.
Emergency Ex-parte Lock-out matters (Unlawful Detainer/Eviction)
1. The court will be available for the following unlawful detainer/eviction related services:
 Emergency request to stay lock-out date (Unlawful Detainer/Eviction)
Requests to stay lock-out date can be submitted either via email or by paper filing as follows:
 Email: Submit applicable forms/petitions to CivilUrgent@occourts.org
 Paper: Alternatively, submit applicable forms/petitions in person at Central Justice Center via the drop box by the front entrance
 For assistance, Self Help Services will be available onsite at Central Justice Center. Follow the instructions posted on the front entrance by the table
 Once reviewed by the court,
• If filed in person via drop box, the order will be provided to petitioner
• If filed via email, the order will be sent to petitioner via email and certified copies via mail
 If filing fees are due, notice of fees due will be included and fees will be collected at the next court hearing
2. All other Unlawful Detainer/Eviction related hearings set from March 17, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be rescheduled in priority order for a date after June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties. All hearings will be heard at the Central Justice Center. At this time, there is no change to hearings scheduled on or after July 1, 2020. Due to the fluid nature of the pandemic crisis, you are encouraged to check the court’s COVID-19 website to obtain information on your options to appear on your case.
Opposition to Claim of Exemption
The court will accept and process filings for Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption as follows:
 Email: Submit applicable forms to CivilUrgent@occourts.org (email submission is preferred by the court)
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 Paper: Alternatively, submit applicable forms/petitions in person at Central Justice Center via the drop box by the front entrance
 The filing will be processed and scheduled for hearing after June 15, 2020 with notice to all parties.
Due to the fluid nature of the pandemic crisis, you are encouraged to check the court’s COVID-19 website to obtain information on your options to appear on your case.
Small Claims Matters
All Small Claims hearings set for March 17, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be rescheduled to a date after June 15, 2020, with notice to all parties. All hearings will be heard at the Central Justice Center. At this time, there is no change to hearings scheduled on or after July 1, 2020. Due to the fluid nature of the pandemic crisis, you are encouraged to check the court’s COVID-19 website to obtain information on your options to appear on your case.

Update: April 30, 2020

Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Orange County Superior Court significantly reduced services to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, only matters identified as time sensitive or pertain to the safety and security of our community will be heard.
Civil and Gun Violence Restraining Orders
1. The court will be available for the following restraining order services:
 Civil Temporary Restraining Orders
 Emergency Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO)
Requests can be submitted either via email or by paper filing as follows:
 Email: Submit applicable forms/petitions to CivilUrgent@occourts.org
 Paper: Alternatively, submit applicable forms/petitions in person at Central Justice Center via the drop box by the front entrance
 For assistance, Self Help Services will be available onsite at Central Justice Center. Follow the instructions posted on the front entrance by the table
 Once reviewed by the court,
• If filed in person via drop box, the order will be provided to petitioner
• If filed via email, the order will be sent to petitioner via email and certified copies via mail
 If filing fees are due, notice of fees due will be included and fees will be collected at the next court hearing
For information regarding Restraining Orders, please visit the court’s website at http://www.occourts.org/self-help/restrainingorders and https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL
2. Law enforcement emergency GVRO requests will continue to be supported via the on-call EPO Referee process.
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3. Hearing on the Request for Restraining Order- Civil Harassment and Gun Violence Restraining Order:
 Hearings set between March 17, 2020 through April 24, 2020 have been rescheduled to be heard at the Central Justice Center starting on May 1, 2020. Notice has been provided to all parties (by the court or the petitioner as ordered by the court). There are no changes to hearings scheduled starting July 1, 2020.
 Appearance by video: All appearances will be conducted via video appearance until further notice. No in-person hearings will be conducted unless specifically ordered by the court. All parties must follow the instructions on the notice provided to appear by video. Parties must call the court at the phone number on the notice the day before the hearing to receive the video appearance information.

Update April 23, 2017

UPDATE – Thursday, April 23, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.

