Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Phased Resumption of Operations

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By approving Amended General Order 20-08, the Central District of California has adopted a plan for the phased resumption of Court operations.

  1. Phase 1, the return of certain staff to the courthouses to prepare for limited in-court hearings, will be implemented no earlier than June 1, 2020. During Phase 1, the courthouses will remain closed to the public and no in-court hearings will take place, except the criminal duty calendar in the Roybal Courthouse in Los Angeles.
  2. Phase 2, the reopening of the courthouses for limited in-person hearings, will be implemented three weeks after Phase 1 and no earlier than June 22, 2020. During this phase, limited in-court hearings will take place in criminal and civil matters, as discussed below.
  3. Phase 3, the resumption of jury trials, will be implemented at a date to be determined.

The Court will determine when to implement each Phase based on a recommendation from a Working Group of Judges, the District Court Executive/Clerk of Court, and staff, in consultation with federal, state, and local public health directives and guidance. The date determined for each Phase’s implementation is subject to change based on the circumstances at the time and directives from local, state, and federal public health authorities.

The Court’s Continuity of Operations Plan (“COOP”) remains activated and is extended through and including the implementation of Phase 2.

Hearings in civil cases will continue to proceed by video or telephonic conference. Hearings in emergency civil matters may proceed in-court when Phase 2 is implemented, at the discretion of the assigned Judge.

Hearings by video and telephonic conference may continue to be held in certain criminal matters. Hearings in any criminal matter may proceed in-court when Phase 2 is implemented, at the discretion of the assigned Judge.

Criminal bench duty for all divisions will continue to take place in the Roybal Courthouse in Los Angeles, by video or telephonic conference or in-court.

The Probation and Pretrial Services Office as well as the intake/records department will reopen no earlier than June 22, 2020.

In-person meetings of the grand juries may resume at the discretion of the Chief Judge.

The Bankruptcy Court will issue separate guidance for reconstituting its operations.

The naturalization ceremonies scheduled through the end of September 2020 are cancelled.

Notices From The Clerk will be issued identifying which aspects of the Court will be open to the public and operational in advance of the implementation of each Phase of the reopening. These notices will also set forth the heightened screening procedures that will be implemented as well as any requirements for facial coverings and maintaining appropriate social distance.

 

KIRY K. GRAY
DISTRICT COURT EXECUTIVE/CLERK OF COURT