On the same day, Los Angeles County Superior Court Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor asked people to continue to follow the mask guidelines instituted by the court while also granting an additional two weeks for criminal trials.
In a statement issued to attorneys, the public and justice partners, Taylor “implored” those visiting the courtroom to continue to wear masks while inside a courtroom.
“As a county, we have been in this place before where infections are increasing rapidly, and we need to join together to stop the spread during a surge in community transmission,” Taylor said. “During this fragile time in the pandemic, it is imperative to remind everyone that face masks, worn over the nose and mouth, are required in all Los Angeles County courthouses.”
In order to enforce the mandate on what the court described as the “fourth wave of COVID-19 infection” for the county, the court has hired, effective on Monday, more Sheriff’s Department deputies to monitor courtrooms, hallways and restrooms. They will also continue to moderate courtroom capacity.
There remain no social distancing mandates in L.A. County, but officials asked people to come to courthouses only when necessary.
In addition to the mask mandate news release, the court also issued an order that criminal trial deadlines would receive a two-week extension, and juvenile dependency cases would give a four-week extension for juvenile dependency proceedings. This, according to the court, would allow judicial officers and other judicial partners time to plan and prepare for the work ahead.
“The court will continue to take a measured, responsible approach to returning court operations to more normalized levels,” said Taylor. “Although we are advancing to try cases at a much more regular pace, we are monitoring a COVID bottleneck of backlogged criminal and civil trials building over the last 16 months that our court will control as we work diligently to address each matter.”