Covid-19 Updates for San Diego Superior Court

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

Update: October 15, 2020

F I L E D Clerk of the Superior Court

By: A HUSTED, Deputy
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
IN RE: EXTENSION OF TIME TO HOLD
PRELIMINARY HEARINGS
GENERAL ORDER OF THE
PRESIDING DEPARTMENT
ORDER NO. 101520-97
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in proclamations of states of emergency by federal,
state and local officials. The associated health and safety concerns, along with the County of San
Diego public health orders, have caused substantial operational impediments for the court.
On March 30, 2020, the Chief Justice issued a Statewide Order granting emergency powers
to all superior courts pursuant to her authority under the California Constitution, article VI, section
6 and Government Code§ 68115 (“March 30, 2020 Statewide Order”). Among other things, this
order authorized superior courts to issue implementation orders that extend the time period
provided in Penal Code § 859b for the holding of a preliminary examination and the defendant’s
right to release from 10 court days to not more than 30 court days.
Ill
Ill
Ill
Pursuant to the March 30, 2020 Statewide Order, this Court HEREBY FINDS AND
ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:

The Court extends the time period provided in Penal Code § 859b for the holding of a
preliminary examination from ten ( 10) court days to not more than thirty (30) court
days, applicable only to cases in which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire
from November 1, 2020, to November 30, 2020, inclusive.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND MAY BE AMENDED AS
CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE.
DATED: October 15, 2020

HO~ NE
PRESIDING JUDGE

Update: September 9, 2020

SEP O 8 2020
By: A. HUSTED, Deputy
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
IN RE: EXTENSION OF ORDER
APPOINTING NEW COUNSEL IN NEW
CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE
CASES
GENERAL ORDER OF THE
PRESIDING DEPARTMENT
ORDER NO. 090820-88
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor of California declared a state of
emergency in this state. The President of the United States has also declared a national emergency.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant health and safety concerns nationally,
throughout the State of California, and in San Diego County.
In response to the pandemic, the court was closed to the public and suspended services,
except for certain time-sensitive and essential functions, from March 17 to May 22, 2020. (See
General Orders of the Presiding Department, Ord. Nos. 031820-34, 040320-39, and 043020-47.)
The court resumed most services on May 26, 2020; however, with community spread of COVID-
19 still a concern, many services have been and will continue to be provided remotely, and the
court continues to experience substantial operational impediments.
For good cause and pursuant to the court’s inherent supervisory and administrative
authority and the Presiding Judge’s duty to promote access to justice for all members of the public,
taking 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 I 0.603), this court HEREBY FINDS AND
ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:
The orders set forth in this court’s General Order of the Presiding Department, In re:
Appointment of Counsel in New Criminal and Juvenile Justice Cases to be Filed Once the Court
J is Fully Operational After the COVID-19 Pandemic, Order No. 032720-37, as extended by General
Order Nos. 052720-57, 062920-70, and 080320-80, are extended from September 18, 2020,
through November 17, 2020, inclusive, for all cases in which the San Diego District Attorney’s
Office (“DA”) and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office (“CA”) file new criminal or juvenile
justice charges.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT
UNTIL OTHERWISE ORDERED BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE.

PRESIDING JUDGE

Update: July 21, 2020

 

SUSPENSION OF NONESSENTIAL OPERATIONS AT JUVENILE COURTHOUSE

ORDER NO. 072120-76
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in proclamations of states of emergency by federal,
state, and local officials and has caused substantial operational impediments to the Juvenile
Courthouse located at 2851 Meadow Lark Drive, San Diego, California 92123 (“Juvenile
Courthouse”). Pursuant to the court’s inherent and supervisory authority, 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), the authority granted under
Government Code section 68115, and the July 21, 2020, Order of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-
Sakauye, Chair of the California Judicial Council, issued in response to the court’s July 20, 2020,
Request for a Judicial Emergency Order, this court HEREBY FINDS AND ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:
I. July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020, inclusive, are deemed holidays for purposes of
computing time for filing papers required to be filed at the Juvenile Courthouse, under
Code of Civil Procedure §§ 12 and 12a.

