Hundreds of felony and misdemeanor cases that piled up during the pandemic have been dismissed in Riverside County Superior Court during the last two weeks because of a shortage of judges, according to the court’s presiding judge.

Like many trial courts in the state, Riverside relied on emergency orders from the chief justice during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed judges to extend the statutory deadlines for criminal proceedings, including the start date of trials. The orders reflected the backlog of unresolved matters that some courts faced because of temporary courtroom closures, staff absences due to illness, and difficulty finding jurors.