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COVID-19

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
 
Updates and Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
(revised, August 5, 2021)

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.

All visitors will be required to self-screen by reviewing a health screening survey before entering any court facility; visitors should not enter if they have answered “yes” to any of the questions in the health screening survey.

As required under Health Officer Order 21-03, issued by the Alameda County Health Officer on August 2, 2021, all persons entering any court facility are required to wear a compliant face covering over their nose and mouth, regardless of their vaccination status. 

 

COVID-19-related Press Releases (2021)

***UPDATE October 21, 2021*** The Court issued a Press Release announcing the successful deployment of its Civil eCourt case management system with electronic filing, and amends emergency Local Rule.

  • September 30, 2021 - The Court issued a Press Release announcing extended unlawful detainer stay and adopts emergency Local Rule amendment.
  • August 26, 2021 - The Court issued a Press Release announcing policy requiring all Court personnel to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021.
  • July 16, 2021 - The Court issued a Press Release announcing reinstatement of mandatory face covering requirements effective Monday, July 19, 2021.
  • June 24, 2021 - The Court issued a Press Release announcing the lifting of face covering requirements for members of the public who are fully vaccinated, effective Monday, June 28, 2021, extends stay on evictions, and amends emergency Local Rules.
  • June 14, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing the physical reopening of all courthouses and restoration of additional in-person services beginning June 15, 2021.
  • May 19, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing reopening efforts at Berkeley Courthouse, Hayward Hall of Justice, and Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.  
  • May 10, 2021 -  The Court has issued a Press Release announcing Juror Appreciation Week.
  • April 28, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing further reopening efforts and operational changes effective the week of May 3, 2021.
  • April 7, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing limited public reopening of Alameda and Hayward courthouses.
  • March 19, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that invitation to comment on Local Rules 1.7, 3.27, 3.30, 3.31, & 4.160 
  • February 5, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that it has adopted Local Rules 1.10, 1.12, and 1.90. 
  • February 3, 2021The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that the telephone hours for its Civil and Family clerk’s offices will be modified to 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • January 5, 2021 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that it has extended the stay on execution of writs of possession until March 1, 2021, and resumes limited in-person traffic matters in Oakland beginning January 7, 2021.

Archived COVID-19 Press Releases (2020)

 

Information about specific Court Divisions and Offices

Executive Office

The Court’s Executive Office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. daily. For inquiries, please email ExecutiveOffice@alameda.courts.ca.gov.


Telephone Service

Limited staff are available to answer telephones and monitor email accounts that may result in lengthy wait times and delays in email responses.  Current telephone hours are as follows:

  • Civil & Probate:                    10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Family:                                 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Criminal, Traffic, Juvenile:       8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Self-Help:                              2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Mon – Thurs)
  • Appeals:                                10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 

Criminal

To minimize the health and safety risks associated with extended transportation times, almost all in-person Criminal calendars are being held in the East County Hall of Justice. These calendars include daily arraignments, preliminary examinations, felony sentencings, and law and motion matters. All counsel, parties, and litigants are encouraged to appear remotely. (Videoconference call in numbers can be obtained through representatives of the District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, Alameda County Bar Association and Court Appointed Attorney Program, and through the specific arraignment departments.)

In addition, the Court uses its BlueJeans videoconference system to conduct regular informal 977-arraignment and pretrial calendars (Depts. 103, 108, 111, 711, and 712); law and motion calendars (Depts. 4, 6, 8, and 605); felony sentencings (Depts. 11 and 705); and informal settlement calendars for misdemeanor and felony jury trials (Depts. 109 and 4, respectively). 

The Court continues to accept Criminal filings made through the Odyssey E-Filing System, the clerk’s office and at the Courthouse drop boxes. Court staff will process filings on a priority basis, and as staffing permits; filers should anticipate that there may be delays.

The Court’s judicial directory with assignment information can be found here.  More specific criminal calendar and scheduling information can be found here. Historic information concerning the Court’s criminal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.  Please be aware, operations continue to change regularly in order to address user demand, resource constraints, and health and safety requirements. 