July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020, inclusive, are deemed holidays for purposes of
computing time under Welfare and Institutions Code§§ 313,315,334,631,632,637
and 657 for matters at the Juvenile Courthouse.  From July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020, inclusive, the Juvenile Courthouse will be closed
to the public, except with regard to the following time-sensitive, essential functions:
• Juvenile dependency detention hearings with all parties appearing remotely.
• Juvenile justice detention hearings with all parties appearing remotely.
• Protective custody warrants filed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 340.
• Ex parte medication requests and other emergency medical requests.
• Juvenile Temporary Restraining Orders and other Emergency Juvenile Orders.
• Such other matters that the court determines to be necessary and essential.
To the extent the court accepts and/or processes filings associated with the timesensitive,
essential functions described in Paragraph 3, such acceptance and/or
processing shall not alter the designation and application of the court holidays and
extensions provided by this Order.
5. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT ALL OTHER MATTERS HAVE BEEN
CONTINUED BY THE COURT. The parties shall receive further notice stating the
specific time and date of the continuance in their cases.
6. The court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code § 313
within which a minor taken into custody pending dependency proceedings must be
released from custody to not more than 7 days, applicable only to minors for whom the
statutory deadline otherwise would expire from July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020,
inclusive, for matters at the Juvenile Courthouse.
7. The court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code § 315
within which a minor taken into custody pending dependency proceedings must be
given a detention hearing to not more than 7 days, applicable only to minors for
whom the statutory deadline otherwise would expire from July 20, 2020, to July 31,
2020, inclusive, for matters at the Juvenile Courthouse.

The court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code§§ 632
and 637 within which a minor taken into custody pending wardship proceedings and
charged with a felony offense must be given a detention hearing or rehearing to not
more than 7 days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline
otherwise would expire from July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020, inclusive, for matters at
the Juvenile Courthouse.
9. The court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code§ 334
within which a hearing on a juvenile dependency petition must be held by not more
than 15 days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline otherwise
would expire from July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020, inclusive, for matters at the
Juvenile Courthouse.
10. The court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code§ 657
within which a hearing on a wardship petition for a minor charged with a felony
offense must be held by not more than 15 days, applicable only to minors for whom
t 5 the statutory deadline otherwise would expire from July 20, 2020, to July 31, 2020,
inclusive, for matters at the Juvenile Courthouse .
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND MAY BE AMENDED AS
CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE.

 

 

Update: July 16, 2020

Virtual Services Offered by the San Diego Superior Court
In-person services limited due to COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person services at the San Diego Superior Court remain limited, but virtual hearings, workshops and other online services have increased.
Virtual Hearings
Since the first San Diego Superior Court virtual hearing occurred on April 6 for a Criminal case and with the launch of remote hearings for Traffic cases on Friday, July 17, more than 100 courtrooms are in use across all case types.
More than 11,100 Traffic matters that were previously scheduled for in-person hearings are all being rescheduled for remote hearings.
Family law, civil restraining orders and unlawful detainer matters recently launched virtual hearings as well. Thirteen courtrooms that hear pre-trial criminal matters including arraignments and preliminary exams are equipped to livestream the hearings through links available at sdcourt.ca.gov.
“In just three months, we’ve moved a significant amount of our operations to online or remote access and we continue to move full speed ahead in the interest of safely serving the needs of all San Diegans,” said Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne. “Even with reducing the number of people physically coming into the courthouses, we have provided assistance and access to justice for thousands of people in these rapidly changing circumstances.”
Virtual Self-Help Services
The Court’s Family Law Facilitator (FLF) can help individuals without an attorney by answering questions about family law issues and helping prepare court forms. In-person Family Law Facilitator assistance at the Central, North, East and South County Courthouses is limited to emergency restraining orders, but workshops and other services are now available online. Virtual divorce workshops are hosted daily in English and on Mondays in Spanish. Guardianship workshops are hosted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reservations for these workshops can be made online at iflow.sdcourt.ca.gov. In addition to the workshops, almost all FLF services are available via telephone, videoconference or email and can be requested by filling out an online questionnaire or calling 619-844-2249.
Remote self-help services are also available by phone through the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Center for Community Solutions and the Court’s Small Claims Legal Advisor.
Virtual Community Outreach & Education
Distance learning made visits to the courtroom and in-person presentations from judges impossible this spring, but adaptation to virtual visits was swift, particularly for the Judges in the Classroom program. Judges in the Classroom is a program developed by the Chief Justice’s Power of Democracy Steering Committee to educate students on the judicial branch, the Constitution, rule of law, and related topics. The program launched in San Diego in 2018 with several Superior Court judges visiting 1st-12th graders throughout the county.
“The need for civic learning in schools has remained vital throughout the pandemic and many of our judges jumped at the chance to quickly shift the program to an interactive and engaging virtual format,” said Judge Carolyn Caietti, San Diego Superior Court judge and member of the statewide Power of Democracy Steering Committee. “Critical thinking is highlighted through real-world cases and explanations. This program has a lasting impact on the students and I am excited for us to bring judges into more classrooms in the coming school year.”
More than 580 students participated in 18 virtual Judges in the Classroom programs in May and June alone. By comparison, close to the same number of in-person presentations were held throughout the first half of school year. Teachers, including summer programs, may request a Judge in the Classroom presentation online.
Beginning in the fall, the San Diego Superior Court will offer virtual tours for 5th-12th graders. Tours will bring classes through the Central Courthouse, showing all aspects of a courtroom and ending with a demonstration of what happens during a trial.
For more information on the Court’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit sdcourt.ca.gov/coronavirus.
# # #

