Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Southern Division’s Operations

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Per the gating criteria previously adopted by the Court, local COVID-19 exposure risks in the Court’s Southern Division have increased, such that allowing additional in-court hearings and opening the Santa Ana Courthouse to the public are no longer appropriate at this time. Therefore, the United States District Court for the Central District of California announces the following regarding the Southern Division’s operations.

Effective immediately:

Access to the Santa Ana Courthouse

  • The Santa Ana Courthouse will be closed to the public, until further notice, and except as set forth below.
  • The Santa Ana Federal Pro Se Clinic will be closed.  The Clinic is providing remote assistance via telephone and/or email.  Please contact them for more information: (714) 541-1010, Ext. 222.

Court Hearings

  • All appearances in civil cases will be by telephone or video conference. 
  • Hearings in any criminal matter may proceed in court when the defendant does not consent to appear by telephone or video conference.  Members of the public will have access to such proceedings with a limit of 10 people present in the courtroom or in an overflow courtroom at one time at the discretion of the assigned judge.
  • With the approval of the judge, the public may have access to court hearings via Zoom video conferencing.
  • Criminal bench duty will continue to take place in the Santa Ana Courthouse, by video or telephonic conference with the defendant’s consent and in-court absent consent.   

Jury Trials

  • Jury trials remain suspended in civil and criminal cases until further notice.
  • Individual judges, at their discretion, may offer bench trials in civil cases by video conference in lieu of postponement. 

Filing Information

  • The intake section in the Santa Ana Courthouse will be closed to the public.  To post a bond or submit an emergency, time-sensitive filing such as a temporary restraining order, call the following telephone numbers: (714) 338-3958 or (714) 338-4760.
  • All criminal duty matters filed by the United States Attorney’s Office and handled by district judges shall be filed electronically.
  • All criminal document duty matters handled by a magistrate judge shall be filed electronically.
  • For all other intake and records questions, call the following telephone numbers:
    Santa Ana Civil Intake – (714) 338-2886
    Santa Ana Criminal Intake – (714) 338-4786
  • The court’s CM/ECF system is available 24/7 for electronic filing of documents.
  • Unrepresented litigants who cannot electronically file their documents and attorneys who are required to manually file documents pursuant to the local rules must mail their filings to the Clerk of Court at 255 E. Temple Street, Suite TS-134, Los Angeles, CA 90012-3332.
  • Non-paper physical exhibits or other exhibits exempted from electronically filing shall be sent via U.S. Mail or other commercial delivery to the Clerk of Court at the above address.

Mandatory Chambers Copies

  • Until further notice, all district judges and magistrate judges do not require mandatory chambers copies during the pandemic.   
  • Any judge can require chambers copies in a particular case if desired.  The chambers copies shall be mailed to the judge via Fed Ex.  Chambers copies cannot be hand-delivered to the courthouse.

The Court continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic as it evolves and will provide updates concerning the Court’s operations as adjustments are made.

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Kiry K. Gray
District Court Executive/Clerk of Court
November 25, 2020