Covid-19 Updates for San Diego Superior Court

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

 

COVID-19 UPDATE
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA • COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
Post Office Box 120128 • San Diego, CA 92112-0128
All Emergency Services Currently Available
at San Diego Superior Court Locations
Updated April 6, 2020
In an effort to mitigate community spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the San Diego Superior Court has suspended all non-emergency services effective March 17, 2020 through April 30, 2020. All court days from March 17, 2020, to April 30, 2020, inclusive, will be deemed a court holiday for purposes of computing the time for filing papers with the court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a.
For more detailed information regarding the impact on other statutory deadlines, please see the General Orders posted on the Court’s website.
All jurors summoned for the dates March 16, 2020, to May 22, 2020, are not to report to the courthouse. You have fulfilled your service. Jurors summoned past May 23, 2020, are to monitor the Court’s website for additional information.
SERVICES AVAILABLE DURING THIS PERIOD:
• Chamber ex parte requests for civil harassment TROs, DVTROs, and Gun Violence Protective Orders.
• Emergency ex parte lockout proceedings (UD).
• One Family law judge at each branch will review ex parte requests for DV TROs and, starting on April 8, 2020, emergency ex parte orders for all types of family matters.
• One Juvenile judge will be available for dependency detention hearings and for emergency orders.
• One Probate judge will be available to cover emergency conservatorships and other emergency orders in Probate. Please email PRB@SDCOURT.CA.GOV.
• All search warrants (day and night) will be electronic.
• Petitions for writ seeking emergency relief in unlawful detainer matters.
• Emergency writs challenging COVID-19 emergency measures.
• Writs of habeas corpus challenging medical quarantines.
• Emergency surrogacy order requests (members of the public with such a need are asked to notify the court with their request through the email address: FAM@SDCOURT.CA.GOV).
• Chamber ex parte requests for Elder Abuse, Workplace Violence and School Violence Restraining Orders.
• Probable cause determinations for persons arrested without a warrant.
• Requests and orders for lower bail or own recognizance release from custody pursuant to Penal Code §1269c.
• Requests and orders for release from custody pursuant to stipulations between defense counsel and the prosecution.
SERVICES SUSPENDED 3/17/2020 – 4/30/2020:
Criminal
• All criminal proceedings including arraignments, preliminary hearings, readiness hearings, pre-trial motions, trials, and sentencings will be rescheduled except time-sensitive, in-custody criminal matters, including arraignments and preliminary hearings as required by statute or stipulation. All in-custody criminal matters during the COVID-19 pandemic will be heard via remote audio/video.
• Criminal defendants should contact their attorney.
• Criminal case attorneys should contact opposing counsel.
Civil
• All Civil proceedings will be rescheduled except for those matters described in available services.
• All Unlawful Detainer (UD) matters will be rescheduled except for those matters described above in available services.
• E-Filing and in-person filings are suspended.
• All Temporary Restraining Orders that would otherwise expire from March 17, 2020, to April 30, 2020, inclusive, will be automatically extended by 30 days, and a new Restraining Order hearing date will be set. For all such cases, the Court will be issuing orders continuing existing orders and assigning a new hearing date.
Family
• All Family Court departments are closed except for matters described in available services.
• All family and family support matters will be rescheduled.
• All Family Court counseling and mediation matters will be rescheduled.
• The Family Law Facilitator’s Office will be closed to the public.
• All clinics and workshops have been cancelled.
• All Temporary Restraining Orders that would otherwise expire from March 17, 2020, to April 30, 2020, inclusive, will be automatically extended by 30 days, and a new Restraining Order hearing date will be set. For all such cases, the Court will be issuing orders continuing existing orders and assigning a new hearing date.
Traffic
• All traffic matters will be rescheduled.
• All those cited to appear in Traffic Court will have a 30-day grace period to appear starting when the Court reopens all services (monitor www.sdcourt.ca.gov for service updates).
• Limited traffic online services may available at www.sdcourt.ca.gov.
• If you currently have a license hold for a failure to appear, please contact us in person or via email at TRF@SDCOURT.CA.GOV.
Small Claims
• All Small Claims filings are suspended.
• All Small Claims matters will be rescheduled.
• The Small Claims Advisor will be closed.
Juvenile
• All Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency matters will be rescheduled except for those matters described above in available services.
• All adoption and citation calendars will be rescheduled.
• Juvenile case attorneys: The Superior Court is developing a procedure for processing Juvenile cases suspended during this time period. Please monitor the San Diego Superior Court website www.sdcourt.ca.gov for updates.
Probate
• All Probate hearings will be rescheduled to a new date by the clerk’s office except for those matters described in available services. Parties will be informed of the new date by U.S. mail.
• All in-person visits by Court investigators and Court-approved attorneys for conservatorship cases will be suspended.

