Contra Costa County Superior Court located at 725 Court Street, Martinez CA (Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM) Contra Costa County Superior Court located at 725 Court Street, Martinez CA (Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM)

This list was updated on 3/30/2020 at 11:51 PM. 

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued an order March 30 authorizing courts to extend deadlines for arraigning defendants and holding preliminary hearings. The order also allows courts to use technology allowing proceedings to take place remotely.

The actions follow a separate March 23 order suspending jury trials in all superior courts for 60 days. The order also gave trial courts broad authority to adopt rules addressing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic that don’t have to be vetted in the normal public-comment process.

Courts will also be allowed to hold trials before 60 days if they can do so through remote appearances or if they declare “good cause showing.”

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has issued emergency orders for 59 courts.

Here’s a look at how courts across the state are grappling with the threat of the novel coronavirus as of Monday night.

Alameda County Superior Court: The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 17 to close all courthouse locations through April 7 to comply with the Bay Area’s six-county shelter-in-place protocol. All jury trials have been continued, according to information posted by the court. Limited criminal matters are taking place. On March 25 Presiding Judge Tara Desautels, issued a general order authorizing the release of certain low-risk offenders arrested for failing to appear at previously scheduled court dates. The released individuals were ordered to appear 8 weeks from their current arrest dates. The court on March 27 announced expanded use of video services in certain proceedings, including misdemeanor arraignments.

Alpine County Superior Court: All scheduled in-person hearings, with the exception of time-limited criminal matters, will be rescheduled to May, the court announced on March 17. Anyone entering the court house will be asked to keep six feet away from other people. 

Amador County Superior Court: The chief justice has issued an order declaring a court holiday between March 17 and March 31 for certain filing and statutory deadlines. The court is closed until April 6 and sent out rescheduling notices on March 27. Court phones will be open April 6 for questions with minimal staffing.

Butte County Superior Court:  The court reopened March 30 for limited services. The chief justice on March 23 issued a second emergency order authorizing the court to extend deadlines for more classes of cases.

Calaveras County Superior Court: Parties are encouraged to use online services. The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 18 authorizing it to extend the deadline for holding criminal trials by 30 days. Clerks’ counters are closed to the public.

Colusa County Superior Court:  The court announced March 19 that it will close to the public between March 20 and April 3. Clerk windows will be closed. “Felony preliminary hearings, domestic violence restraining orders, juvenile detention and emergency hearings will held on Wednesdays 9:00a.m. or as otherwise scheduled by the court” The chief justice’s emergency order is here.

Contra Costa County Superior Court: The court extended its general closure through April 30 and began accepting filings for emergency criminal and juvenile matters on March 30.  Limited filings will be accepted in other matters starting April 6. In-custody arraignments will occur but will be closed to the public.

Del Norte County Superior Court:  The court is closed through April 1. The court expectts to re-open April 2 for emergency and essential matters. The chief justice issued an emergency order March 20 allowing the court to hold sessions anywhere in the county, including the jail and juvenile hall. The period between March 20 and April 17 will be deemed a court holiday for the purpose of calculating holidays.

El Dorado County Superior Court: ”All time waived preliminary hearings, court trials, contested hearings of any sort, and jury trials pending between March 17, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are hereby vacated. On its own motion, the Court will reset all hearings to a future date,” the court announcedAll clerk’s counters in all facilities have been closed. The chief justice issued an emergency order extending deadlines for certain matters.

Fresno County Superior Court: The court announced March 22 that it will close courthouses through April 3 except for “limited emergency matters.” Jurors in ongoing trials will be required to return when the court reopens. The chief justice issued an order March 17 declaring  March 17 to April 3 holidays for purposes of calculating time for certain statutory deadlines. Other deadlines have been extended from 10 to 15 days. The court issued a general order on operations stating it would only handle the following: ex parte request for civil harassment temporary restraining orders, domestic violence restraining orders, gun violence restraining orders, and emergency ex parte lockout proceedings in unlawful detainer; emergency petitions for temporary conservatorship; emergency petitions for temporary guardianship; search warrants, emergency protective orders, and bail setting; juvenile temporary restraining orders and other emergency juvenile orders; family emergency temporary restraining orders; emergency writs regarding COVID-19 emergency measures; and writs of habeas corpus regarding medical quarantines.

Glenn County Superior Court: The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 18 extending the deadline for holding a criminal trial by up to 30 days for cases where the statutory deadline would have expired between March 23 and April 22. Presiding Judge Donald Boyd issued an order March 23 limiting access to the courthouses through May 18 and settting operations procedures.

Humboldt County Superior Court:  The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court authorizing the presiding judge to extend deadlines. Jurors have been told not to report until they receive a summons at some date in the future. The court will operate with limited calendars and will broadcast all public hearings.   