Update: April 30, 2020

Clerk of the San Diego Superior Court

APR 3 0 2020

By: C.McCoy

GENERAL ORDER OF THE PRESIDING DEPARTMENT

ORDER NO. 043020-47

  • The World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and
  • Prevention, the State of California, and counties throughout the state, including the County of San
  • Diego, have recognized that we are all facing a life-threatening pandemic caused by the COVID-
  • 19
  • On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency and, on March 13,
  • 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national Due to the growing severity of the
  • pandemic, on March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 that, among
  • other things, requires individuals to stay at home or at their place of residence with certain specified
  • Currently, the County of San Diego is under a Shelter-In-Place order that, among
  • other things, precludes gatherings of more than one person, requires schools to remain closed
  • (except for distance learning), and requires all non-essential businesses to remain closed (except
  • where employees can work from home).
  • On March 23, 2020, the Chief Justice issued a Statewide Order granting emergency powers
  • to all superior courts pursuant to her authority under the California Constitution, article VI, section
  • 6 and Government Code§ 68115 (“March 23, 2020 Statewide Order”). Among other things, this order suspended jury trials for a period of 60 days, and extended the statutory deadlines for holding
  • criminal and civil
  • On March 30, 2020, the Chief Justice issued a second Statewide Order granting further

emergency powers to all superior courts. This order authorized superior courts to issue

  • implementation orders that: (i) extended the time period provided in Penal Code § 859b for the
  • holding of a preliminary examination and the defendant’s right to release from 10 court days to

not more than 30 court days; (ii) extended the time period provided in Penal Code § 825 within

  • which a defendant charged with a felony offense must be taken before a magistrate from 48 hours
  • to not more than 7 days; (iii) extended the time period provided in Penal Code § 1382 for the
  • holding of a criminal trial by no more than 60 days from the last date on which the statutory
  • deadline otherwise would have expired; and (iv) extended the time periods provided in Code of

Civil Procedure§§ 583.310 and 583.320 to bring an action to trial by not more than 60 days from

  • the last date on which the statutory deadline otherwise would have These time extensions
  • were in addition to any relief provided pursuant to a court-specific emergency order issued under
  • Government Code § 68115 relating to another time extension or form of
  • Between April 6, 2020 and April 20, 2020, the Judicial Council issued Emergency Rules 1
  • through 13. These Rules pertain to a number of different
  • On April 29, 2020, the Chief Justice issued a third Statewide Order granting further
  • emergency relief. Among other things, this order provided that the 60-day continuance of criminal
  • jury trials and the 60-day extension of time in which to conduct a criminal trial under Penal Code

§ 1382, are extended an additional 30 days.

  • In addition, upon the renewed request of Presiding Judge Loma Alksne, on April 29,
  • 2020 the Chief Justice determined that the conditions described in Government Code§ 68115(a)
  • continue to exist and authorized the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, to
  • undertake a number of

 

Pursuant to the above-described actions, rules and orders, as well as the Court’s inherent

  • supervisory and administrative authority enabling it to carry out its duties, this Court HEREBY

3       FINDS AND ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:

1.   All  dates  from  May  1,  2020,  to  May  22,  2020,  inclusive,  are  deemed  holidays for

purposes of computing time for filing papers under Code of Civil Procedure§§ 12 and

12a.

  • All dates from May 1, 2020, to May 22, 2020, inclusive, are deemed holidays for
  • purposes of computing time under Welfare and Institutions Code§§ 334,631,632,637

and 657.

