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COVID-19

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
 
Updates and Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda (Court) is closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation. The Court is in routine communication with the Alameda County Public Health Department, the Alameda County Office of Emergency Services, other Alameda County justice agencies, other California Superior Courts, and the Judicial Council of California. We are working with these and other entities to ensure that we have up-to-date information and can best weigh the need to provide access to justice to our community while also supporting the activities of our public health agencies and the health of the public.

*** UPDATE March 14, 2020 *** The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
 
*** UPDATE March 16, 2020 *** The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its closure of all courthouses in support of the “Shelter in Place” Orders issued by Bay Area public health officials.
 
*** UPDATE March 17, 2020 *** The Court received an Emergency Order from the Chair of the Judicial Council of California and has issued a Press Release providing additional details regarding services that are impacted pursuant to the authority conferred by that Order.
 
*** UPDATE March 19, 2020 *** The Court has issued a Press Release regarding the Presiding Judge's General Order releasing 247 persons from the Santa Rita Jail in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Press Release also refers to the new information added below, which details the impact of the current public closures on specific Court divisions and offices.  
 
*** UPDATE March 25, 2020 *** The Court has issued a Press Release regarding the resumption of Self-Help telephone service, two additional Orders, dated March 20, 2020 and March 25, 2020, releasing persons from custody, and the continuance of trials in accord with the March 23, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice.  
 
*** UPDATE March 27, 2020 *** The Court has issued a Press Release regarding its expansion of remote services during the COVID-19 public closure period.
 
*** UPDATE April 2, 2020 *** The Court has adopted new Local Rule 4.115, Emergency Rule Adopting Temporary Emergency Bail Schedule, to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to the March 23, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice.
 
*** UPDATE April 2, 2020 *** The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its extension of the public closure period and requests extension of emergency relief, enacts emergency bail schedule, and extends stay of unlawful detainer actions.
 
Information about specific Court divisions and offices

Executive Office

The Court’s Executive Office will be closed to the public. 

Telephone Service

A very limited number of staff will be available across the Court to answer telephones and monitor email accounts.  Please anticipate lengthy wait times for telephone service, and please understand that email responses will be delayed.

Criminal

The Court is working with its justice partners to develop an in-custody arraignment calendar within the limitations of our COVID-19-related staffing and health and safety constraints.  The Court initially plans to attempt to conduct in-custody arraignments only (no out-of-custody arraignments), on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

The first in-custody arraignment calendars will take place on Friday, March 20, 2020.  East and South County misdemeanors will be heard in Dept. 702 at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, while felonies will be heard in Dept. 705.  North County misdemeanors will be heard in Dept. 111 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland; felonies will be heard in Dept. 112.

Given public health directives regarding crowd size and social distancing, and given that our courthouses are currently closed to the public, any arraignments heard pursuant to the above will not be open to the public.

The Court will continue to accept Criminal filings made through the Odyssey E-Filing System.  Court staff will process filings on a priority basis, and as staffing permits; filers should anticipate that there may be delays.

Additional information about Criminal matters during the public closure period can be found in this Criminal Closure FAQ list.

Juvenile

The Court is working to develop a detention calendar within the limits of our COVID-19-related staffing and health and safety constraints.  The Court initially plans to attempt to conduct the detention hearings on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

The first in-custody detention calendars will take place on Friday, March 20, 2020, in Department 401 of the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro.  602 petitions will be heard at 9:00 a.m., while 300 petitions will be heard at 1:30 p.m.

During the closure period, the Court will only accept the following juvenile court documents for filing:

  • 300 and 600 petitions
  • Intake and Detention reports
  • Warrants
  • Any emergency medical request or JV220

Traffic

The Court’s Traffic offices are closed, and there will be no walk-in Traffic court during the public closure period.

All Traffic matters currently set for hearings from March 17, 2020, through April 7, 2020, are currently being reset, and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Civil

Because March 17, 2020, through April 7, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court will not accept any Civil filings during that period, nor will any civil matters or hearings be conducted.  Matters will be reset and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Fax Filing

Fax Filing service will be suspended during the public closure period.

Court Records

The Court records office is closed during the public closure period.  Some records may be obtained online by using the Court’s DOMAINWeb portal.

Small Claims

Because March 17, 2020, through April 7, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court will not accept any Small Claims filings during that period, nor will any Small Claims cases be heard.  Matters will be reset and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Appeals and Exhibits

The Appeals and Exhibits unit is closed during the public closure period.

Probate

Because March 17, 2020, through April 7, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court generally will not accept any Probate filings during that period, nor will Probate matters generally be heard. 

Notwithstanding the above, the Court will continue to accept requests for emergency relief in Probate matters.  The Court will accept such requests by drop box filing only, and a drop box has been set up at the public entrance to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland for that purpose. Court staff will contact moving parties when their requests have been ruled on.

Family

Because March 17, 2020, through April 7, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court generally will not accept any Family Law filings during that period, nor will Family Law matters generally be heard.  Matters will be reset and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Notwithstanding the above, the Court will continue to accept requests for emergency relief and responses in Family Law matters.  In light of the extended court closure and the COVID-19 crisis, the Court will broadly interpret what is deemed 'great or irreparable injury' in considering temporary orders in these requests. The Court will accept such requests and responses to such requests by drop box filing only, and a drop box has been set up at the public entrance to the Hayward Hall of Justice for that purpose.  Court staff will contact moving parties when their requests have been ruled on.  Please be sure to include a contact number or email address on your pleadings.

Temporary Restraining Orders

The Court will continue to accept requests for Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs).  The Court will accept such requests by drop box filing only, at either the drop box at the public entrance to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland or the drop box at the public entrance to the Hayward Hall of Justice.

Court staff will contact petitioners by telephone when their TROs have been ruled on and are ready for pick-up, so it is critical that petitioners provide the Court with a contact phone number on their applications.  Completed TROs will then be available in a pick-up box located at the public entrance to the Hayward Hall of Justice.

Self-Help Center

The Court’s Self-Help Centers are closed for walk-in appointments, and all in-person Self-Help clinics have been suspended during the public closure period.

Self-Help Center staff are available to answer questions and provide assistance via telephone from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.  The Self-Help Center telephone number is (510) 272-1393.

Family Court Services

The Family Court Services office is closed.

Court resources that are available remotely

Although the Court is closed to the public, and the Clerk’s Offices generally are not accepting filings, certain Court services are still available remotely:

Information for prospective jurors

All jury trials have been continued, and the Court is not currently summonsing jurors for service.

Prospective jurors with summons dates from April 6, 2020, through April 30, 2020, are not required to report for jury service.  Those jurors will be considered to have satisfied their jury service and will not be summonsed again for at least one year.  

The Court will continue processing mileage and daily payments for jurors who reported prior to March 17, 2020.


Additional questions about the Court’s response to COVID-19 that are not answered above

If you have additional questions about the Court’s response to COVID-19, please email the Court at covid19questions@alameda.courts.ca.gov

 
Additional Court resources regarding COVID-19
 
 
General Orders regarding COVID-19
March 19, 2020 - General Order
March 20, 2020 - General Order
March 25, 2020 - General Order
March 27, 2020 - General Order
April 2, 2020 - Implementation Order
 
Local Rules adopted to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to the March 23, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice
April 2, 2020 - Rule 4.115
 
 
 
 
For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following webpages:
 


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