 

Criminal Jury Trials

On Thursday mornings, remote master jury trial readiness calendars are held in Department 7 (North County cases) and Department 705 (South/East County cases). Counsel in cases assigned out for trial must be prepared to remotely conduct the required pre-voir dire conference (California Rules of Court, rule 4.200) with the designated trial judge on Friday mornings. Parties should be prepared to begin jury selection the following Monday.


Jury Selection

Attorneys, litigants, and prospective jurors should be familiar with the jury selection information provided on the Court’s juror web page, including the standard questionnaires prospective jurors are asked to complete and submit electronically before appearing at a court location.

Parties in criminal matters have the opportunity to select a jury remotely (via Zoom), or in person, using one of the Court’s jury assembly rooms (JARs) and overflow courtrooms if needed.  Due to spacing constraints, only the JARs at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse  and East County Hall of Justice  are available for in-person jury selection.  Prospective jurors participate in the voir dire process within the assigned trial department, in the JAR, and in additional overflow courtrooms as may be necessary to satisfy physical distancing recommendations.  All involved locations are connected via a live audio-video BlueJeans link in order to enable jurors located outside the trial department to actively participate in the jury selection process.


Public Access to Criminal Departments

While facilities will no longer be marked in 6-foot increments, in the interest of public health and safety the Court will continue to encourage visitors to maintain some element of physical distancing—including while seated in jury assembly rooms, courtrooms, and public spaces—and may restrict the number of court users able to enter certain offices, courtrooms, and other closed-in areas. However, members of the public may attend public court proceedings via the Court's Livestream audio link. Members of the media may also request video court access (or in-person if space permits) pursuant to emergency Local Rule 1.7a.


Criminal Forms & Bail Schedules

 

Juvenile

Both the Juvenile Justice (600’s) and Dependency (300’s) Divisions are conducting daily hearings, including Detentions, Jurisdiction & Disposition hearings, Report & Reviews, Placement Reviews, and Progress Reports. 

Remote appearances are encouraged through the Court’s BlueJeans videoconference system. EFiling of all pleadings and required documents is accepted.  In person filing is permitted for initial 600 and 300 petitions, intake reports, warrants, and emergency medical requests.

 

Traffic

With limited exception specified below, the Court’s Traffic offices are closed, and there will be no walk-in Traffic court during the public closure period.  All traffic matters are being heard remotely via the Court’s BlueJeans videoconference system.

However, for those unable to appear remotely, the Court is offering limited in-person appearance opportunities as follows:

In addition, as of May 6, 2021, clerk’s windows will be open to assist traffic litigants with filings and fine payments weekly, on Thursdays at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..  With this limited in-person opportunity, traffic litigants are encouraged to continue submitting filings via mail, drop box, or email to AskTraffic@alameda.courts.ca.gov.

Court users appearing in person must bring proof of their court date or traffic citation to be admitted to the courthouse and will be required to properly wear a face covering and comply with other health screening protocols.

Additional information concerning Traffic matters can be found on the Court’s Traffic web page here.  Historic information about Traffic matters during the public closure period can be found here.

Questions and requests for in-person or remote court appearances can be submitted via email to AskTraffic@alameda.courts.ca.gov.

 

Civil

All Civil proceedings are currently being conducted remotely via videoconference, unless the Court orders in-person proceedings. Beginning September 1, 2021, Civil harassment hearings will be conducted in-person. Parties can contact the Court to request remote appearances. Beginning October 18, 2021, the Court will conduct some small claims hearings in-person. Parties can contact the Court to request remote appearances.

All Civil jury trials, including jury selection, are being conducted remotely via Zoom, unless the Court orders the trial to be conducted in-person.  More specific jury selection information can be found here.

With the exception of Appeals, which may not be submitted via drop box, the Court is accepting all filings—including case-initiating documents—via mail, drop box, fax filing and in person. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a and Local Rule 3.30 for details.

As of April 12, 2021, filings related to emergency restraining orders (including Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Civil Harassment, Workplace Violence, and Gun Violence) may be filed in person at the Hayward Hall of Justice, ., from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..  Staff from the Court’s Self-Help Center will also be available onsite to assist filers with these restraining order filings.

