New Order to Extend Certain Case Deadlines While Court Expands Access to Justice

On March 25, 2021, California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakuye granted Los Angeles County Superior Court Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor emergency authority to issue a new General Order extending last-minute deadlines for criminal trials as well as juvenile dependency matters.

The Order assists the Court (with the help of the Department of Health’s approved safety measures previously established in all courthouses) in the expansion of civil and criminal jury trials throughout Los Angeles County.

According to Presiding Judge Taylor, “With the devastating COVID-19 holiday surge behind us and State and County officials gradually reopening Los Angeles County, we are pleased to work with our justice partners to responsibly expand access to justice after more than a year since the pandemic’s sudden onset …Today’s Order will help the Court to safely expand Criminal trials by providing emergency continuances for matters facing statutory last-day deadlines while the Court works with justice partners to prioritize which cases should proceed first post-surge with courthouse capacities limited due to social distancing and necessary COVID-19 protocols. With the help of Angelenos fulfilling their civic jury service duty, cooperation from attorneys and justice partners, the Court is deliberately and safely working its way back to resume more jury trials and access to justice to all in need.”

Presiding Judge Taylor’s Order extends deadlines in juvenile dependency court as follows:

“…[e]xtends the time periods provided in section 313 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a minor taken into custody pending Dependency proceedings must be released from custody to not more than seven (7) days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline would otherwise expire from March 27, 2021 to April 23, 2021, inclusive. • Extends the time periods provided in section 315 of the Welfare and Institutions Code within which a minor taken into custody pending Dependency proceedings must be given a detention hearing to not more than seven (7) days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline would otherwise expire from March 27, 2021 to April 23, 2021, inclusive.”

Presiding Judge Taylor’s Order also reminds Angelenos of the current courthouse access and remote appearances as follows:

“In the interest of safeguarding the well-being of court users and enforcing social distancing, persons seeking services from the Clerk’s Office, court support services, and/or the Self-Help Centers must have a prescheduled appointment. For telephone or video assistance, or to schedule an appointment, the telephone number for each courthouse is listed at the courthouse entry and posted on the Court’s website, www.lacourt.org. Access to LASC proceedings is governed by General Order 2020-GEN-025-00 issued on November 23, 2020.

Face Coverings: In accordance with Amended General Order 2021-GEN-009-02 issued on February 25, 2021, all persons are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while in a courthouse. Persons whose disabilities preclude them from wearing face coverings compliant with the California Department of Public Health Guidance Concerning the Use of Face Coverings issued on June 18, 2020, are urged to seek an accommodation under Rule 1.100 of the California Rules of Court in advance of their court appearance or appointment. These health and safety requirements are part of the Court’s Here For You | Safe For You -which provides numerous protective measures to operate courthouses safely, including offering services that allow court business to be conducted remotely. Whether appearing by phone, from home, the office or coming to the courthouse, the Court provides safe, efficient options to access justice. The Court’s remote courtroom appearance technology options promote social distancing by reducing the number of people appearing in person. Information on Here For You | Safe For You can be found here and on the Court’s Twitter page (@LASuperiorCourt).

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