COVID-19 Resource Center
 



COVID-19 Briefs & Documents- Open Access


Motions and Templates
  • Inmates affected by COVID-19 may have Eighth Amendment claims for cruel and unusual punishment under Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 28 (1993) [thanks to Christopher Stansell for the submission] Word Doc here

  • In re Venable (1927) 86 Cal.App. 585, a case where the Court of Appeal held that the unavailability of jurors due to an epidemic of infantile paralysis justified not holding a jury trial within the statutory time period. PDF here

  • This is a template provided by NACDL to assist in preparation of federal or state motion to release pre-trial detainees during pandemic. NACDL Template to Release Pre-trial

  • This is a sample motion for OR during the Corona virus pandemic  Sample SFPD Bail Motion Word Pad & Sample SFPD Bail Motion PDF

  • In the attached column appearing in the Washington Post, two medical doctors explain why slowing down the spread of the coronavirus requires releasing prisoners. PDF here
  • Northern District of California: Motion to Continue all court appearances until after May 1, 2020, U.S. v. Mail Merge (courtesy of the Federal Defenders)

Guides and Reports
  • Letter from Dr. Lisa Pratt, the director of Jail Health Services in SF, calling for a “rapid reduction” of the jail population to between 700 to 800 inmates in a letter to criminal justice leaders including the police chief, sheriff and district attorney. More here

  • The Justice Collaborative and Prison Policy Institute have created these guidelines for prison and jail inmates during the crisis. PDF here

  • Guide to how different courts handle the coronavirus. More here

  • 2020 draft guide to epidemics by the California courts. More here

  • The California Supreme Court webpage showing all orders concerning scheduling changes due to the coronavirus. More here

  • Epidemiology report on the coronavirus that attempts to answer how far it will spread in the United States and the United Kingdom. More here

  • Wayland Chang has complied information in a wiki resource here
News and Press
  • 3/26/2020 New York City Jails Have An Alarmingly High Infection Rate, According To An Analysis By The Legal Aid Society  “Based on this analysis, New York City jails have become the epicenter of COVID-19,” a Legal Aid attorney said. More here

  • 3/24/2020 Today the Governor issued Executive Order N-36-20 concerning state prisons and parole hearings. It is based upon concerns related to COVID-19. More here

  • 3/24/2020 This is the Prison Policy Institute proposals for reducing inmate population during the virus More here

  • 3/20/2020 Washington Post: More than two dozen prosecutors press to release inmates, drop charges and thin jail population in response to the coronavirus. More here

  • 3/19/2020 Sacramento Bee: Gavin Newsom issues statewide stay-at-home order to slow spread of coronavirus. More here

  • 3/19/2020 Los Angeles Times: ‘Complete chaos’ as Orange County courts reopen amid coronavirus panic More here

  • 3/19/2020 Fresno Bee: No social distancing in this packed Fresno County courtroom, lawyer says More here

  • 3/19/2020 ABA Journal: “In jails, one of the greatest at-risk populations in an epidemic situation is people in prisons and jails. If a virus gets into that kind of institution, it’s very hard to slow it down or get rid of it,” says Stephen Munkelt, CACJ's Executive Director. More here

  • 3/18/2020 LA Daily Journal: CACJ Past President Jacqueline Goodman chastises Chief Justice and courts for failure to respond to the dangers of the global pandemic, outlines steps to protect the community including the release of non-violent inmates from jail and prison. More here

How are California Courts Handling the Coronavirus?


California Court’s website shows emergency orders that have been signed by the Chief Justice. Additional emergency orders will be added once they become available. More here

CACJ wages a continuing statewide campaign for effective criminal justice policies in California. CACJ calls on all political leaders to rationally debate criminal justice.

The California Supreme Court

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court on March 16 suspended in-person oral arguments until ”deemed prudent to resume normal measures.” Counsel will appear by video or telephone. All oral argument sessions will be held in San Francisco. The sessions will be open to the public but seating will be limited. Until the suspension order was issued, the court was scheduled to be in session the week of April 6 in Los Angeles.

The court also  extended mandatory filings of all documents, including briefs. and extended proceedings with deadlines through April 20 an additional 30 days. (source law.com)

 

California Courts of Appeal

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The First District court in San Francisco has cancelled all in-person oral arguments until further notice. Attorneys who choose to present oral arguments must do so by telephone. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court.

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The Second District court in Los Angeles suspended all in-person oral arguments.  Counsel must now appear by video or telephone. The chief justice issued an order giving the court up to 30 extra days to  “do any act required or permitted under the California Rules of Court. ”

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The Third District court in Sacramento has postponed oral arguments set for the month of April. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 23.

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The Fourth District courts received an emergency order from the chief justice extending by up to 30 days “any act required or permitted under the California Rules of Court. ” In-court oral arguments have been suspended. Counsel who choose to present oral arguments must do so by telephone.

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The Fifth District court in Fresno has suspended all in-person oral arguments. Telephone appearances can be arranged. The chief justice issued an executive order for the court on March 23.

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The Sixth District court in San Jose has closed its building to the public. “Pursuant to Misc. Order 20-001 oral argument sessions in the Sixth District Court of Appeal are suspended. The court will continue to receive correspondence and filings electronically. Access to the court by phone will be limited.” Court users who cannot file their papers electronically are asked to use the dropbox at the Santa Clara County Superior Court on North First Street in San Jose. The chief justice issued an emergency order on March 18 authorizing the court to extend by 30 days the deadline for any act requied or permitted under California Rules of Court.