JURY SERVICES:
In response to the health concerns raised by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Orange County Superior Court has suspended all new jury trials through May 22, 2020.
Jurors who have been summoned to report or summoned to call-in for jury service with reporting dates through May 22, 2020 are not required to appear. Their service will be automatically excused.
Jurors who are currently impaneled and sitting on a trial should wait for further communication directly from their assigned courtrooms.
Superior Court of California County of Orange News Release
Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis PIO@occourts.org

 

Update April 17, 2020

On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of the State of California adopted eleven (11)
temporary emergency rules of court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic . The emergency
rules of court were adopted effective April 6, 2020. Emergenc y Rule of Court, Rule 8(b)(3)
provides, “Any criminal protective order, subject to this rule, set to expire during the state of
emergency, must be automatically extended for a period of 90 days, or until the matter can be
heard , whichever occurs first.”
Pursuant to Emergency Rule of Court, Rule 8(b )(3), each Criminal Protective Order
identified in Exhibit A (see courts website for list) to this order shall remain in effect for 90 days from the date it was issued .

THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 17th day of April 2020, at Santa Ana California.

 

 

April 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Traffic Citations
Hearings & Compliance Due Dates
Orange County Superior Court is announcing that extensions have been granted to all traffic citations with hearings and compliance dates due March 17, 2020 through May 31, 2020.
As the Court only has limited services available to the public at this time, we are granting extensions and expanding our online services to provide enhanced case information. Our goal is simple, ensure that the public we serve is not burdened by court appearances, paying fines or having to show proof of compliance with court ordered programs during these very challenging times.
In this vein, cases between the above-referenced dates have been granted extensions or had their hearings rescheduled to dates in June and July. Members of the public can view the new due dates for their specific citation on the Court’s Public Case Access page by clicking here. Compliance dates that were extended include the following:
• Citation Pay or Appear By Date
• Proof of Correction / Community Service
• Monthly Installment Payments
• Traffic School Completion
The Court also discontinued reporting Failure to Appear (FTA) abstracts to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and removed any FTA holds that were previously sent to the DMV during the Court’s initial closure period.
Traffic Citations – Filed by Law Enforcement
Upon the filing of a new citation, the Court is automatically adding 60 days to the due date submitted by law enforcement. A Violation Information Notice is mailed to the defendant from the court displaying the extended due date.
Traffic Hearings
The Court deactivated the self-service “Reserve A Court Date” function for the foreseeable future, thus no new hearings can be added to the traffic calendars by the public at this time.
The Court is in the process of rescheduling all traffic hearings set for March 17, 2020 through May 31, 2020 to dates in June and July. Notices are being printed and mailed to defendants to advise them of their new hearing date. Rescheduled hearings include Arraignments, Court Trials and Night Court hearings. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
###
Superior Court of California County of Orange News Release
Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis PIO@occourts.org

April 10, 2020 Update

Chambers of
KIRK H. NAKAMURA
PRESIDING JUDGE
Superior Court of Orange County, California
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 20/13
Emergency Administrative Order
700 CIVIC CENTER DRIVE WEST
SANTA ANA, CA 92701
30 day Extension of Emergency Protective Orders
At the Emergency Meeting on Monday, April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council
adopted Emergency Rules of the California Rules of Court. Pursuant to Emergency
Rule 8(b )( 1 ), each Emergency Protective Order (EPO-001) identified in Exhibit A to
this order shall remain in effect for 30 days from the date it was issued. The final
column in Exhibit A identifies the new expiration date. This order supersedes any
prior orders and expiration dates for the Emergency Protective Orders identified in
Exhibit A.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY .
IT IS SO ORDERED this 10th day of April 2020, at Santa Ana California.
Kirk H. Nakamura
Presiding Judge

