Courts to resume operations but stay vigilant

The Santa Clarita Courthouse. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.
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The Santa Clarita Courthouse and other courts across Los Angeles County are monitoring the latest developments regarding the coronavirus but will continue operations with some changes, the Los Angeles Superior Court said Friday. 

“The court continues to proactively plan for coronavirus/COVID-19 related impacts on court operations,” read a Friday statement on its website. “The court’s priority is to ensure the safety of the public, jurors, attorneys, judicial officers and employees as we seek to maintain continuity of court services aligned with public health directives. Our actions will continue to be guided by the most up-to-date public health guidance from local, state and federal officials.” 

In its statement, the court described guidelines in an effort to reduce in-person appearances “while performing legally mandated functions and respecting litigants’ due process rights, including expanding video and telephonic appearances.” 

Persons who are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, or believe he or she might have been exposed to the virus, are advised not to go to the court. 

Those summoned for jury duty may postpone their jury service should they not feel well or believe they may have been exposed to the virus. Any party to a case is advised to contact the assigned courtroom and litigants seeking self-help services may call 213-830-0845 for assistance. 

As the court continues to watch developments on COVID-19, lawyers expect to use CourtCall, a service that allows for remote court appearances via telephone, more frequently, said Attorney Mark T. Young with Valencia-based Donahoe & Young LLP. 

“What we will do on our end is use CourtCall a little more frequently,” he said Friday. “We had a court appearance this morning and among the reasons why the client did not show up was because of the coronavirus.” 

Young advised to check in with the Los Angeles Superior Court on their website, lacourt.org, for the latest updates.  

To view all coronavirus-related stories, click here.

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