  • All dates from March 17, 2020, to April 30, 2020, inclusive, have been deemed
  • holidays for purposes of computing time under Penal Code § 825. Beginning May 1,
  • 2020, the emergency holiday designation for purposes of Penal Code § 825 no longer
  • From May 1, 2020, to May 22, 2020, inclusive, all courthouses and courtrooms will be
  • closed to the public as described in Paragraph 18 below. However, the functions and
  • services enumerated in the document entitled Services That May Be Provided By The
  • San Diego Superior Court During The COVID-19 Pandemic (SDSC Form# ADM-
  • 385), a copy of which is posted on the Court’s website at sdcourt.ca.gov, may go
  • forward during the court closure. ADM-385 will be updated from time to time as
  • additional services are authorized during the
  • All matters scheduled from May 1, 2020, inclusive, to May 22, 2020, inclusive, which
  • are not included in the services set forth in paragraph 4, above, are continued and will
  • be reset. Notice will be provided to all
  • To the extent the Court accepts and/or processes filings or holds hearings associated
  • with the services being provided during the court closure, described in Paragraph 4, or
  • performs preliminary  administrative work  on files to prepare  for the resumption of
  • services, this shall  not alter  the designation  and application  of the court  holidays  and
  • extensions provided by this

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The Court  extends  the  time  period  provided  in  Penal  Code  §  825  within  which a
  • defendant charged with a felony offense must be taken before a magistrate from forty­
  • eight (48) hours to not more than seven (7) days, applicable only to cases in which the

statutory  deadline  otherwise  would  expire  from  May  1, 2020, to May  22,  2020,

inclusive.

8. The Court extends the time period provided in Penal Code § 859b for the holding of a

  • preliminary examination from ten (10) court days to not more than thirty (30) court
  • days, applicable only to cases in which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire
  • from March 17, 2020, to May 22, 2020, (Statewide Emergency Order by Hon.
  • Tani Cantil-Sakauye, March 30, )
  • The Court extends the time period provided in Penal Code§ 1382 for the holding of a
  • criminal trial by ninety (90) days, applicable only to cases in which the statutory
  • deadline otherwise would expire from March 17, 2020, to June 15, 2020,

14                                  (Statewide Emergency Order by Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, April 29, 2020.)

  • The Court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code§§ 632
  • and 637 within which a minor taken into custody  pending  wardship  proceedings and
  • charged with a felony offense must be given a detention hearing or rehearing to not
  • more than seven (7) days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline
  • otherwise would expire from May 1, 2020, to May 22, 2020,
  • The Court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code§ 334
  • within which a hearing on a juvenile dependency petition must be held by not more
  • than fifteen (15) days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline
  • otherwise would expire from May 1, 2020, to May 22, 2020,
  • The Court extends the time period provided in Welfare and Institutions Code § 657
  • within which a hearing on a wardship petition for a minor charged with a felony
  • offense must be held by not more than fifteen (15) days, applicable only to minors for
  • whom the statutory deadline otherwise would expire from May 1, 2020, to May 22,
  • 2020,

 

  1. Further, the Court declares that the time period from May 1, 2020, to May 22, 2020,
  • inclusive, is deemed a holiday/holidays for purposes of computing time under Code of
  • Civil Procedure § 1167 (five (5) day period within which defendant must respond to a complaint in an unlawful detainer action).

14. Further, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure§ 116.570(a), the Court finds and declares

  • that good cause exists for postponing the time period within which a small claims
  • matter may be heard as provided in Code of Civil Procedure § 116.330(a). The Court
  • will issue orders re-setting the hearings of all small claims matters that have been
  • continued as a result of the COVID-19
  • As authorized by California Rules of Court, Emergency rule 8((b)(4), any restraining
  • order or protective order after hearing that is set to expire during the state of emergency
  • related to the COVID-19 pandemic is automatically extended for 90 days from the date

of expiration to enable a protected party to seek renewal of the restraining order.

16. General Order 040120-38A is amended to remain effective through and including May

22, 2020.

  • The Court hereby extends by thirty (30) days the time periods to obtain relief provided
  • by Penal Code§
  • Through May 22, 2020, access to any and all San Diego Superior Court courthouses
  • shall be authorized and restricted as follows:
  • Through May 22, 2020, access to any and all courthouses, courtrooms, business
  • offices, and public areas shall be restricted at all times to judges, commissioners,
  • court staff, persons seeking services authorized by paragraph 4 above, persons

required to appear for scheduled hearings, and other authorized persons; and

b.   Through  May  22, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The term  “other  authorized  persons”  in  subparagraphs  (a)  and  (b) 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
  • 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; and
  • Social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall be enforced in all courthouses ,
  • courtrooms , business offices, and public areas to the extent
  • Effective May 1, 2020, the following General Orders are rescinded as moot: General
  • Order 032420-36; General Order 040320-40; and General Order 042320-46 .

20. Court employees who are called to work during this time period are necessary to

provide essential services for the Court and the public.