April 8, 2020 Update

Administrative Order No. 20/07

700 CIVIC CENTER DRIVE WEST
P.O. BOX 1994
SANTA ANA, CA 92702-1994
SECOND AMENDED PROBATE ORDER REGARDING COURT CLOSURE
Pursuant to the provisions of Government Code section 68115, at the Court’s request California
Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has issued emergency orders permitting significant
reduction of services to the public, with minimal exceptions, from March 17, 2020 through April 24,
2020. In addition, the Chief Justice issued an advisory on March 20, 2020 calling for the suspension
of all probate trials, hearings , and proceedings for at least 60 days, with the exception of timesensitive
matters .
Therefore, the Court declares that all dates from 3/17/2020 to 4/24/2020 are holidays for purposes of
computing time for filings papers with the Court under Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a.
(Gov. Code§ 68115(a)(4). In addition, all hearing dates on any probate case set during the next 60
days are deemed vacated and will be reset for a date beyond 60 days with notice to all parties.
The Court further orders:
Special letters of administration , temporary letters of guardianship , temporary letters of
conservatorship, and interim trnstee appointments which may otherwise expire during this time
period are extended until a date to be detennined when the hearing is reset. Notice will be
provided to all parties.
All expiring LPS Letters of Conservatorship are extended until April 27, 2020 or to the earliest
available date thereafter upon which hearing may be scheduled as to any pending reappointment
petition. Acts by a conservator which may occur beyond the expiration period and prior
to hearing on the reappointment petition are permitted pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code
Section 5363 and will be considered for ratification at the time of hearing .
Although hearings may continue to display as calendared in electronic online case access, no hearings
will be conducted during the closure period.
The court continues to assess possibility of increasing services and conducting remote hearings for
matters that are not time-sensitive and will distribute infonnation accordingly as those decisions are
made.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 8th day of APRIL 2020, at Santa Ana California.

Kirk Nakamura

 

UPDATE – Friday, March 27, 2020 – 5:30 p.m.

COURT CLOSURE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Santa Ana, CA –The Orange County Superior Court will remain closed to the public until April 24, 2020, with minimal exceptions for time sensitive matters or matters pertaining to the safety and security of the community.
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has issued an emergency order permitting the extension to the closing the Court’s facilities in Orange County at the Court’s request, pursuant to the provisions of Government Code section 68115. For purposes of computing certain court-related deadlines, the closure will be considered a public holiday.
Over the coming days and weeks the Court may be frequently changing the services available to the public. Given the fluid nature of this Covid-19 crisis, and the ever-changing availability of resources, you are encouraged to frequently check our website’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest information and Court Administrative Orders.
The Court is mindful of the balance that must be maintained between the timely administration of justice and protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our employees, justice partners, and the community.
The public is encouraged to refer to the OC Health Care Agency website for up-to-date information about COVID-19 symptoms: http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus
More information will be released as it becomes available.
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Superior Court of California County of Orange News Release
Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis, (657) 622-7097 PIO@occourts.org

 

 

March 24, 2020

 

Superior Court of California
County of Orange
Chambers of
KIRK H. NAKAMURA 700 CIVIC CENTER DRIVE WEST
PRESIDING JUDGE SANTA ANA, CA 92701
Superior Court of California
County of Orange

AMENDED ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 20/09
PREFACE:
With the challenges presented by COVID-19, the court is faced with an unprecedented
situation of balancing the rights of residents of Orange County to justice against the Emergency Orders
of the President, Governor and the Orange County Department of Health outlining precautionary steps
to minimize the danger of transmission of the virus.
Despite criticism from the Orange County District Attorney and Public Defender, who, along
with other justice partners, have always been consulted with the court’s plans, the court will continue
to provide justice consistent with the conditions that exist and the recommendations of Chief Justice
Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

The court is grateful for the Chief Justice’s guidance in clarifying the scope of Governor
Newsom’s order of March 19, 2020, and for setting priorities and recommendations for operating the
court during this challenging time.

Governor Newsom’s Order of March 19, 2010 Does Not Close the Courts
The Chief Justice sought and received clarification from Governor Newsom that the Governor’s
Order does not close the courts. The courts are—and continue to be—an essential service.
Implementation of Chief Justice Tani-Cantil Sakauye’s Recommendations
The court intends to implement the recommendations of the Chief Justice insofar as is
practicable under the current circumstances. These are:

CRIMINAL PROCEDURES
1. Revise, on an emergency basis, the countywide bail schedule to lower bail amounts
significantly for the duration of the coronavirus emergency, including lowering the bail amount to $0
for many lower level offenses – for all misdemeanors except for those listed in Penal Code section
Superior Court of California
County of Orange
1270.1 and for lower-level felonies. This will result in fewer individuals in county jails thus alleviating
some of the pressures for arraignments within 48 hours and preliminary hearings within 10 days.
The court will be meeting with justice partners with a proposal to revise the Court’s bail
schedule. Insofar as these responsibilities have been previously delegated to the Court’s Bail Review
Committee, such responsibilities are hereby revoked until further notice.
2. In setting an adult or juvenile defendant’s conditions of custody, including the length, eligibility
for alternative sentencing, and surrender date, the court should consider defendant’s existing health
conditions, and any conditions existing at defendant’s anticipated place of confinement that could
affect the defendant’s health, the health of other detainees, or the health of personnel staffing the
anticipated place of confinement.
As to adult defendants, Judge Cheri Pham, Acting Supervising Judge of the Criminal Panel is
communicating with her panel to effectuate this recommendation as applicable. As to juvenile justice
youth, Presiding Juvenile Judge Joanne Motoike met with juvenile justice partners in effectuating this
recommendation and will continue to do so on a regular basis.
3. With the assistance of justice partners, identify those persons currently in county jail or juvenile
hall custody who have less than 60 days remaining on their jail sentence for the purpose of modifying
their sentences to permit early release of such persons with or without supervision or to communitybased
organizations for treatment.
As to adult defendants, the court will be meeting with its justice partners to effectuate this
recommendation. The District Attorney will be given 48 hours’ notice before release. As to in-custody
juvenile justice youth, Presiding Juvenile Judge Joanne Motoike has already met with its justice
partners and identified youth with commitments of 45 days or less for release, and is assessing youth
who now have commitments of 60 days or less for possible release.
4. With the assistance of justice partners, calendar hearings for youth returning to court
supervision from Department of Juvenile Justice following parole consideration for a Welfare &
Institutions Code, §1766 hearing.
During the court closure, the juvenile court will continue to calendar and hold hearings for these
youth/former youth.
5. With the assistance of justice partners, determine the nature of supervision violations that will
warrant “flash incarceration,” for the purpose of drastically reducing or eliminating the use of such an
intermediate sanction during the current health crisis.
Acting Supervising Judge of the Criminal Panel Cheri Pham has contacted the Deputy Chief
Probation Officer Sue DeLacy and was advised that effective last Thursday, March 19, 2020,
Probation has ceased all “flash incarcerations” and will only place holds on individuals with new law
violations that present a risk to the community.

6. Prioritize arraignments and preliminary hearings for in-custody defendants, and the issuance
of restraining orders.
Acting Supervising Judge of the Criminal Panel Cheri Pham has been directed to follow these
recommendations emphasizing the need to keep personal appearances at a minimum and use
telephone and video appearances as well as video live streaming to comply with the court’s Sixth
Amendment responsibility for public hearings to minimize exposure to all involved in these hearings.
(See item 8, infra.) A plan must be developed for implementation in phases by hearing types so that
they are not dependent upon each other and can be scaled back quickly if the circumstances warrant.
Judge Richard King has worked diligently to identify those preliminary hearings that must proceed in
order to prevent release of potentially dangerous defendants under Penal Code section 859(b) and
Government Code section 68115, which provides for limited time extensions for these hearings. His
working group consisting of himself, Judge Cheri Pham, Judge Maria Hernandez and Judge Karen
Robinson has done an exceptional job in identifying and organizing these preliminary hearings.
7. Prioritize juvenile dependency detention hearings to ensure they are held within the time
required by state and federal law.
Under the leadership of Presiding Judge Joanne Motoike, the juvenile court continues to have
these hearings on a limited basis. Judge Motoike has been directed to minimize the in-person
appearances of counsel and parties by using video appearances as authorized by law.
8. For routine or non-critical criminal matters, allow liberal use of telephonic or video appearance
by counsel and the defendant, and appearance by counsel by use of waivers authorized by Penal
Code, § 977. Written waivers without being obtained in open court have been approved if the waiver
is in substantial compliance with language specified in section 977, subdivision (b)(1). (People v.
Edwards (1991) 54 Cal.3d 787, 811; People v. Robertson (1989) 48 Cal.3d 18, 62.)
Acting Supervising Judge of the Criminal Panel Cheri Pham has been directed to follow these
recommendations including the use of written waivers for appearances authorized by Penal Code
section 977. Information and Technology Chief Brett Howard has been so directed to provide support.