 

APR 3 2020
Br, C.McCoy

THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
IN RE: RESTRICTIONS ON ENTRY TO
COURT FACILITIES AND ACCESS TO
COURT PROCEEDINGS
GENERAL ORDER OF THE
PRESIDING DEPARTMENT
ORDER NO. 040320-40
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant health and safety concerns
1s nationally, throughout the State of California, and in San Diego County. Due to the growing
severity of the pandemic, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020,
which, among other things, requires individuals to stay at home or at their place of residence with
certain specified exemptions. Also on March 19, 2020, the County of San Diego Health and Human
Services Agency issued an amended order prohibiting all gatherings of 10 or more people.
Due to the health and safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the court has
suspended all but the most essential functions. (See San Diego Superior Court General Orders of
the Presiding Department, Order Nos. 031820-34, 032420-35, 032420-36, and 040320-39; see also
Statewide Orders by Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, dated March 23,
2020 [ staying all trials for a period of 60 days], and March 30, 2020 [extending certain deadlines
and supporting the use of technology].) Due to the pandemic and the governmental
recommendations in response thereto, the court finds it is unsafe to conduct in-person proceedings
that would require convening large groups of people, including parties,judicial officers, court staff,
attorneys, witnesses, jurors, the public, and others.
I
,-
However, the court is cognizant of the pressure the court “shutdown” has placed on the
timely disposition of criminal and juvenile cases and the strain this puts on criminal defendants
and juveniles, particularly those who remain in custody. To this end, the court has taken
affirmative steps to more fully protect the rights of those arrested/detained in order to facilitate a
speedy and possible early resolution of those cases. Specifically, the court has actively worked
with its justice partners to devise and implement procedures to reduce the local detention
population and reduce or eliminate the need for various criminal and juvenile court proceedings,
including adjusting the bail schedule, ordering stipulated releases from custody, conducting
juvenile hearings remotely, accelerating certain releases, and appointing counsel to prepare cases.
(See San Diego Superior Court General Orders of the Presiding Department, Order Nos. 032720-
3 7 and 040120-38A.) To further attemptto reduce this pressure, the court is working to implement
the use of technology to conduct certain arraignments and preliminary hearings remotely utilizing
video and/or audio systems.
Pursuant to the court’s inherent authority to control its own calendars and the Presiding
Judge’s duty to take into account the needs of the public and court as they relate to the efficient
and effective management of the court (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 10.603), this court HEREBY FINDS AND ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:
1. Through April 30, 2020, access to any and all San Diego Superior Court courthouses,
courtrooms, business offices, and public areas shall be restricted at all times to judges,
commissioners, court staff, persons seeking emergency services as provided in General
Order 040320-39 and any subsequent orders, persons required to appear for scheduled
hearings, and other authorized persons; and
2. Through April 30, 2020, access to any and all court proceedings, including, but not
limited to, arraignments, preliminary hearings, and ex partes, shall be limited to parties,
their attorneys, witnesses subpoenaed to testify or statutorily permitted to attend, and
other authorized persons; and
3. The term “other authorized persons” in Paragraphs 1 and 2 above includes, but is not
limited to, news reporters and news media representatives subject to prior approval
pursuant to the procedures outlined in the California Rules of Court, the San Diego
Superior Court Rules, San Diego Superior Court General Order of the Presiding
Department, Order No. 010120-02, or any other applicable rule, order, or policy; and
4. This order does not restrict or otherwise abrogate the express and inherent authority of
the court and its judges to provide for the orderly conduct of proceedings, including the
decision to permit or deny access to any courtroom or hallways adjacent to courtrooms;
1 and
5. Social distancing of at least six ( 6) feet shall be enforced in all courthouses, courtrooms,
business offices, and public areas to the extent possible.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND MAY BE AMENDED AS
CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE.

DATED: April 3, 2020

HON.,LORNA A. ALKSNE
PRESIDING JUDGE

 

4/1/2020

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA • COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
Release: Immediately Date: 04/1/2020

 

The following statement is from Honorable Judge Lorna Alksne,
Presiding Judge of the San Diego Superior Court:
I have requested an emergency extension from the California Supreme Court Chief Justice for the San
Diego Superior Court to remain closed through April 30, 2020. I have every reason to believe this request
will be granted and thus, our Court will not be open for regular court business on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Consistent with our current practices, we remain open for only emergency matters as described in General
Order 031820-34, as amended, which is available at sdcourt.ca.gov/coronavirus along with answers to
several of the Court’s most frequently asked questions during the closure.
All non-emergency civil, family, juvenile, probate and out-of-custody criminal matters will be recalendared
and notice will be sent in the mail for later dates.
The San Diego Superior Court is working with the District Attorney’s office, the Public Defender’s office
and the Sheriff’s department to set up a remote video appearance courtroom for all felonies and
misdemeanors in each court. Next week, the Court will start hearing cases where the defendant is in
custody and has a right to a hearing consistent with the additional time that has been ordered by the Chief
Justice. In these limited cases, the defendant will appear remotely from the detention facility and counsel
may have the option to appear by telephone as well.
All Criminal Defense counsel that have questions regarding in-custody matters should contact the District
Attorney’s office or City Attorney’s office. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to balance
the needs of the public with the health and safety of all Court users.
Lorna Alksne
Presiding Judge
San Diego Superior Court
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March 23 Update

 

SAN DIEGO ASSESSORS RECORDS AND COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE CLOSURES

 

All ARCC Offices Closed: No Over-The-Counter Services

Phone, Mail, E-mail, and Online Services Still Available

 

In accordance with the County Health Officer order regarding the

COVID-19, starting Monday March 23, 2020, we are closing our doors to the public and suspending all over-the-counter services at the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk’s Office until further notice.

