During this unprecedented period of COVID-19, we strive to provide our clients with the most accurate and up to date information regarding the status of court operations. To that end, below is a chart with the local court orders pertaining to civil matters in the majority of California jurisdictions where we have ongoing litigation. The information below should be read in conjunction with the March 23, 2020 and March 30, 2020 Statewide Orders of the Chief Justice, which suspend and continue all jury trials or a period of sixty (60) days from the date for which the trial was set, or from the date on which the statutory deadline to try the case expires, whichever is longer.

April 24, 2020: UPDATE TO CALIFORNIA COVID-19 COURT CLOSURES RE MANDATORY ACCEPTANCE OF E-SERVICE

On April 8, 2020, we provided an update regarding emergency rules that were added to the California Rules of Court in light of COVID-19. Since that time, the Judicial Council adopted additional emergency rules regarding e-service civil matters.

Emergency rule 12. Electronic service:

  • In all civil matters (including those under the Family and Probate codes) a party represented by counsel, who has appeared in an action or proceeding, must accept electronic service of a notice or document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission. Before first serving a represented party electronically, the serving party must confirm by telephone or email the appropriate electronic service address for counsel being served.
  • A party represented by counsel must, upon the request of any party who has appeared in an action or proceeding and who provides an electronic service address and a copy of this rule, electronically serve the requesting party with any notice or document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission.
  • Electronic service on a self-represented party is permitted only with consent of that party, confirmed in writing. The written consent to accept electronic service may be exchanged electronically.
  • In general civil cases and proceedings under the Family Code, the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(a)(4) and (5) apply to electronic service under this rule. In proceedings under the Probate Code, the provisions of Probate Code section 1215(c)(2) apply to electronic service under this rule.
  • Confidential or sealed records electronically served must be served through encrypted methods to ensure that the documents are not improperly disclosed.
  • This rule will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, or until amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.

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April 8, 2020: UPDATE TO CALIFORNIA COVID-19 COURT CLOSURES RE EMERGENCY RULES

The following emergency rules pertaining to civil litigation were added to the California Rules of Court. The rules will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, or until amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.

Emergency Rule 1. Unlawful detainers: All unlawful detainer (“UD”) proceedings as of April 6, 2020 must be continued at least 60 days from the initial date of trial. If a defendant has appeared, the court may not set a UD trial date earlier than 60 days after a request for trial is made unless an earlier trial date is necessary to protect public health and safety. A court may not issue a summons on a UD complaint unless it finds that the action is necessary to protect the public health and safety. A court may not enter a default or default judgment for restitution in an UD action for failure of defendant to appear, unless the action is necessary to protect the public health and safety, and the defendant has not appeared in the action within the time provided by law.

Emergency Rule 2. Judicial foreclosures: Any action for foreclosure on a mortgage or deed of trust under CCP 725(a) et seq. is stayed, and the court may take no action and issue no decisions or judgments unless the court finds that action is required to further the public health and safety. Any statute of limitations for filing such an action is tolled, and the period for electing or exercising any rights is extended.

Emergency Rule 3. Use of technology for remote appearances: Courts may require that judicial proceedings and court operations be conducted remotely. Conducting proceedings remotely includes, but is not limited to, the use of video, audio, and telephonic means for remote appearances; the electronic exchange and authentication of documentary evidence; e-filing and e-service; the use of remote interpreting; and the use of remote reporting and electronic recording to make the official record of an action or proceeding.

Emergency Rule 8. TRO or Protective Orders: Any temporary restraining orders under CCP §§ 527.6 , 527.8, or 527.85, issued or set to expire during the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic, must be continued for a period of time that the court determines is sufficient to allow for a hearing on the long-term order to occur, for up to 90 days. Courts must provide a means for the filing of ex parte requests for temporary restraining orders. Any ex parte request may be filed using an electronic signature by a party or a party’s attorney.

Emergency Rule 9. Toll of Civil Statutes of Limitations: The statutes of limitation for civil causes of action are tolled from April 6, 2020, until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.

Emergency Rule 10.Extension of time in which to bring a civil action: For all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020, the time in which to bring the action to trial is extended by six months for a total time of five years and six months. For all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020, if a new trial is granted in the action, the three years provided in section 583.320 in which the action must again be brought to trial is extended by six months for a total time of three years and six months.

Emergency Rule 11. Remote Depositions. A party or nonparty deponent, at their election or the election of the deposing party, is not required to be present with the deposition officer at the time of the deposition.

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