 

Federal Courts

UPDATED 3/17/2020 All four California district courts have issued orders suspending federal civil and criminal jury trials for weeks throughout the state, and California’s Northern District and the Ninth Circuit closed their courthouses to the public Tuesday, after public officials directed locals to “shelter in place” to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. The Northern District and Eastern District of California suspended jury trials until at least May 1, while California’s Central District and Southern District suspended jury trials until at least April 13 and April 16, respectively. Read more from Law360 

UPDATED 3/18/2020 This is a memorandum by the U.S. Attorney in Northern District Cal on Federal issues of speedy trial & double jeopardy in the case of a trial being postponed or terminated because of Coronavirus. Valuable insight into prosecution thinking and federal law on the issues. AUSA Memo on Trial delay Due to Virus.pdf

 

Alameda

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 17 to close all courthouse locations through April 7 to comply with the Bay Area’s six-county shelter-in-place protocol. All jury trials have been continued, according to information posted by the court. Limited criminal matters are taking place. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   The court has requested permission "to close all courthouse locations to the public during the Shelter in Place period from March 17 through April 7.: More
UPDATED 3/17/2020  "All civil jury trials currently set between March 16 and April 3 will be continued for eight weeks from the currently scheduled trial date." More

  • All time-waived misdemeanor jury trials currently set between Monday, March 16, and Friday, April 3, 2020, will be continued on a rolling basis for 8 weeks from the currently scheduled trial date. More

  • All time-waived felony out-of-custody jury trials currently set between Monday, March 16, and Friday, April 3, 2020, will be continued on a rolling basis for 8 weeks from the currently scheduled trial date. More

  • New citation appearance dates in traffic matters will be set 6 months from the date listed on the citation. Any requests to address matters that require immediate attention, including requests to lift DMV driver’s license holds, may be mailed to the Court and will be addressed remotely where possible. More

  • The Court will only summon jurors to a courthouse for “essential” trials as required by law. In those circumstances, jury panel sizes will be reduced, and trial calls will be staggered to reduce group sizes. More

Alpine

UPDATED 3/24/2020 All scheduled in-person hearings, with the exception of time-limited criminal matters, will be rescheduled to May, the court announced on Tuesday. Anyone entering the court house will be asked to keep six feet away from other people. (source law.com)

Amador

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The chief justice has issued an order declaring a court holiday between March 17 and March 31 for certain filing and statutory deadlines.  (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   The courthouse and clerk's office are closed March 17. "For the period of March 16 to March 31 the Court will postpone all Civil Jury Trials to a future date." More

Butte

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has closed through March 27, except for urgent matters. The chief justice on March 23 issued a second emergency order authorizing the court to extend deadlines for more classes of cases. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/22/2020 The presiding judge ordered "limited access" to the courthouse. More & More

No calendars will be called. There will be no public access except:

  • In custody arraignments by video. Although not stated in the order, the jail will make arrangements for defense attorneys to appear with clients.
  • The only public access will be a dropbox at the entry to deposit filings.
  • Access will be permitted to pick up emergency orders.
  • Parents can attend dependency proceedings (if any are held).

The sheriff has suspended public visits at the jail. Attorney and investigator visits are still allowed.

Don’t come to court if you’re sick and you’re a juror. More

Calaveras

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Parties are encouraged to use online services. The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on Wednesday authorizing it to extend the deadline for holding criminal trials by 30 days. Clerks’ counters are now closed to the public. (source law.com)

Colusa

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court announced Thursday that it will close to the public between March 20 and April 3. Clerk windows will be closed. “Felony preliminary hearings, domestic violence restraining orders, juvenile detention and emergency hearings will held on Wednesdays 9:00a.m. or as otherwise scheduled by the court” The chief justice’s emergency order is here. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/16/2020   "The Court at this time is operating under normal hours and operations." More

Contra Costa

    UPDATED 3/24/2020 Court will be closed for most cases between Monday and April 1. In-custody arraignments will occur but will be closed to the public. (source law.com)
  • The Contra Costa County Superior Court will be closed at all locations for approximately two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. Court locations hope to re-open at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020. Please check the Court website – http://www.cc-courts.org - for updates. More

  • While the courts will be closed for most court cases starting on March 16, jurors who have been ordered to appear in court for criminal trials on Monday,March 16, must report to the court as ordered. At that time, the judges in those cases will provide guidance as to any further proceedings. More

  • Any in custody arraignments will be handled in Martinez, but all courthouses are closed to the public. Juvenile in custody arraignments will be handled in Martinez though closed to the public. Counsel will be permitted at all arraignments. More

Del Norte

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is closed through April 1. The court expectts to re-open April 2 for emergency and essential matters. The chief justice issued an emergency order Friday allowing the court to hold sessions anywhere in the county, including the jail and juvenile hall. The period between March 20 and April 17 will be deemed a court holiday for the purpose of calculating holidays. (source law.com)

El Dorado

UPDATED 3/24/2020 ”All time waived preliminary hearings, court trials, contested hearings of any sort, and jury trials pending between March 17, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are hereby vacated. On its own motion, the Court will reset all hearings to a future date,” the court announced All clerk’s counters in all facilities have been closed . The chief justice issued an emergency order extending deadlines for certain matters. (source law.com)

No postponements at this time. More

"Effective March 16 all Clerk's Counters will be closed to the public in all Court facilities." More

Traffic cases are continued. More

 Fresno

UPDATED 3/24/2020  The court announced March 22 that it will close courthouses through April 3 except for “limited emergency matters.” Jurors in ongoing trials will be required to return when the court reopens. The chief justice issued an order March 17 declaring  March 17 to April 3 holidays for purposes of calculating time for certain statutory deadlines. Other deadlines have been extended from 10 to 15 days. The court issued a general order on operations stating it would only handle the following: ex parte request for civil harassment temporary restraining orders, domestic violence restraining orders, gun violence restraining orders, and emergency ex parte lockout proceedings in unlawful detainer; emergency petitions for temporary conservatorship; emergency petitions for temporary guardianship; search warrants, emergency protective orders, and bail setting; juvenile temporary restraining orders and other emergency juvenile orders; family emergency temporary restraining orders; emergency writs regarding COVID-19 emergency measures; and writs of habeas corpus regarding medical quarantines. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The Fresno Superior Court will be scaling back operations immediately. Additional details will be published by way of a media release March 17." More

Don’t come to court if you’re sick. More

Glenn

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 18 extending the deadline for holding a criminal trial by up to 30 days for cases where the statutory deadline would have expired between March 23 and April 22. Presiding Judge Donald Boyd issued an order March 23 limiting access to the courthouses and settting operations procedures. (source law.com)

