Citing a rise in COVID-19 infection rates, the presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s court system Friday announced an extension of deadlines in criminal trials and hearings to determine if there is enough evidence to require a defendant to stand trial.
In a statement, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor said, “Health and safety are the court’s top priorities.”
He noted that it is “imperative that all court users monitor and comply with public health mandates and the court’s mandatory face mask requirement,” which is already in effect.
“We must protect ourselves and each other during this fourth COVID-19 surge in our county. We will continue to closely monitor this public health crisis and respond accordingly,” Taylor said.
The latest order allows for:
— the time within which a criminal trial must be held to be extended by up to 30 days in cases in which the statutory deadline would otherwise fall between July 17 and Aug. 13;
— the time for a preliminary hearing following arraignment to be extended from 10 court days to no more than 30 court days until Aug. 13;
— pretrial hearings in misdemeanor cases set between July 17 and Aug. 13 for out-of-custody defendants to be extended by 90 calendar days unless statutorily required to be held sooner and the defendant does not consent to a continuance.
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