Imperial County Superior Court: The court is scheduled to reopen for limited criminal and juvenile matters on April 1 in the El Centro courthouse. The Brawley courthouse will be closed at least through April 6. The court adopted amended rules March 26 allowing Penal Code 977 waivers.

Inyo County Superior Court: The court announced that all jury trials through April 13 have been vacated. “Subject to judicial discretion, the Court will liberally grant hearing continuances upon request and will be reducing calendar sizes and stagger the calling of different case types to minimize health and safety concerns.” Presiding Judge Brian Lamb issued a nine-page order detailing new operations procedures, including limited acesss to courthouses, on March 20.

Kern County Superior Court:  The court on March 23 barred anyone from the courthouse who does not have to appear at a hearing that day. The court will handle only urgent matters through April 10. Other hearings will be re-scheduled. Clerk windows are closed to the public until further notice. An order by the chief justice issued March 19 extends filing and proceedings deadlines.

Kings County Superior Court:  The court on March 18 continued all trials and traffic hearings will be continued for up to 30 days. Interior customer service counters will be closed to the public, the court announced.  The chief justice issued an emergency order authorizing the extension of deadlines.

Lake County Superior Court: The court announced on March 30 that it will close  except for limited proceedings through May 1. The court, which received an emergency order from the chief justice, will only handle emergency matters starting April 1.

Lassen County Superior Court: In a March 26 order, the court announced limited public access to the courthouse through May 15. Proceedings involving in-custody defendants are being held via video conferences  Cases are being rescheduled.

LA superior court Los Angeles Superior Court

Los Angeles County Superior Court:  Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile on March 23 issued a new order restricting courthouse access to only those people with business before the court on a particular day. Almost 400 courtrooms remain closed and trials remain suspended. The courthouse in Sylmar was closed or three days starting March 23 after a deputy public defender tested positive for COVID-19. Judges, attorneys and courtroom staff have been told to quarantine. A juvenile dependency judge with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 iwas in quarantine on March 23, as were court staff in contact with him. Clerk’s offices in all courthouses are closed.

Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile announced an expedited process on March 24 that will allow certain pre-trial defendants to be released from jail.  The list of those released was agreed to be sheriff’s officials, prosecutors and public defenders.

Madera County Superior Court:  The chief justice issued a new order for the court on March 26 allowing court officials to hold proceedings anywhere in the county , including the jail, and to extend deadlines.  A March 26 order by Presiding Judge Dale Blea encourages attorneys and  litigants in non-criminal matters to file documents by fax and to appear by telephone whenever possible.

Marin County Superior Court: The court has closed for all non-essential matters until April 7, based on an order from the chief justice. One criminal arraignment courtroom, one family and civil law courtroom and one juvenile and delinquency and dependency courtroom will remain open to handle pressing matters.

Mariposa County Superior Court: The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 23 allowing the court to hold proceedings anywhere in the county, including jail. The court’s order declares a court holiday between March 23 and April 19 for the purposes of calculating deadlines.  A court notice says the courthouse is “susbstantially closed” through April 19 and the public will not be allowed in without prior approval.

Mendocino County Superior Court: An order signed by Presiding Judge Ann Moorman limits public access to courthouses in Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Some criminal and civil matters are being postponed. The chief justice declared the period from March 17 to April 3 a court holiday for purposes of calculating some statutory deadlines under an order issued March 17. Preaiding Judge Ann Moorman’s March 16 order is here.

Merced County Superior Court: Effective March 17 through April 28, civil jury trials, time-waived misdemeanor jury trials, and time-waived felony out-of-custody jury trials will be continued on a rolling basis for eight weeks. Starting March 23, courtrooms will only handle “essential matters.” Clerk’s offices will be closed to the public, except for emergency filings.

A judge on March 19 declared a mistrial in a homicide case in the Merced courthouse after an expected witness, who had attended courtroom proceedings in previous days, announced that he was seeking medical attention after a  law enforcement colleague tested positive for COVID-19.

The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 23.

Modoc County Superior Court: The court has vacated jury trials scheduled to begin on or before April 13. “Counsel in all civil, family law and probate matters scheduled to appear between March 17, 2020 to and including April 13, 2020 should plan on attendins via Court- Call,” Presiding Judge Francis Barclay wrote in a March 17 order.

Mono County Superior Court: The Mammoth Lakes and Bridgeport courthouses are handling only “time-sensitive and essential” functions, according to a posting by the court. The court on March 23 confirmed that jury trials have been suspended until further notice.

Monterey County Superior Court: The court has suspended all non-essential functions through April 3. Based on the chief justice’s order, all jury trials have been suspended through May 22. All clerk’s office functions are closed to the public. The court received an order from the chief justice declaring a court holiday until April 6 for the purposes of calculating deadlines in some matters. The court issued new guidance on March 26.