"Jury trials are being held as normal at this time." More

 

Humboldt

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court authorizing the presiding judge to extend deadlines. The court has suspended all trials through April 16.  The court will operate with limited calendars and will broadcast all public hearings.    (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The Humboldt Superior Court will be closed from March 17 through March 20. Beginning March 23 and continuing for at least 30 days thereafter, the Court will conduct limited hearings and limited Court operations." More

Imperial

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court was authorized by an emergency order on Wednesday to declare the period between March 23 and March 30 a holiday for purposes of counting time for filing and statutory deadlines. The court will conduct only skeleton operations through March 31. (source law.com)

Inyo

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court announced that all jury trials through April 13 have been vacated. “Subject to judicial discretion, the Court will liberally grant hearing continuances upon request and will be reducing calendar sizes and stagger the calling of different case types to minimize health and safety concerns.” Presiding Judge Brian Lamb issued a nine-page order detailing new operations procedures on March 20. (source law.com)

Kern

    UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court on March 23 barred anyone from the courthouse who does not have to appear at a hearing that day. The court will handle only urgent matters through March 30. Other hearings will be re-scheduled. Clerk windows are closed to the public until further notice. An order by the chief justice issued March 19 extends filing and proceedings deadlines. (source law.com)

  • Don’t come to court if you’re sick. More

  • Judges may permit telephonic appearances in situations not permitted by the Local Rules. More

  • No postponements at this time  More

Kings

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court on March 18 continued all trials and traffic hearings will be continued for up to 30 days. Interior customer service counters will be closed to the public, the court announced.  The chief justice issued an emergency order authorizing the extension of deadlines. (source law.com)

Lake

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court announced on March 17 that it will close most operations between March 18 and April 1. The court, which received an emergency order from the chief justice, will only handle in-custody arraignments, juvenile detentions and preliminary hearings where time has not been waived. Clerk’s offices will be closed. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   "The court has decided to close from March 18 through April 1. All regular court calendars will be rescheduled." More

Lassen

UPDATED 3/24/2020 As of March 18, the court began limiting access to the courthouse.  Jury trials scheduled through April 30 have been vacated. Cases are being rescheduled. The court plans to resume normal operations on April 13. (source law.com)

Los Angeles

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile on March 23 issued a new order restricting courthouse access to only those people with business before the court on a particular day. Almost 400 courtrooms remain closed and trials remain suspended. The courthouse in Sylmar was closed or three days starting March 23 after a deputy public defender tested positive for COVID-19. Judges, attorneys and courtroom staff have been told to quarantine. A juvenile dependency judge with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 iwas in quarantine on March 23, as were court staff in contact with him. Clerk’s offices in all courthouses are closed. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "Every Los Angeles Superior Court courthouse and courtroom will be closed to the public from March 17-19. The Los Angeles Superior Court will reopen March 20 for the limited purpose of hearing or handling essential or emergency matters." More

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "No new jurors will be summoned for any Civil or Criminal jury trials for the next 30 days." More

No new jurors will be summoned for any Civil or Criminal jury trials for the next 30 days. More

The trial Judge for any jury trial in session may exercise his or her discretion to either continue the trial or declare a mistrial .  More

Madera

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is rescheduling c ivil trials, including unlawful detainer matters, case management conferences and settlement conferences that had been set between March 17 and April 3.   (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "All civil trials, with the exception of unlawful detainer trials, currently scheduled between March 17 and April 3 are continued on a rolling basis for eight weeks from the currently scheduled trial date." More

Marin

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has closed for all non-essential matters until April 7, based on an order from the chief justice. One criminal arraignment courtroom, one family and civil law courtroom and one juvenile and delinquency and dependency courtroom will remain open to handle pressing matters. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The Marin County Superior Court will be closed for all non-essential matters effective March 17 until April 7. All Civil and Small Claims matters, hearings and trials scheduled in the next 90 days will be continued." More

1. Marin County Superior Court has requested Emergency Orders from the Chief Justice consistent with California Government Code section 68115. More

2. All Criminal time waived hearings, trials and matters will be continued for eight weeks out from the date the matter was originally scheduled. More

10. The court’s jury office is closed and no jurors will be needed the week of March 16th More

11. For any needed court appearances, telephonic appearances are encouraged. More

Mariposa

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The  chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 23 allowing the court to hold proceedings anywhere in the county, including jails and correctional facilities. The court’s order declares a court holiday between March 23 and April 19 for the purposes of calculating deadlines.  (source law.com)

Mendocino

UPDATED 3/24/2020 An order signed by Presiding Judge Ann Moorman limits public access to courthouses in Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Some criminal and civil matters are being postponed . The chief justice declared the period from March 17 to April 3 a court holiday for purposes of calculating some statutory deadlines under an order issued Tuesday. Preaiding Judge Ann Moorman’s March 16 order is here. (source law.com)

Merced

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Effective March 17 through April 28, civil jury trials, time-waived misdemeanor jury trials, and time-waived felony out-of-custody jury trials will be continued on a rolling basis for eight weeks. Starting March 23, courtrooms will only handle “essential matters.” Clerk’s offices will be closed to the public, except for emergency filings.

A judge on March 19 declared a mistrial in a homicide case in the Merced courthouse after an expected witness, who had attended courtroom proceedings in previous days, announced that he was seeking medical attention after a  law enforcement colleague tested positive for COVID-19.