As of June 21, 2021, Civil and small claims filings may be filed in person at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, , from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the Hayward Hall of Justice, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..

As of September 10, 2021 local court fees have been adopted for immediate use, pursuant to March 23, 2020, Statewide Order by Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council.

Historic information about Civil matters during the public closure period can be found here

 

Fax Filing

Premium fax filing service has been suspended.  However, regular fax filing service is available for most Civil, Family, and Probate documents.  Documents received by 3:00 p.m. will be processed within three business days. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details.

 

Court Records

Court users are encouraged to access court records online through the Court’s DOMAINWeb portal and Odyssey Case Management System Portal. Juvenile records are not available online, and must be requested at the counter.

Notwithstanding the above, the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse is offering public terminal access in the Civil Division between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (with no access granted after 2:15 p.m.); and the Criminal Division between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (with no access granted after 2:45 p.m.).  Public terminal usage will be limited to 30 minutes per user.

The George E. McDonald Hall of Justice is offering public terminal access and in person copy requests of Civil cases (including name changes), restraining orders, probate and small claims cases from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Public terminal/document viewing room usage will be limited to 30 minutes per user.

The Hayward Hall of Justice is offering public terminal access and in person copy requests for family law and restraining order cases between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Public terminal usage will be limited to 30 minutes per user.

 

Appeals and Exhibits

As of Monday, May 3, 2021, filings related to Appeals may be filed in person in Room G-4 (lower level), from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..

 

Probate

The Court is accepting all Probate filings via mail, drop box, fax filing and in person with the exception of Probate Letters with associated bonds, original wills and codicils which must be processed via mail, drop box or in person. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details.

The Clerk’s Office at the Berkeley Courthouse is open and accepting Probate filings in person from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Drop boxes are located at the public entrance to Berkeley Courthouse and are available after in person filing closes from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Court staff will contact moving parties when the Court rules on their requests. Contact telephone numbers and email addresses must be included on pleadings.

Probate hearings are conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference, unless otherwise ordered. After the Court notifies the Petitioner of the hearing date, the Petitioner must notify all interested parties of the hearing date and the remote appearance requirement. See Emergency Local Probate Rule 7.180 for details.

Historic information about Probate matters during the public closure period can be found here.

 

Family

The Court is accepting all family law-related filings—including case-initiating documents—via mail, drop box, and fax filing. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details.  Limited in person filing opportunities for restraining order matters are also available at HHJ as described above.

Beginning June 21, 2021, family law and restraining order filings may be filed in person at the Hayward Hall of Justice, 24405 Amador Street, Hayward, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. In person filing opportunities for restraining order matters are also available at HHJ as described above.

All family law court proceedings, including Requests for Order, Long Cause Hearings, Settlement, and Case Management Conferences are being conducted remotely via the Court’s BlueJeans videoconference system.  Please review your Notice to Appear for specific access details.

The Court has posted guidelines to clarify the Court’s expectations for those families and parents with current child custody and visitation orders in place during the “shelter-in-place” and public Court closure resulting from the COVID19 crisis. Historic information about Family matters during the public closure period can be found in this Civil, Family and Probate Closure FAQ.

 

Family Court Services

Family Court Services is closed for in-person mediation appointments. Child Custody Recommending Counselors are currently conducting mediation sessions via BlueJeans videoconference system and will contact parties to schedule. 

Telephone hours for Family Court Services are: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone number is (510) 690-2500. 

  

Family Forms

 

Self-Help Center

With the exception of the filing-consultation opportunity at the Hayward Hall of Justice, the Court’s Self-Help Centers are closed for walk-in appointments, and all in-person Self-Help clinics have been suspended.

Self-Help Center staff are available to answer questions and provide assistance via telephone from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The Self-Help Center telephone number is (510) 272-1393. Self-Help Center staff are also available to answer questions and provide assistance via Live Chat service from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. For customers needing additional assistance, individual telephone or video appointments are also available. 

 

Interpreter Safety Guidelines

Additional Court Resources Available Remotely


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 

Archived General Orders regarding COVID-19 

 
 
For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following webpages:
 


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