One of Riverside County’s two juvenile courts was closed Monday as part of the Superior Court’s operational rollback amid the coronavirus emergency, joining eight courthouses that have been closed for weeks.
Presiding Judge John Vineyard ordered the Riverside Juvenile Dependency Court at 9991 County Farm Road closed until further notice.
According to court officials, all urgent matters that would have otherwise been scheduled at the Riverside location will be heard at the Southwest Juvenile Courthouse in Murrieta instead.
Under an order issued by Vineyard on April 2, the Banning Justice Center, Corona Courthouse, Riverside Historic Courthouse, Hemet Courthouse, Moreno Valley Traffic & Smalls Claims Court, Palm Springs Courthouse, Riverside Family Law Courthouse and Temecula Courthouse are to remain closed until Friday, but that closure may be extended.
Vineyard cited the need to “comply with federal, state and local guidelines, adhere to the Centers for Disease Control social distancing recommendations and abide by the shelter-in-place regulations” as the basis for the shutdowns, which were initiated on March 16.
The downtown Riverside Hall of Justice remains open daily from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., along with the Indio Larson Justice Center, the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, the Blythe Courthouse and Southwest Juvenile Court.
Video arraignments, which began March 31, will continue to be utilized to preclude moving defendants from jailhouses to the open courthouses, and hence increasing COVID-19 exposure risks, officials said.
The Superior Court’s web portal will remain available, though the timely updating of information on cases has been impacted.
Last month, the Superior Court implemented a series of policy changes that remain in force, all of which, officials said, are based on the need to safeguard against coronavirus.
The foremost action was to halt jury trials, which have been suspended for 60 days, beginning March 17. Civil jury trials are suspended until May 25.
Arraignments and gun violence restraining orders are proceeding, as are civil harassment restraining orders and name change petitions.
The same applies to temporary guardianship and conservatorship cases, along with elder abuse, domestic violence restraining orders and some ex-parte applications.
Detention hearings, contested and uncontested jurisdiction hearings and foster care petitions in juvenile court are being conducted.
All traffic court trials have been postponed until further notice, while other traffic hearings are being deferred for 90 days, according to the Superior Court.
Small claims matters will not be heard for 90 days, and unlawful detainer petitions, involving evictions, will not proceed for 60 days, officials said.
Some hearings may be held telephonically, and interested parties who require more information were encouraged to visit www.riverside.courts.ca.gov, or call the court at 951-275-5076, or 760-342-6264.
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