The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 23. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "All civil jury trials currently set between March 17 and April 28 will be continued on a rolling basis for eight weeks from the currently scheduled trial date. Trials currently underway will continue as scheduled." More

Don’t show up if you’re sick and you’re a juror. More

Modoc

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has vacated jury trials scheduled to begin on or before April 13. “Counsel in all civil, family law and probate matters scheduled to appear between March 17, 2020 to and including April 13, 2020 should plan on attendins via Court- Call,” Presiding Judge Francis Barclay wrote in a March 17 order. (source law.com)

Mono

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The Mammoth Lakes and Bridgeport courthouses are handling only “time-sensitive and essential” functions, according to a posting by the court. The court on March 23 confirmed that jury trials have been suspended until further notice. (source law.com)

Monterey

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has suspended all non-essential functions through April 3. All clerk’s office functions are closed to the public. The court received an order from the chief justice declaring a court holiday until April 6 for the purposes of calculating deadlines in some matters. The court’s general order is here. (source law.com)

Don’t show up if you’re sick and you’re a juror. More

Napa

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The chief justice signed an emergency order for the court that declares the days between March 18 and April 10 a holiday for purposes of calculating case deadlines. “All civil jury and bench trials, trial management conferences and/or mandatory settlement conferences currently set between Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and Friday, April 10, 2020 will be vacated,” the court announced. The court is closed to the public for all but “time sensitive or emergency matter.” (source law.com)

Nevada

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to start between  March 17  and April 14, were vacated.  The court will remain open for limited, time-sensitive matters, the court said on March 19. The chief justice issued a third emergency order for the court on March 23. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/18/2020  Here is a comprehensive order from the Nevada County court on what is happening for the next month. More here

"All Civil and Criminal jury trials scheduled to commence between March 17 and April 14 are VACATED." More

Orange

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is closed to the public, with minimal exceptions, until further notice. The court has set up an email portal to answer questions about closures. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 16. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/18/2020   The Court will open in a limited capacity addressing essential hearings. The Orange County Superior Court will no longer hear in custody criminal arraignments effective March 20, 2020. More

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "Orange County Superior Court will be closed at all locations from March 17 through Martch 27." More "The Court will suspend all unlimited civil jury trials until May 1." More

Placer


UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court issued updated guidance March 20:   “The Placer County Superior Court will reduce to critical minimum functions. The Court will focus efforts on matters involving civil liberties, restraining orders, and similar emergency matters.”

The chief justices order is here. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/18/2020 Standing Order - All Criminal Matters More

UPDATED 3/18/2020 THE SUPERIOR COURT OF PLACER COUNTY ANNOUNCES UPDATED ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 VIRUS More

UPDATED 3/17/2020 General Order Regarding Implementation of Emergency Relief More

UPDATED 3/16/2020 "The Historic Courthouse in Auburn is closed effective March 17 with a plan to reopen April 13. All civil jury trials currently set between March 16 and April 10 will be postponed." More

No trials this week. The court has requested to postpone all trials through April 10, 2020. More

Plumas

UPDATED 3/24/2020 An order by the chief justice authorizes a court holiday between March 24 and April 21 for the purpose of calculating statutory and filing deadlines. Starting March 24, the court will handle only pressing mattters, according to Plumas News. (source law.com)

Riverside

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court announced courtroom closures around the county.  Only limited emergency matters will be handled through April 3. The chief justice issued a third emergency order for the court on  March 23. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020  The Court will continue to hear in-custody arraignments for both misdemeanor and felony cases and gun violence restraining orders. All criminal jury trials are continued for 14 days.Criminal jury trials that are in-progress will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. More

Sacramento

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 17. and the court issued additional guidance for the legal community on March 24. The court in a March 19 order closed courthoues and courtrooms through March 30 except for urgent matters including temporary restraining orders, emergency petitions, search warrants, protective orders, and emergency writs. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   The court is "curtailing court matters to concentrate on those matters which are most essential and mandated...continuing any non-essential trials or hearings that involve personal appearances by parties." More "At this moment, essential court operations remain functional. However, this could change rapidly." More

San Benito

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is rescheduling numerous matters through May 4. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "Effective immediately through May 4, the San Benito Superior Court will reschedule...Unlimited Civil Motions."

San Bernardino

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is closed for all non-emergency measures through April 2. The court’s implementation order is here.  The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 17. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/16/2020 "The San Bernardino County Superior Court announces temporary court closures throughout the County effective March 17 through April 2." More

"Civil jury trials will be suspended for the next 30 days [as of March 13], unless there are cases with stautory priority." More

Certain high risk people are told not to come to court. More

San Diego

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has suspended all non-emergency services between through April 3, according to a  press release . On March 24, the court expanded the number of urgent matters judges will handle during the service suspension. The court received a second emergency order from the chief justice on March 18. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/16/2020 "The San Diego Superior Court has suspended all non-emergency services March 17-April 3. All civil proceedings will be rescheduled." More

No new jurors More

San Francisco

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has closed approximately 75 percent of its courtrooms and clerk’s offices through April 15, according to a statement released March 16. On March 24, Presiding Judge Garrett Wong issued a new five-page general order outlining numerous deadline and procedural changes. The court received an emergency order from the chief justice on March 19. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   "The Court will be drastically reducing operations that entail closing 75 percent of all courtrooms for 30 days. All civil trials currently set between March 17 and April 15 will be continued on a rolling basis for 90 days from the currently scheduled trial date." More

San Joaquin

UPDATED 3/24/2020   The court suspended all non-emergency services through April 3. All courthouses are closed to the public for general business. The chief justice  issued an emergency order for the court on March 17. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The San Joaquin Superior Court has suspended all non-emergency services effective March 17-April 3. All civil proceedings will be rescheduled." More

San Luis Obispo

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Courts in Paso Robles and Grover Beach are closed to the public. Public access to the San Luis Obispo court will be restricted to parties with matters on the limited calendar that day. Here is the chief justice’s order. (source law.com)

San Mateo

UPDATED 3/24/2020   Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued an emergency order allowing the court to extend time limits to conduct preliminary hearings. With few exceptions, the public is barred from the courthouse through April 7. Civil, small claims and most criminal and family matters have been suspended or rescheduled. The court issued a related order. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   "All jury trials have been suspended until April 7."

  • Traffic cases are continued. More

Santa Barbara

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Presiding Judge Michael Carrozzo signed an order continuing most matters to a date after April 3. Most courtrooms are closed and the court is only handling pressing matters. The chief justice has issued an emergency order for the court. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   "Presiding Judge Michael J. Carrozzo signed an administrative order continuing most scheduled matters in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court to a date after April 3. Most courtrooms will be closed."

