Orange County Superior Court officials are taking steps to reduce the number of people who have to make a trip to courthouses in Santa Ana, Fullerton, Newport Beach, Orange and Westminster during the coronavirus outbreak.
Officials are suspending all “unlimited civil jury trials until May 1,” according to a statement from the court’s presiding judge’s office late Friday. Officials are also working to “reduce the numbers of summoned jurors in criminal trials and will stagger the times the jurors are ordered to appear.”
Cases will be postponed when possible as judges work with prosecutors and defense attorneys on rescheduling.
Until May 1, most court business in civil cases will be handled by phone or video, except in hearings or trials in which witnesses are expected to testify.
All traffic-related case arraignments will be put off for 45 days as well as small claims cases.
Court officials are looking at ways to cut down on appearances made by elderly and mentally ill people in probate cases.
Orange County Superior Court officials have heightened sanitizing efforts at the system’s courthouses in Santa Ana, Fullerton, Newport Beach, Orange and Westminster during the coronavirus outbreak and are encouraging any prospective jurors who don’t feel well to call in to postpone jury service.
Court officials have extra workers cleaning doors, elevators, stair rails and other frequently touched surfaces and are considering ways to reduce in-person courthouse appearances when possible, according to courts spokesman Kostas Kalaitzidis.
Those with business in court are encouraged to use the system’s online resources for paying traffic tickets or researching court documents at occourts.org.
Anyone who has been called for jury service and doesn’t feel well is asked to call 657-622-7000 or go to occourts.org/ejuror to ask for a postponement.
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