 

The following services will continue to be available by phone, mail, online, and via E-mail:

 

 

  • Document Recording Services (by mail only)
  • Vital Records requests: Birth, Death, and Marriage Records (by mail or online)
  • Fictitious Business Name Statements (by mail)
  • Property Assessment Services
  • Copies of Official Records (by mail or online)
  • Notary Public Registrations (by mail)
  • Authentications (by mail)

 

Phone, mail and E-mail assistance contact:

 

Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk phone and E-mail information services will remain available. Many customer services are available online at www.SDARCC.com or:

 

Assessor Services: (619) 236-3771

Recorder Services: (619) 238-8158

Marriage/Birth/Death Records and Fictitious Business Names:  (619) 237-0502

 

E-mail Contact: Arcc.fgg@sdcounty.ca.gov

 

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 121750, San Diego, CA 92112

 

For more information from the County of San Diego about the coronavirus and real-time updates please visit www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus or sign up for text message updates by texting COSD COVID19 to 468-311.

 

 

 

NEWS RELEASE
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA • COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
Post Office Box 120 12 8 • S an Diego, CA 92 112 -01 28

Release: Immediately D ate : 03/ I 6/2020

San Diego Superior Court
To Reduce Court Operations During Pandemic
Non-Emergency Court Hearings to be Continued –
Jury Service, Clinics, Workshops and other Services Temporarily Closed.

In an effort to pro mote the health and safe ty of co ur t users and employees as well as mitigate communit y s p read of the Covid-19/Coro nav irus, The Sa n Diego S uperior Co ur t has suspe nded all non-e mergency service s effect ive March 17, 2020-April 3, 2020:

EXCEPT AS P ROVIDED BELOW, THE COURT WILL BE CLOSE D FOR:

CRIMINAL
All c1i mina l proceedin gs i nclud in g a rr a ig nments, read i ness, p rc -t1i a l motions, tria ls and se ntenc in g.

CIVIL
All civil p ro cee din gs will be rescheduled.
All Unlawful D eta iner (UD) matters will be resc heduled.

FAMILY
All family cou rt departme nts are closed.
All family c o urt counse li ng and med iat io n matt ers w ill be rescheduled.
The Fa mil y Law Fac ili tator’s o ffic e will be clo se d to the public.
All clinics and workshops have been cancelled.
All family support matters will be rescheduled.

(M ORE)
Superior Court of California, County of San Diego NEWS RELEASE
Page 2 of3 3/16/2020

TRAFFIC
All traffic matters will be rescheduled.
AH those cited to appear in Traffic Court will have a 30-day grace period starting when the court reopens all services (monitor sdcourt.ca.gov for service updates)

SMALL CLAIMS
A.11 Small Claims matters will be continued.
The Small Claims Advisor will be closed.

JUVENILE
All Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency matters will be continued.
All adoption and citation calendars will be continued.

PROBATE
All Probate hearings are suspended.
Al1 in-person visits related to guardianship and conservatorship cases wi11 be suspended.

THE COURT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR:

Chamber ex-parte requests for civil harassment TROs, DVTROs, and Gun Violence Protective Orders at each branch.
Emergency ex-parte lockout proceedings (UD).
One Family law judge at each branch will review ex-parte requests for emergency TROs, Guardianship requests where a minor’s safety is at Iisk.
One Juvenile judge will be available for emergency orders and Dependency detentions.
One Probate judge will be available to cover emergency conservatorship and other emergency orders in Probate.
All search warrants (day and night) will be electronically submitted.

(MORE)
Superior Court of California, County of San Diego NEWS RELEASE
Page 3 of3 3/16/2020

If you have a case and have a case-specific question, you are asked to submit an email. Non-case specific questions will not be answered. You must include your name and case number:

TRF@SDCOURT.CA.GOV CVL@SDCOURT.CA.GOV JURYSUPPORT@SDCOURT.CA.GOV PRB@SDCOURT.CA.GOV FAM@SDCOURT.CA.GOV SMC@SDCOURT.CA.GOV
(Traffic) (Civil) (Jury) (Probate) (Family)
(Small Claims)
In addition, effective March 17, 2020 – April 3, 2020, the Court will institute the following change:

JURY
All jurors summoned for the dates March 16, 2020-April 3, 2020, are not to report to the courthouse. You have fulfilled your service. Jurors summoned past April 5, 2020 are to monitor this website for additional information.

WORKSHOPS AND CLINICS
All workshops and clinics have been cancelled from March 16, 2020-April 3, 2020.

VOLUNTEERS
All Court Volunteers, including Temporary Judges and Justice Corps members, are not to report to their assigned courthouses.

COURT RESEARCHERS
All Court Research activities will be discontinued until after April 5, 2020. Please monitor sdcourt.ca.gov for any updated information on this activity.

The public is urged to monitor the San Diego Superior Court website (sdcourt.ca.gov) for updated information.

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