Parties are encouraged to stipulate to continuances. More

Video court appearances will be used for in-custody defendants.  More

Santa Clara

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Presiding Judge Michael Carrozzo signed an order continuing most matters to a date after April 3. Most courtrooms are closed and the court is only handling pressing matters. The chief justice has issued an emergency order for the court. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   "Effective March 16 through April 5, Civil and Probate Jury and Court Trials except for ongoing trials will be rescheduled." More

Many criminal cases have been continued.  You can check your matter online. More

Santa Cruz

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has curtailed many non-urgent services. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on Wednesday. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020   "The Superior Court of Santa Cruz County is moving toward curtailing its services to those that are essential or mandated by law to occur within a set timeframe. The Court has already excused jurors ordered to report this week and is working on a plan to delay all other jury trials for the next several weeks." More

Contact the court or you’re attorney if you’re currently experiencing symptoms. More

Shasta

UPDATED 3/24/2020   The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 23 extending statutory and filing deadlnes. The court is consolidating limited services in the Justice Center. Clerk’s offices are closed. (source law.com)

Jurors shouldn’t show up if they’re sick. More

Sierra

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is closed is until April 3. An emergency order from the chief justice authorizes the court to declare a court holiday until April 3 for the purposes of computing some filing and statutory deadlines. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The Courthouse in Sierra County will be closed today, Tuesday March 17, 2020. Please check back for updates."

Siskiyou

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court on March 22 announced that it will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. The chief justice signed an emergency order March 19 allowing the court to declare a holiday between March 23 and April 17 for the purposes of calculating time for filing and statutory deadlines. (source law.com)

Solano

UPDATED 3/24/2020   The court recieved an emergency  order from the chief justice, effective March 17 to April 3, to reset and continue almost all matters before the court. All clerk’s offices are closed to the public. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The Court remains open, but will seek to reset and continue many civil trials. All Clerk's Offices are closed to the public."

Sonoma

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court has closed to the public through April 3. The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 18. (source law.com)

"The presiding judge has decided to close all court locations and services except for critical calendars and functions effective March 16 through April 3." More

Stanislaus

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court received an emergency order from the chief justice allowing it to hold sessions anywhere in the county and declaring March 18 to April 16 a court holiday for purposes of calculating statutory and filing deadlines. The court is rescheduling all civil trials except unlawful detainers and is suspending all non-emergency services. (source law.com)

Don’t show up if you’re sick. More

No postponements at this time. More

Sutter

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is handling limited matters only through April 10. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 20 (source law.com)

"The court is working with parties and our justice partners to continue the trials that can be continued." More

Tehama

UPDATED 3/24/2020   The court announced  that it will close to the public through April 3. Calendars will be modified and previously scheduled matters will be reset. The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 19. (source law.com)

"The court at this time is working under normal hours and operations." More

Trinity

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is closed through April 17. Presiding Judge Michael Harper issued an order on March 23 re-setting filing and statutory deadlines. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/16/2020 "The court will only summon jurors to the courthouse for 'essential' trials as required by law."  More

Tulare

UPDATED 3/24/2020   The court has scaled down operations and reduced the number of courtrooms in use.  The chief justice issued an emergency order for the court on March 17. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "All civil trials currently set between March 17 and April 17 will be continued." More

Tuolumne

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The chief justice issued an emergency order March 19 allowing the court to hold sessions anywhere in the county, including the jail. The order declares the period between March 23 and April 22 a court holiday for purposes of calculating filing and statutory deadlines. The court issued guidance for court users on March 20. (source law.com)

Ventura

UPDATED 3/24/2020   The court will limit operations through April 17. All civil trials were suspended for 90 days.  “A small number of courtrooms will be operating to hear urgent criminal, juvenile, temporary restraining order issues and emergency ex parte Family Law, Civil and Probate matters only,” the court said online. The chief justice issued a second emergency order for the court on March 20. (source law.com)

"The Ventura Superior Court will be closed March 16 through March 18. Beginning March 19, the court will resume limited operations through March 20. At that time, the court will announce whether limited operations will continue." More

Yolo

UPDATED 3/24/2020 Interior service windows are closed. The court continued all civil and criminal jury trials until May 4, except for those with no time waived, domestic violence matters, and other priority cases. All judges will encourage social distancing within their courtrooms, avoiding situations where contagion could happen such as the use of microphones. The chief justice has issued an emergency order declaring court holidays until April 1 for the purpose of calculating statutory deadlines. (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "The Court will remain open with reduced calendars until April 1." More "The Court is continuing all civil trials until May 4." More
Jurors should not report. More

Yuba

UPDATED 3/24/2020 The court is closed through April 9., even for limited matters. The chief justice issued an emergency order authorizing the court to declare the period between March 20 and April 9 a holiday for the purpose of calculating filing and statuory deadlines. Presiding Judge Debra Givens issued a related order (source law.com)

UPDATED 3/17/2020 "Jurors who are scheduled to return on March 17 will instead be required to return on a future date." More

 

Message from CACJ President Eric Schweitzer


An Urgent Address to Criminal Defense Lawyers from
CACJ President Eric Schweitzer


COVID-19 is inflicting irreparable harm upon the fair administration of justice in our state. It is more than a week since the Governor declared a state of emergency, yet the Chief Justice has not taken the steps to authorize a state-wide response. (See Gov’t Code §68115.) Absent Orders from the Chief Justice, courthouses are being closed and the right to timely processes delayed county by county on an ad hoc basis. Pre-trial defendants are being forced not only to endure prolonged and meaningless incarceration, but also to suffer in the worst imaginable environments with medical indifference to humane treatment a virtual certainty. In this milieu, entrusting the safety and welfare of ourselves and our clients to the tender mercies of jail administrators is unwise and irresponsible. We must act.

We criminal defense attorneys have a mission-critical duty. Now, and with singular purpose it is we who must demand an end to judicial wavering on what is to be done. To spur intelligent action from the judiciary we demand release of nearly all pre-trial detainees, citations rather than arrest in all eligible cases, and clear standards for managing jury trials and general criminal cases during the pandemic.