CIVIL PROCEDURES
1. Suspend all civil trials, hearings, and proceedings for at least 60 days, with the exception of
time-sensitive matters, such as restraining orders and urgent dependency, probate, and family
matters. Consider whether an emergency order may be needed to address cases reaching 5-year
deadlines under Code of Civil Procedure section 583.310.
All such hearings have been suspended by Administrative Order Nos. 20/06 (Civil) No. 20/07
(Probate) and No. 20/08 (Family Law). (Attached) On March 23, 2020 the Chief Justice ordered that
the time period provided in Code of Civil Procedure sections 583.310 and 583.320 for the holding of
a civil trial is extended for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of this order. (See below.)

2. When possible, provide that any urgent matters may be done telephonically, under the general
policy encouraging use of telephonic appearances in Code of Civil Procedure section 367.5(a) and
California Rule of Court, rule 3.670.
Civil Panel Supervising Judge James DiCesare, Probate Panel Supervising Judge Gerald
Johnston and Family Law Supervising Judge Lon Hurwitz are directed to comply with this
recommendation to the fullest extent practicable.

 

 

 

 

CHIEF JUSTICE’S ORDER OF MARCH 23, 2020
On March 23, 2020 the Chief Justice ordered that:
1. All jury trials are suspended and continued for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of this
order. Courts may conduct such a trial at an earlier date, upon a finding of good cause shown or
through the use of remote technology, when appropriate.
2. The time period provided in Penal Code section 1382 for the holding of a criminal trial is
extended for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of this order. Courts may conduct such a trial at
an earlier date, upon a finding of good cause shown or through the use of remote technology, when
appropriate.
3. The time period provided in Code of Civil Procedure sections 583.310 and 583.320 for the
holding of a civil trial is extended for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of this order. Courts may
conduct such a trial at an earlier date, upon a finding of good cause shown or through the use of
remote technology, when appropriate.
4. All superior courts are authorized under rule 10.613(i) of the California Rules of Court to adopt
any proposed rules or rule amendment that is intended to address the impact of the COVID-19
pandemic to take effect immediately, without advance circulation for 45 days of public comment. A
court adopting any such rule change must provide a copy to Judicial Council staff and post notice of
the change prominently on the court’s website, along with the effective date of the new or amended
rule. Additionally, the court must immediately distribute the new or amended rule as set forth in rule
10.613(g)(2). No litigant’s substantive rights shall be prejudiced for failing to comply with the
requirements of a new or amended rule until at least 20 days after the rule change has been
distributed.
The court will comply with this order.
Judge Maria Hernandez is appointed to be the COVID 19 Judge responsible for disseminating
information about the impact of the virus on our courts. We have received many questions from
members of the local Bar and will be endeavoring to provide information on protocols that are
developed in response. This information will be provided to OCBA leadership for further distribution.
The questions are voluminous and ask for your patience in awaiting responses. We ask that questions
be submitted to OCBA leadership to relay to Judge Hernandez.
Superior Court of California
County of Orange
Page 5
March 24, 2020
The assistance of Assistant Presiding Judge Erick L. Larsh in handling the Judicial Officers’
personnel problems is gratefully appreciated.
The court acknowledges the fine work of our judges and administrative staff for their Herculean
efforts in dealing with this crisis.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 24thd day of March 2020, at Santa Ana California.
_______________________
Kirk H. Nakamura
Presiding JudgeMarch 23  Update

 

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF ORANGE

 

COURT CLOSURE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

 

 

Santa Ana, CA – Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the Orange County Superior Court will be closed to the public, including attorneys, until further notice. The Court anticipates reopening in the near future for limited matters.

 

The closures are in response to the health concerns raised by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Orange County Superior Court.

