L.A. County Superior Court System Increases Operations

By CN Staff 

LOS ANGELES— After scaling back in March due to the COVID-19, pandemic, the Los Angeles County Superior Court system has begun increasing its operations.

Mental health, juvenile dependency and delinquency, writs and receivers, complex civil and personal injury and settlement courtrooms have resumed their operations. Additionally, probate, civil and family law courtrooms will soon resume expanded operations.

The appellate division resumed full operation on June 25, while the criminal division will begin a phased expansion beginning July 6.

With these phased-in operations, visitors must have an appointment to enter a courthouse. Plexiglass and enhanced sanitizing will be in place and face masks will be required. Those who arrive at a courthouse without a face covering will be provided a temporary one.

“As we go deeper into the phased recovery allowed by state and county public health officials, the Court has a gradual approach to assure safe access to justice in the nation’s largest trial court,” said Presiding Judge Brazile, in a statement.

For example, judicial officers can require remote appearances through one of two programs: LACourtConnect and Webex.

LACourtConnect became available on June 22 for cases involving civil settlements and probate matters. Webex will be expanded to new litigation areas and added to more criminal courtrooms, with remote appearance technology expected in nearly 600 courtrooms by late August.

According to the court, the program will launch in phases for all limited civil, unlimited civil and complex, family law and traffic courtrooms throughout the summer.

“We are going to take this COVID-19 recovery slowly and carefully with the help of remote courtroom technology, mandatory use of masks/facial coverings, social distancing protocols and barriers, enhanced cleaning, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, and signs to direct visitors where to stand,” said Judge Brazile.

“We are doing all we can to reopen our doors safely to restore access to justice in Los Angeles County.”

Reports from CBS Broadcasting Inc. and City News Service contributed to this article.