In any battle, timing is key. It is our prerogative, and our solemn duty now to spur decision makers into action without regard for worn out canards that blame the accused for their condition. This is our duty. Our destiny. We must carry it out now with vigor. Failure is not an option.

As President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and in the absence of any clear and decisive state policy regarding court closures and criminal cases during this pandemic, I ask you each to advance these demands in every courtroom:

1.      Release all pre-trial detainees not facing serious or violent felony charges. The dangers posed by keeping people in custody go up greatly in cases of a pandemic.  Very few if any misdemeanor defendants should be kept in custody. Courts should be more willing to release defendants. The dangers affect broad categories of people, including both defendants and jail staff.

2.     Encourage courts to continue cases with out of custody defendants  for six months.

Lengthen the minimum time to hold a trial for in custody defendant from 30 days to 60 days for misdemeanors and from 60 to 120 days for felonies.  Lengthen the time to hold a trial for out of custody felony defendants to 180 days. 

3.     Permit out of custody defendants and attorneys to appear by telephone or by other electronic means.

4.    Permit courts to allow felony defendants to appear 977 with an order signed by the judge permitting the defendant to do so or an email from the Judge's clerk or the judge.  No written document signed by the defendant would be necessary; the defendant would not have to appear in court prior to the 977 motion being granted. 

5.     Insist that all jails and prisons have ready access to testing.


Resistance to these demands is inevitable.  Please remember that in pursuit of the fair administration of justice, you are not alone.  Already, criminal defense offices and organizations across the land, including CACJ, are standing with you. Be stalwart. Be forceful. Be as one. 


MARCH 14, 2020

ERIC H. SCHWEITZER

PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEYS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Message from California Chief Justice


 

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye just issued a statewide order on 3/23/20 suspending all jury trials in California's superior courts for 60 days and allowing courts to immediately adopt new rules to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Her order includes the following directives:

  • All jury trials are suspended and continued for 60 days. Courts may conduct a trial at an earlier date upon finding of good cause shown or through use of remote technology when appropriate.
  • Time periods to begin criminal and civil trials is extended for 60 days, though courts may conduct trials earlier upon finding of good cause or through remote technology when appropriate.
     
  • Superior courts are authorized to adopt any proposed rules or rule amendment that is intended to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to take effect immediately, without advance circulation for 45 days of public comment. A court adopting any such rule change must immediately distribute the new or amended rule, and no litigant’s substantive rights shall be prejudiced for failing to comply with the requirements of a new or amended rule until at least 20 days after the rule change has been distributed.
     

See the full order on 3/23/20 here .


See Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s advisory below, sent to all county superior court presiding judges and court executive officers on Friday 3/20/2020.

To: Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers of the California Courts

 

Dear Judicial Branch Colleagues:

 

I write to share information on actions we are taking at the state level regarding the current crisis in our California court system resulting from COVID-19, and to provide guidance on ways that might mitigate some of the health risks to judicial officers, court staff, and court users. 

 

Governor Newsom’s order last night for all Californians to shelter in place reflects the unprecedented challenge we face with the COVID-19 virus, both as Californians and as judicial officers and court administrators. We sought and received clarification from the Governor’s office that the Governor’s order is not meant to close our courts. The courts are—and continue to be—considered as an essential service. I recognize, however, that this new adjustment to health guidelines and direction likely may require further temporary adjustment or suspension of certain court operations, keeping in mind, as we all are, that we are balancing constitutional rights of due process with the safety and health of all court users and employees.

 

We are working at both the state and local levels to identify more options to provide relief. Aiding in these efforts are the perspectives and input from the TCPJAC and CEAC chairs and vice chairs who are dealing with local emergencies while making time to focus on the welfare of our larger judicial branch family.

 

In addition, we are in daily, close contact with the Governor’s office, executive branch departments, and legislative leadership to make them aware of the impact on courts as well as to see where immediate and longer-term assistance may be needed to respond to a crisis of this magnitude. 

 

I am deeply concerned about the disruption and hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis and I have applied and will continue to apply all the constitutional and statutory powers of my office to minimize these unprecedented problems.

 

I, like many of you, am being contacted by justice system partners and advocates seeking immediate and direct action to address the particular needs of their constituencies. In responding to these requests, we have made clear what the limits of authority are for the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council, as well as the role of independent trial courts to manage their operations, while stressing our shared commitment to be responsive within the framework of respective constitutional and statutory responsibilities.

 

The relief I am authorized to grant with an emergency order is limited to the items enumerated in Government Code section 68115. In California, unlike other states, each of the 58 superior courts retains local authority to establish and maintain its own court operations. This decentralized nature of judicial authority is a statutory structure that reflects the diversity of each county.   

 

In an effort to alleviate some of the immediate problems faced by the trial courts, I have authorized court holidays and extensions of time for court procedures in response to requests submitted by the presiding judges in many superior courts, with the understanding that the immense diversity of our state may require variations on what is considered an essential or priority service in a particular court or community. 

 

I will continue to grant emergency order requests while balancing fairness and access to justice. As of writing, 63 emergency orders have been processed with several more pending. In light of the continuing emergency posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am prepared to approve requests for further extensions as warranted, consistent with my authority under Government Code section 68115(b). 

 

In addition to the steps you have taken under the orders you have been granted, I strongly encourage to you consider the following suggestions to mitigate the effect of reduced staffing and court closures and to protect the health of judges, court staff, and court users. 

 

These actions can be taken immediately to protect constitutional and due process rights of court users. They will require close collaboration with your local justice system partners. 

 

Criminal Procedures

  1. Revise, on an emergency basis, the countywide bail schedule to lower bail amounts significantly for the duration of the coronavirus emergency, including lowering the bail amount to $0 for many lower level offenses – for all misdemeanors except for those listed in Penal Code section 1270.1 and for lower-level felonies. This will result in fewer individuals in county jails thus alleviating some of the pressures for arraignments within 48 hours and preliminary hearings within 10 days. 

