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Judicial Council to hold second Emergency Meeting amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Judicial Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday, April 6, at 12:20 p.m. via teleconference, to consider a slate of 11 temporary emergency rules in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The council is calling its second emergency meeting of court and branch leaders from around the state to consider further measures to ensure California courts—which remain open as “essential services” under Gov. Newsom’s stay-home executive order—can meet stringent health directives while also providing due process and access to justice.

Among the actions the council will consider, to go into effect immediately:

  • Suspend the entry of defaults in eviction cases;
  • Suspend judicial foreclosures;
  • Allow courts to require judicial proceedings and court operations be conducted remotely, with the defendant’s consent in criminal proceedings;
  • Adopt a statewide emergency bail schedule that sets bail at $0 for most misdemeanor and lower-level felony offenses;
  • Allow defendants to appear via counsel or remote technologies for pretrial criminal hearings;
  • Prioritize hearings and orders in juvenile justice proceedings and set a structure for remote hearings and continuances
  • Extend the timeframes for specified temporary restraining orders;
  • Extend the statutes of limitations governing civil actions; and
  • Allow electronic depositions in civil cases.

The complete meeting agenda and proposed rule changes, with instructions on how to listen to the meeting and provide written public comment, are posted on the council meeting page.

At its first emergency meeting Mar. 28, the Judicial Council unanimously approved a number of temporary measures to give courts flexibility to continue to provide essential services to the public while protecting health and safety during the pandemic.

For a complete list of emergency orders taken by the California court system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see the California Courts Newsroom.

This article was released by the California Courts.