Two Los Angeles-area courthouses were closed for the day Wednesday due to public safety concerns stemming from large-scale police protests, with limited operations at a third courthouse that was open only until noon.
Kevin C. Brazile, the presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s court system, ordered the Criminal Courts Building and the Hollywood Courthouse — which were closed for the afternoon Tuesday — to be shuttered for the day.
The Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles was open until noon only for the presentation of restraining order applications and set hearings on restraining order matters.
The three courthouses were also ordered to be closed for the afternoon Tuesday, only hours after the court system re-opened following a daylong closure of all of the county’s courthouses Monday for the same reason.
Late Wednesday, the court system announced that it would be re-opening the three courthouses Thursday for essential, time-sensitive and emergency services only.
In a statement released by the court Tuesday, the presiding judge noted that closures were ordered “in the interest of the safety of the public, judicial officers, employees and others.”
“The decision to close a courthouse is never made lightly, but public safety imperatives are my chief priority,” Brazile said.
More than 30 courthouses were closed Monday following the issuance of a countywide curfew that took effect 6 p.m. Sunday amid widespread civil unrest. They were allowed to reopen Tuesday morning to handle “time-sensitive and essential functions.”
The following courthouses have been closed for some time because of COVID-19-related service reductions and remained temporarily closed: Beverly Hills, Bellflower, Catalina, Central Civil West, East Los Angeles, Santa Clarita and Spring Street.
Nearly 80% of the 600 county courtrooms have been closed since Brazile issued a March 17 order to scale back operations to comply with state and county public health directives.
The court plans to reopen its clerk’s office operations on June 15, with a revised model that prioritizes access online and by telephone. Appointments will be required to meet in person in order to maintain social distancing.
Hearings are expected to resume gradually beginning June 22, and face masks or coverings will be mandatory for entry into any courthouse.