 

 

 

  THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

 

 

 

 

PRESIDING JUDGE

Update April 20, 2020

APR 2 0 2020
By: C.McCoy
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
IN RE: SECOND IMPLEMENTATION
ORDER OF THE PRESIDING JUDGE RE
COVID-19 PANDEMIC
(Addendum Three)
GENERAL ORDER OF THE
PRESIDING DEPARTMENT
ORDER NO. 042020-45
Due to the ongoing health and safety issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the
emergency declarations and orders of government officials related thereto as outlined in the
General Order of the Presiding Department, IN RE: Second Implementation Order of the Presiding
Judge Re: COVID-19 Pandemic, Order No. 040320-39, and in order to meet the need of providing
essential court functions to the community, the court issues this addendum to General Order No.
040320-39 and adds the following items to the list of time-sensitive, essential functions
enumerated in paragraph 4 therein that may go forward during the current court closure:
• Upon remittitur from the California Supreme Court or a California Court of Appeal,
the issuance, filing and processing of documents, including orders and judgments,
to effectuate orders issued by the appellate court.
• The issuance, filing and processing of documents, including orders and judgments,
in order to comply with any orders or directives issued by an appellate court or the
Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.

This addendum solely adds the above to the list of time-sensitive and/or essential functions
that will go forward during the emergency closure of the court and makes no other changes to
General Order No. 040320-39.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND MAY BE AMENDED AS
CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE.

LORNA A. ALKSNE
PRESIDING JUDGE

Update: APR 17, 2020

By:C.McCoy
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
IN RE: SECOND IMPLEMENTATION
ORDER OF THE PRESIDING JUDGE RE
COVID-19 PANDEMIC
(Addendum Two)
GENERAL ORDER OF THE
PRESIDING DEPARTMENT
ORDER NO. 041720-44

Due to the ongoing health and safety issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the
emergency declarations and orders of government officials related thereto as outlined in the
General Order of the Presiding Department, IN RE: Second Implementation Order of the Presiding
Judge Re: COVID-19 Pandemic, Order No. 040320-39, and in order to meet the need of providing
essential court functions to the community, the court issues this addendum to General Order No.
040320-39 and adds the following items to the list of time-sensitive, essential functions
enumerated in paragraph 4 therein that will go forward during the current court closure:
• Juvenile Restraining Orders and Disposition Hearings.
• Emergency requests pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code § 827.
• Motions for New Trial pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure§§ 656 et seq.
• Motions for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict pursuant to Code of Civil
Procedure § 629.
• Pursuant to Emergency Rules of Court, rule 6(c)(5), exparte Juvenile Dependency
requests asking the court to adopt the recommendations of the child welfare agency
(including but not limited to family maintenance reviews, post permanency
planning reviews, and 6-month, 12-month and 18-month reviews) where all counsel
have submitted written stipulations.
• Effective April 20, 2020, Petitions for Writ of Habeas Corpus and any motions and
filings related thereto.
This addendum solely adds the above to the list of time-sensitive and/or essential functions
that will go forward during the emergency closure of the court and makes no other changes to
General Order No. 040320-39.
THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND MAY BE AMENDED AS
CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE.

DATED: April 17, 2020

HON. LORNA A. ALKSNE
PRESIDING JUDGE

 

 

 

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 10, 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, are 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, Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Workplace
Violence and School Violence Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) and Gun Violence Protective
Orders.
• Emergency ex parte lockout proceedings (Unlawful Detainer).
• Ex parte requests for emergency Family TROs and other emergency orders for all types of Family
matters.
• Juvenile justice and dependency detention hearings and other emergency orders.
• One Probate judge will be available to cover emergency conservatorships and guardianships as well
as other emergency orders in Probate. Please email PRB@SDCOURT.CA.GOV.
• Search warrants and abatement warrants.
• Petitions for writ seeking emergency relief in unlawful detainer matters.
• Petitions for writ of habeas corpus challenging quarantine orders.
• 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).
• Time-sensitive and other miscellaneous criminal matters including 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 and requests and orders for release from
custody pursuant to stipulations between defense counsel and the prosecution.
• Via remote telephone conference, a Mental Health Hearing Officer will be available to conduct
Riese Hearings and certain Certification Review Hearings. In addition, a judge will hear writs and
appeals arising from those hearings.
SERVICES SUSPENDED 3/17/2020 – 4/30/2020:
Criminal
• Most criminal proceedings, including 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 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 extended, 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.
• 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 extended, 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 is 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.
• 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.

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
# # #

 

 

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.

# # #