Napa County Superior Court: The chief justice signed an emergency order for the court that declares the days between March 18 and April 10 a holiday for purposes of calculating case deadlines. “All civil jury and bench trials, trial management conferences and/or mandatory settlement conferences currently set between Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and Friday, April 10, 2020 will be vacated,” the court announced. The court is closed to the public for all but “time sensitive or emergency matters” through April 10.

Nevada County Superior Court:   Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to start between March 17  and April 14, were vacated.  The court will remain open for limited, time-sensitive matters, the court said on March 19. The chief justice issued a third emergency order for the court on March 23.

Orange County Superior Court: The court is closed to the public, with minimal exceptions, until April 24. The court has set up an email portal to answer questions about closures. The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 26. Presiding Judge Kirk Nakamura issued an amended administrative order on March 24. The court is live streaming some proceedings.

Placer County Superior Court: The court issued updated guidance March 20:  “The Placer County Superior Court will reduce to critical minimum functions. The Court will focus efforts on matters involving civil liberties, restraining orders, and similar emergency matters.”

The chief justices order is here.

Plumas County Superior Court: An order by the chief justice authorizes a court holiday between March 24 and April 21 for the purpose of calculating statutory and filing deadlines. Starting March 24, the court will handle only pressing mattters, according to a notice posted by the court.

Riverside County Superior Court: The court announced courtroom closures around the county.  Only limited emergency matters will be handled through April 3. The chief justice issued a third emergency order for the court on  March 23.

Sacramento County Superior Court:  The presiding judge on March 30 extended the court’s general closure until April 16. The court in a March 19 order closed courthoues and courtrooms except for urgent matters including temporary restraining orders, emergency petitions, search warrants, protective orders, and emergency writs. The court is posting updates for various court operations here

San Benito County Superior Court: The court is rescheduling numerous matters through May 4. Public counters are closed.

San Bernardino County Superior Court: The court is closed for all non-emergency measures through April 2. The court’s implementation order is here.  The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 17.

San Diego County Superior Court: The court has suspended all non-emergency services between through April 3, according to a  press release. On March 24, the court expanded the number of urgent matters judges will handle during the service suspension. The court received a second emergency order from the chief justice on March 18. All jury service through May 22 is dismissed.

San Francisco Superior Court: The court has closed approximately 75 percent of its courtrooms and clerk’s offices through April 15, according to a statement released March 16. On March 24, Presiding Judge Garrett Wong issued a new five-page general order outlining numerous deadline and procedural changes. The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 19. 

San Joaquin County Superior Court: The court suspended all non-emergency services through April 3. All courthouses are closed to the public for general business. The chief justice  issued an emergency order for the court on March 17. The court will be closed on March 30 and March 31.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court:  Courts in Paso Robles and Grover Beach are closed to the public. Public access to the San Luis Obispo court will be restricted to parties with matters on the limited calendar that day. Here is the chief justice’s order.

San Mateo County Superior Court:  Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued an emergency order allowing the court to extend time limits to conduct preliminary hearings. With few exceptions, the public is barred from the courthouse through April 7. Civil, small claims and most criminal and family matters have been suspended or rescheduled. The court issued a related order.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court: Presiding Judge Michael Carrozzo signed an order continuing most matters to a date after April 3. Most courtrooms are closed and the court is only handling pressing matters. The chief justice has issued an emergency order for the court.

Santa Clara County Superior Court: Starting March 17, the court suspended all non-essential functions for three weeks. Seventeen courtrooms will remain in use in four San Jose courthouses to handle pressing matters. The chief justice has issued three emergency orders for the court.  The court on March 23 announced that only people who have hearings before the court will be allowed into courthouses.

“The Santa Clara County Superior Court is not processing any legal paperwork or holding any court proceedings that would result in eviction from a residence or commercial property during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.”

Santa Cruz County Superior Court: The court has curtailed many non-urgent services. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on Wednesday.

Shasta County Superior Court: The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 23 extending statutory and filing deadlnes. The court is consolidating limited services in the Justice Center. Clerk’s offices are closed.

Sierra County Superior Court: The court is closed is until April 3. except for emergency matters. An emergency order from the chief justice authorizes the court to declare a court holiday until April 3 for the purposes of computing some filing and statutory deadlines.

Siskiyou County Superior Court: The court on March 22 announced that it will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only through April 17.  The court will also be closed Thursday, except for emergency matters. The chief justice signed an emergency order March 19 allowing the court to declare a holiday between March 23 and April 17 for the purposes of calculating time for filing and statutory deadlines.

