September 11, 2020
On September 10th, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County released new general orders to continue most civil trials until January 2021. Due to COVID-19, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County stated they are not able to facilitate social distancing. Changing that configuration has security implications, affects the presentation of evidence, limits public access, and requires financial and other resources that the Court lacks in light of the 10% reduction in its 2020-2021 fiscal year budget. In addition, the Court’s 2021-2022 fiscal year budget will be cut by an additional 5%. Furthermore, while the Court accelerated its plans to implement technology to allow judicial officers to conduct proceedings remotely, for legal, equitable and logistical reasons, it cannot mandate remote appearances in every case. Remote appearances in civil jury trials will create logistical issues with respect to jury selection, jury deliberations, and the handling of evidence.
Based on the foregoing, the Court finds and concludes that conducting civil jury trials would also likely place prospective jurors, litigants, attorneys, and court personnel at unnecessary risk and that risk outweighs the interests of the public and the parties in a trial. Accordingly, except in the General Order the Court finds good cause to continue any and all civil jury trials until January 2021.
Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding scheduling trials in Los Angeles County. We are here to help!