The presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s court system announced Wednesday that courtrooms will remain closed for judicial business through June 10 except for those handling time-sensitive, essential functions during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This extension is necessary to continue social distancing in our courthouses as we balance public health and safety and prepare to reopen the virtual and physical doors of the nation’s largest trial court with a broad array of safeguards and services under the court’s new `Here For You| Safe For You’ plan,” Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile said in a statement released by the court early Wednesday evening.
The presiding judge had announced on March 17 that most court functions would remain on hold until April 16 to “allow us to comply with social distancing and to prevent the spread of the virus within our community.” That was subsequently extended through May 12.
The court clerk’s office is set to re-open June 15, with court hearings set to resume beginning June 22, according to the court.
Essential matters currently being dealt with include arraignments, preliminary hearings, bail review hearings, grand jury indictments and sentencing hearings in criminal cases, along with juvenile petitions, emergency protective orders, emergency writs challenging COVID-19 emergency measures and civil and family temporary restraining orders.
The county court system has required the use of face coverings — with limited permissible exceptions — by judicial officers, employees and all court visitors, along with managed social distancing with signs and markings inside and outside courthouses, offering hand sanitizer and wipes at courthouse entrances, inside courtrooms and other high-traffic areas and provided enhanced disinfection and cleaning of courthouse facilities.
Court employees have also been implementing new ways to virtually deliver services, according to the court.