  2. In setting an adult or juvenile defendant’s conditions of custody, including the length, eligibility for alternative sentencing, and surrender date, the court should consider defendant’s existing health conditions, and any conditions existing at defendant’s anticipated place of confinement that could affect the defendant’s health, the health of other detainees, or the health of personnel staffing the anticipated place of confinement.

  3. With the assistance of justice partners, identify those persons currently in county jail or juvenile hall custody who have less than 60 days remaining on their jail sentence for the purpose of modifying their sentences to permit early release of such persons with or without supervision or to community-based organizations for treatment.

  4. With the assistance of justice partners, calendar hearings for youth returning to court supervision from Department of Juvenile Justice following parole consideration for a Welf. & Inst. Code, §1766 hearing.

  5. With the assistance of justice partners, determine the nature of supervision violations that will warrant “flash incarceration,” for the purpose of drastically reducing or eliminating the use of such an intermediate sanction during the current health crisis.

  6. Prioritize arraignments and preliminary hearings for in-custody defendants, and the issuance of restraining orders.

  7. Prioritize juvenile dependency detention hearings to ensure they are held within the time required by state and federal law. 

  8. For routine or non-critical criminal matters, allow liberal use of telephonic or video appearance by counsel and the defendant, and appearance by counsel by use of waivers authorized by Penal Code, § 977.  Written waivers without being obtained in open court have been approved if the waiver is in substantial compliance with language specified in section 977, subdivision (b)(1).  ( People v. Edwards  (1991) 54 Cal.3d 787, 811;  People v. Robertson  (1989) 48 Cal.3d 18, 62.)

 

Civil Procedures

  1. Suspend all civil trials, hearings, and proceedings for at least 60 days, with the exception of time-sensitive matters, such as restraining orders and urgent dependency, probate, and family matters.  Consider whether an emergency order may be needed to address cases reaching 5-year deadlines under Code of Civil Procedure section 583.310. 

  2. When possible, provide that any urgent matters may be done telephonically, under the general policy encouraging use of telephonic appearances in Code of Civil Procedure section 367.5(a) and California Rule of Court, rule 3.670.

 

The Judicial Council’s entire management team and staff are focused on supporting you, your judicial officers, and court employees. They are moving as quickly as possible to address questions, share information, provide resources, and maintain open lines of communication to facilitate our branch’s response. 

 

I am immensely grateful to you and your dedicated employees for your tireless efforts to navigate this storm as you are also trying to help and protect your own families through this challenging time for us all.

 

Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice of California

 

 

California Chief Justice Issues Guidance to Expedite Court Emergency Orders on 3/16/20

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Monday issued guidance to California trial courts seeking emergency orders to adjust or suspend court operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current California law circumscribes the authority of the Chief Justice during emergencies. Presiding judges of county superior courts may petition the Chief Justice—as chair of the Judicial Council—for an emergency order to support their local needs.

The law allows local courts to request a number of relief measures, including declaring holidays to recalculate filing deadlines, extending temporary restraining orders, holding sessions elsewhere in the county, extending the time for a criminal trial to be held, and others. (Note: All emergency orders signed by the Chief Justice related to COVID-19 can be found here).

The Chief Justice’s guidance serves as a blueprint for requests that would be presumptively approved. Requests beyond those listed in the advisory will also be expedited, she wrote.

“California’s judicial branch is facing an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 virus,” Cantil-Sakauye wrote. “I recognize that this situation may require the temporary adjustment or suspension of court operations and procedures. I stand prepared to prioritize all such requests that may be submitted in the days ahead.”

Read more here. 

A Message from CACJ Executive Director Stephen Munkelt


 

Update on Executive and Judicial Orders - March 29

There is much cause for concern in Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-38-20 on Friday 3/27 and the adoption of temporary policies by the judicial council on Saturday, 3/28. In brief, the Governor removed barriers /ceded power to the Judicial Council to direct the activities of the courts throughout the state, and the Council adopted rules extending some statutory and constitutional deadlines, and encouraging the use of technology to avoid situations where visitors, staff, judges, defendants and/or attorneys may not be able to maintain “social distance” while handling court business.


Rest assured that your leadership (and CPDA under President Oscar Bobrow) submitted comments to the judicial council Friday night opposing many of the proposed measures and laying out recommendations that would preserve constitutional rights of inmates to timely appearances. [CACJ letterhere] Nevertheless, in a well-orchestrated meeting on Saturday afternoon, the Chief Justice got a unanimous vote of the council to adopt the recommendations as presented. (The meeting itself was well-orchestrated. The conference-call technology was a total failure and took over 30 minutes to correct.)

So is this a good thing? A bad thing? Or is the sky falling?

 

I urge everyone to stay calm, and stay focused on handling each of the barriers thrown up to reason and justice where they adversely effect a client. After all, that is what we do. We have a large institution with many actors with discretionary powers and a serious health crisis moving among us. Over the last three weeks we have seen some courts making terrible decisions (“the courts are closed” “the jury trial will continue”) and refusing to follow intelligent guidance from the Chief Justice on March 20, including advice to set the bail schedule for many crimes to $0 so jail populations can be significantly reduced.


Well, the C.J. and council are now in a position to tell them all what to do, rather than merely recommend. So courts will be open, and critical matters regarding custody, and timely hearings and trials will have consistent treatment statewide. Hopefully there will be a spreading movement toward releasing far more pre-trial inmates without bail, or with bail they can afford.


