All criminal trials, preliminary hearings and arraignments continued until May

The Santa Clarita Courthouse is part of a list of 80 courthouses currently under review by the Judicial Council of California as part of an effort to upgrade or construct new facilities. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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All criminal trials, preliminary hearings and arraignments in Los Angeles County have received time extensions until May 29, according to officials.

In a statement distributed Thursday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kevin C. Brazile implemented the order as an extension of his previous orders to shut down all courtrooms and courthouses except for essential business.

Last week, the judicial council met in an emergency session to discuss the suspension of jury trials for 60 days, and made the decision based on a similar order from the chief justice of the state of California.

“The Judicial Council unanimously authorized and supported the Chief Justice issuing statewide emergency orders to extend statutory guidelines for preliminary hearings, arraignments, and last day trials, in both criminal and civil proceedings,” said the news release.

Officials said they would be using telephonic and video communication wherever possible in courtrooms.

The court has also said all clerk’s offices in Los Angeles County remain closed to the public.

The Santa Clarita courthouse closed temporarily on Wednesday as part of the Court’s overall plan to temporarily scale-down operations while prioritizing time-sensitive and essential matters as a result of COVID-19.

“No court business is being conducted there at this time,” said Mary Hearn, public information officer for the county Superior Court. “There is no estimate currently as to when the courthouse will reopen.”

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