Solano County Superior Court: The court recieved an emergency  order from the chief justice, effective March 17 to April 3, to reset and continue almost all matters before the court. All clerk’s offices are closed to the public.

Sonoma County Superior Court: The court has closed to the public through April 3. The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 18. The court is posting general orders for operations here.

Stanislaus County Superior Court: The court received an emergency order from the chief justice allowing it to hold sessions anywhere in the county and declaring March 18 to April 16 a court holiday for purposes of calculating statutory and filing deadlines. The court is rescheduling all civil trials except unlawful detainers and is suspending all non-emergency services. The clerk’s office is closed.

Sutter County Superior Court: The court is handling limited matters only through April 10. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 20

Tehama County Superior Court: The court announced  that it will close to the public through April 3. Calendars will be modified and previously scheduled matters will be reset. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 19.

Trinity County Superior Court: The court is closed through April 17. Presiding Judge Michael Harper issued an order on March 23 re-setting filing and statutory deadlines.

Tulare County Superior Court:  The court has “substantially closed ” to the public through April 16. Only parties with business before the court on a given day will be allowed into the courthouse. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 17.

Tuolumne County Superior Court: The chief justice issued an emergency order March 19 allowing the court to hold sessions anywhere in the county, including the jail. The order declares the period between March 23 and April 22 a court holiday for purposes of calculating filing and statutory deadlines. The court issued guidance for court users on March 20.

Ventura County Superior Court: The court will limit operations through April 17. All civil trials were suspended for 90 days.  “A small number of courtrooms will be operating to hear urgent criminal, juvenile, temporary restraining order issues and emergency ex parte Family Law, Civil and Probate matters only,” the court said online. The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 20.

Yolo County Superior Court: Interior service windows are closed. The court continued all civil and criminal jury trials until May 4, except for those with no time waived, domestic violence matters, and other priority cases. All judges will encourage social distancing within their courtrooms, avoiding situations where contagion could happen such as the use of microphones. The chief justice ssued a second emergency order on March 30 extending deadlines until April 28. 

Yuba County Superior Court: The court is closed through April 9, even for limited matters. The chief justice issued an emergency order authorizing the court to declare the period between March 20 and April 9 a holiday for the purpose of calculating filing and statuory deadlines. Presiding Judge Debra Givens issued a related order

The California Supreme Court: The court announced in a second amended order issued March 27 that in next month’s oral arguments no more than five justices will be seated at the bench  for any argument session. The remaining justices will participate remotely. Media seatinng will be limited to comply with physical distance recommendations. As announce previously, counsel in the cases will appear by telephone or videoconference. 

The court on March 16 suspended in-person oral arguments until ”deemed prudent to resume normal measures.” Counsel will appear by video or telephone. All oral argument sessions will be held in San Francisco. The sessions will be open to the public but seating will be limited. Until the suspension order was issued, the court was scheduled to be in session the week of April 6 in Los Angeles.

The court also extended mandatory filings of all documents, including briefs. and extended proceedings with deadlines through April 20 an additional 30 days.

California Courts of Appeal:

The First District court in San Francisco has cancelled all in-person oral arguments until further notice. Attorneys who choose to present oral arguments must do so by telephone. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court.

The Second District court in Los Angeles suspended all in-person oral arguments. Counsel must now appear by video or telephone. The chief justice issued an order giving the court up to 30 extra days to  “do any act required or permitted under the California Rules of Court. ”

The Third District court in Sacramento has postponed oral arguments set for the month of April. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 23.

The Fourth District courts received an emergency order from the chief justice extending by up to 30 days “any act required or permitted under the California Rules of Court. ” In-court oral arguments have been suspended. Counsel who choose to present oral arguments must do so by telephone.

The Fifth District court in Fresno has suspended all in-person oral arguments. Telephone appearances can be arranged. The chief justice issued an executive order for the court on March 23.

The Sixth District court in San Jose has closed its building to the public. “Pursuant to Misc. Order 20-001 oral argument sessions in the Sixth District Court of Appeal are suspended. The court will continue to receive correspondence and filings electronically. Access to the court by phone will be limited.” Court users who cannot file their papers electronically are asked to use the dropbox at the Santa Clara County Superior Court on North First Street in San Jose. The chief justice issued an emergency order on March 18 authorizing the court to extend by 30 days the deadline for any act requied or permitted under California Rules of Court.

Commission on Judicial Performance: The commission postponed oral arguments set for March 18 in the disciplinary case against Second District Court of Appeal Justice Jeffrey Johnson. In a statement the commission said a new date will be set once conditions improve. The commission continues to accept and review complaints submited by U.S. mail.

State Bar of California: The bar has closed its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices to the public.The hearing department has vacated court events scheduled between March 17 and April 13.