The Governor’s order [found here] has five parts:

  1. Any limitation on the subject matter which the Chairperson of the Judicial Council can address in an emergency order or statewide rule under Government Code §68115 is suspended;

  2. Removing any restrictions on the rulemaking authority of the Council or the Chairperson for emergency statewide or local rules or orders extends the authority for rulemaking to the maximum under Cal. Caonst. Art. VI sec. 6;

  3. Any emergency rules or orders in conflict with a statute automatically suspend that portion of the statute for the duration of the emergency;

  4. CCP §§ 2025.310 and 1010.6 are suspended to allow deposition by telephone and electronic service;

  5. All existing rules remain in effect except as adopted by the Council or Chair.

The Council adopted verbatim the recommendations under “A” and “B” in the Report to the Judicial Council for the meeting March 28. [found here] Part “C” was to ask the Governor for an order, which he had already done, so this was not considered. The adopted policies are:

    1. Authorize the Chief Justice to issue statewide order until 90 days after the COVID-19 emergency is lifted;

      1. Extend PC §859b ten calendar day period for prelims to thirty court days;

      2. Extend time for appearance on felony charges under PC §825 from 48 hours to not more than seven days;

      3. Extend time under PC §1382 for criminal trial by more than 30 days;

      4. Extend time for civil trials under CCP §§583.310 and 583.320.

And

    1. Direct the Superior Courts to:

      1. Use technology when possible to conduct proceedings remotely to protect health and safety of public, court personnel, litigants and witnesses;

      2. Prioritize use of technology to meet statutory time requirements to ensure defendants are not held in custody and children are not held in custodyu or removed from parents without due process or full constitutional rights.


In follow-up questions the Chief Justice indicated that the extended times for arraignment and prelim should only be utilized as required. So delays will be subject to attack if they exceeded the statutory time, were objected to, and there were not sufficient facts to justify delay beyond the normal time1. For example, if a video arraignment is available within 48 hours that should be utilized, rather than invoking the expanded time in order to arrange for safe transport and appearance.


info@cacj.org As you face new policies and action in your local courts please keep us updated at by sending news articles, email describing a problem, or pleadings you have filed for relief on bail or other issues. We will keep this resource page updated with links to any material that may be useful to you.


Stephen Munkelt

3/29

 

1 Associate Justice Marsha G. Slough (4th Dist., Div. 2), who chairs the Council’s Executive and Planning Committee, stated that the intent of the proposal was that trial courts remain “open and provide relief, to function---not as a shuttered business office---but rather function as what I’ll call true beacons of justice.” Justice Slough further stated the intent was that the Council's action “open doors of justice and is not used to delay justice a second longer than what may be necessary” and “these extensions are not a license to wait.” The Chief Justice concurred fully and added that “we are courts and we are open in a crisis.”


Breaking: Chief Justice Urges Bail Reductions, Releasing inmates


Late Friday Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye sent an advisory letter to all presiding judges and court executive officers strongly encouraging them to take further steps to mitigate the risks of the coronavirus. [link to full text here] Her suggestions for criminal matters closely track the positions advocated by CACJ’s President Eric Schweitzer in his letter to the C.J. on March 13. A summary of her recommendations:


  1. Lower bail amounts significantly for the duration of the coronavirus emergency, including lowering the bail amount to $0 for many lower level offenses.

  2. Consider a defendant's existing health conditions, and conditions existing at the anticipated place of confinement, in setting conditions of custody for adult or juvenile defendants.

  3. Identify detainees with less than 60 days in custody to permit early release, with or without supervision or community-based treatment.

  4. Determine the nature of supervision violations that will warrant detention in county jail, or "flash incarceration," to drastically reduce or eliminate its use during the current health crisis.

  5. Prioritize arraignments and preliminary hearings for in-custody defendants, and the issuance of restraining orders.

  6. Prioritize juvenile dependency detention hearings to ensure they are held within the time required by state and federal law.

  7. Allow liberal use of telephone or video appearance by counsel and defendant for routine or non-critical criminal matters.


This is ammunition all of us can use to push our local courts to adopt these measures, and to move aggressively to reduce inmate populations during the pandemic. Start Monday morning doing everything you can to bring your in-custody client’s situation to the attention of the court. Since appearances are limited look to your court’s emergency orders for the best method to raise the issue. My Nevada County court is accepting e-filing of motions, so one avenue here would be a motion for immediate bail reduction/OR release efiled on behalf of each client with electronic service on the DA.


This is a new environment and all of us need to know the best way to protect our client’s rights and health. If you try something that works, send a report and a copy of any pleadings to info@cacj.org. If you try something that doesn’t work, send us a report at info@cacj.org

 

Stephen Munkelt

3/23


Criminal defense attorneys are passionate about people, justice and the law. We work hard and think harder to provide the zealous representation our clients deserve /and require. We are generous with our time and our work. Civil firms may copyright their briefs to protect financial value, but we share our best work with colleagues through list serves and brief banks. We are frequently the lone, and lonely, voice for liberty, justice, and a humane world.

During this time of rapid and extraordinary change CACJ is your organization and your resource. We have a COVID-19 Resource Center on the website at https://cacj.org/page/COVID-19 proctored by past-president Jacqueline Goodman. Go there to see sample motions to release pre-trial detainees who can’t make bail, the latest available information on court policies county-by-county, articles on the importance of reducing inmate populations to prevent widespread fatalities, and other material that may be useful for you in navigating the uncharted waters ahead.

We want each of you to visit and use the resources we have today, and tell everyone about our public COVID page. But we also want you members to BE a resource. If you receive official information about a court policy for the pandemic, if you draft a motion to O.R. clients, if you write a memo on double jeopardy implications of a mistrial due to virus policies, please share it so all can benefit from your work. Forward any materials by email to info@cacj.org and we will keep adding to the resources on the COVID pandemic. 

We also encourage you to visit and contribute to the brief bank. Members can go from the home page to the Resources tab and Brief Bank. There are topics to choose from, and a search from anywhere in the bank will be a global search across all topics. Today you will see that we are in the early stages of building content for the Bank. Take some of the time you are saving by not sitting around a courtroom and add some of your work to the Bank for the CACJ community. Click on any topic and just above the first post you will see the “Add a new post” link. This is a blog-post system so choose a title, attach a file(s) and give a description of the material to be posted in the comment box. Click Submit and you are done. Items added in the COVID-19 topic will also be shared on the public COVID-19 page.

Thank you all for your efforts on behalf of life, liberty and justice. Working together we can make this better than it would be without us.

Stephen Munkelt

3/19

National Emergency Webinar on COVID-19 and Criminal Legal and Immigrant Detention System (March 13, 2020)


Affiliates