The Moreno Valley Traffic & Small Claims Court remains closed, but starting Monday, tickets for traffic violations in Riverside County can be processed, and documents for cases with defendants who intend to contest their tickets can be filed with the court.
The courthouse was shuttered in mid-March when public health orders stemming from the coronavirus emergency were issued by the county and state.
The courthouse had been slated to reopen last month, but county Presiding Judge John Vineyard decided not to lift the closure because of ongoing concerns about how to manage people coming and going. The facility has narrow occupancy allowances.
However, clerks are on the job, and now telephonic and internet-based procedures are available for individuals who are trying to resolve their citations, court officials said.
In-person hearings are not permitted, and there’s no word on when traffic court trials might resume.
According to the Superior Court, fines can be paid by phone at 951-222-0384, or via the ePay-It.com portal.
Additionally, clerks are available by appointment to assist with guiding defendants through the process of contesting or resolving a ticket. Appointments can be made at www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/Divisions/Traffic/traffic-appointment-agreement.php.
Documents can be filed with the court using the eSubmit system at www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/FormsFiling/ESubmit/esubmit.php. All filing fees are currently being waived.
Along with the traffic court, the Corona, Hemet and Temecula courthouses remain closed. Officials did not indicate when they may reopen.
Mandatory social distancing and facial coverings are in place at all open facilities.
In early June, Vineyard ordered the reopening of the Palm Springs Courthouse, Riverside Family Law Court and Riverside Historic Courthouse.
The facilities were shut down in mid-March, and the Riverside Juvenile Dependency Court was closed on April 13, as part of the court’s participation in COVID-19 containment. The juvenile court was opened before the end of April after all staff tested negative for the virus.
Under an order originally issued March 16, most operations — and all public access — at the courthouses were suspended.
However, since that time, the downtown Riverside Hall of Justice has remained open, along with the Indio Larson Justice Center, the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta and the Blythe Courthouse.
In March, the Superior Court implemented a series of policy changes which officials said were based on the need to safeguard against coronavirus. The foremost action was to halt criminal jury trials, which are now returning to the docket, at least for scheduling. Civil jury trials are suspended until the first half of August, possibly later.
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