 

Pursuant to the provisions of Government Code section 68115, at the Court’s request California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has issued an emergency order permitting the closing the Court’s facilities to the public, at least until March 30, 2020. For purposes of computing certain court-related deadlines, the closure will be considered a public holiday.

 

The closures are in response to the unique and continuing public safety challenge presented by the coronavirus. Public health orders now prohibit most public gatherings.

 

 

The Court appreciates the careful balance that must be maintained between the timely administration of justice and the protection of public health and safety.

 

Importantly, this closure is not in response to a specific notice of exposure at any Court facility or to any Court staff. Instead, it is in an abundance of caution to help limit the spread of the virus and the potential for future exposure. Employees are expected to report to work as directed. The Court recognizes and appreciates our employees’ and justice partners’ willingness to support operations, during this unprecedented emergency.

 

 

More information will be released as it becomes available.

 

 

March 18, 2020
UPDATE – Wednesday, March 19, 2020 – 8:25 a.m.

Public Information Office Contact: Kostas Kalaitzidis, (657) 622-7097
PIO@occourts.org

COURT CLOSURE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Santa Ana, CA – In response to the health concerns raised by the coronavirus (COVID-
outbreak, Orange County Superior Court will be closed at all locations for approximately two weeks, from Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020.

Pursuant to the provisions of Government Code section 68115, at the Court’s request California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has issued an emergency order permitting the closing the Court’s facilities to the public, at least until March 30, 2020, with certain exceptions, as noted below. For purposes of computing certain court- related deadlines, the closure will be considered a public holiday.

The closures are in response to the unique and continuing public safety challenge presented by the coronavirus. Public health orders now prohibit most public gatherings. (http://www.ochealthinfo.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=114363)

Jurors who have been summoned to appear during this time period are not required to appear for juror duty. Jurors who are currently impaneled and sitting in a trial should contact their courtrooms for further instructions.

The Court appreciates the careful balance that must be maintained between the timely administration of justice and the protection of public health and safety.

Importantly, this closure is not in response to a specific notice of exposure at any Court facility or to any Court staff. Instead, it is in an abundance of caution to help limit the spread of the virus and the potential for future exposure. Employees are expected to report to work as usual.

JUVENILE LAW:

Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, Juvenile Court will reopen a limited number of courtrooms for detention hearings:
One delinquency/juvenile justice courtroom will be open for juvenile justice detention hearings. Only the child and his/her parent(s) or custodial caregiver and retained or appointed counsel will be allowed into the courtroom. Parties and attorneys may appear via telephone or video.

One dependency courtroom will be open in order to conduct dependency detention hearings. All parties and their appointed or retained counsel will be allowed into the courtroom. Parties and attorneys may appear via telephone or video.

An additional courtroom may open to address both juvenile justice and dependency courtroom overflow.
Emergency Matters:

The Court will address, via electronic submission, those orders that involve immediate risk or irreparable injury to the physical and emotional health of a child.

The Court’s Juvenile Law 24-7 duty obligations will continue as in the past regarding any protective custody warrants, probable cause declarations, duty calls from the juvenile facilities, as well as any emergency orders.

All other matters will be continued. No other juvenile court business will be conducted during this emergency. The Juvenile Court Clerk’s office will remain closed.

Detailed information for all other case types will be forthcoming in future updates.

The Court will be providing additional details in the next hours and days, so please check the Court website – https://www.occourts.org – for updates.

We encourage the public to use the available online services on the Court’s website https://www.occourts.org/online-services/

Such online services include:

The payment of traffic tickets (https://www.occourts.org/directory/traffic/payments-extensions.html
Contact with Self-Help (https://www.occourts.org/self-help/)
Accessing case information (https://www.occourts.org/online-services/case- access/)
Accessing forms and information on eFiling documents with the Court (https://www.occourts.org/online-services/efiling/ )
Establishing online payment plans, (https://cupportal.occourts.org/home )
and many others.
The public is encouraged to refer to the OC Healthcare Agency website for up-to-date information about COVID-19 symptoms: http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus

More information will be released as it becomes available, please visit our Court News on the web to find updates.

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