In response to concerns regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19, and in light of local, state and federal emergency declarations based upon the virus, Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, announced today the following recommendations to all judges and commissioners of the Court. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020:
1. All new Civil jury trials should be continued for at least 30 days and all preference jury trials should be continued for at least 15 days;
2. All Criminal jury trials, where statutory time has been waived, should be continued for at least 30 days; and
3. Limit new jury panel requests within the next 30 days due to concerns about juror availability.
The Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court does not have the authority to close the courts in the event of a pandemic, which is what we are facing now, because such emergency orders must be authorized by the Chief Justice and/or Governor. Courts are less akin to schools and more like hospitals and other emergency services that need to stay open to serve the public at all times. We are slowing down our trial court operations in a reasonable and responsible way, while still providing services that protect public health, welfare and safety. The Court is committed to ensuring access to justice while also promoting a safe environment for all court users and staff. For the latest updates on Coronavirus/COVID-19-related impacts to Court operations, please consult the Court's COVID-19 News Center located at the top of our homepage (www.lacourt.org), and follow us on Twitter (@LASuperiorCourt)