On March 18, 2020, Lake County Health Officer issued a Shelter in Place Order for Lake County which will remain in effect until at least April 10, 2020. On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order ordering all Californians to stay at home. Additionally, on March 23, 2020, the Chief Justice issued a statewide order suspending all trials for 60 days. It is expected that the Chief Justice will issue additional statewide orders extending statutory timeframes. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate and it is apparent that the social distancing and limits on gatherings will remain in place beyond the Court’s originally planned closure through April 1, 2020.
The court understands the delicate balance between public safety and the timely administration of justice. Under Government Code Section 68115, the court has received an emergency order from the Chief Justice to extend statutory timeframes for the filing of papers and the conducting of judicial business for the period of April 2, 2020, through May 1, 2020. A copy of the Order will be posted on the court website.
While the court provides an essential government service, in an effort to comply with the Health Officer’s Order and to protect court users and staff from the spread of COVID-19, the court will remain closed through May 1, 2020, except for services described herein. Beginning April 2, 2020, the court will be handling the following critical emergency matters:
- In-custody Criminal Arraignments
- Juvenile Detention Hearings
- Preliminary Hearings in which time has not been waived
- Ex-parte Temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
- Ex-parte Civil Temporary Restraining Orders, including Civil Harassment, Workplace Violence, Gun Violence, and Elder Abuse
- Ex-parte Emergency Petitions for Temporary Conservatorship
- Ex-parte Emergency Petitions for Temporary Guardianship
- Ex-parte Family Code Temporary Emergency Orders
- Ex-parte Emergency Civil Injunction Temporary Restraining Orders
- Ex-Parte applications for orders based on stipulation
Pursuant to the Order of the Presiding Judge, access to the Fourth Floor of the Courthouse and the Courtrooms is restricted to those persons who are required by law to be present for the court proceeding. The parties, attorneys and witnesses subpoenaed to testify are permitted to attend. No other persons shall be permitted to attend absent a prior order of the court. A copy of the Order is posted on the court website. The Clearlake Branch Courthouse will not have any cases set and will be closed.
Trials and Contested Hearings
The court will not be conducting any trials or hearings during the closed period of April 2 through May 1. The trials and hearings currently set to occur during the closed period will be rescheduled by the court to a date after May 1 and notice of the rescheduled date will be mailed to counsel or the self-represented party. This includes small claims, traffic and unlawful detainer court trials set to occur at the Clearlake Branch Courthouse during the closed period.
Current Scheduled Court Dates
All regular court calendars and currently scheduled court dates for the period of April 2 through May 1 will be rescheduled by the court. Notice of the rescheduled date will be mailed to counsel or the self-represented party.
Temporary Restraining Orders/Temporary Emergency Orders
A hearing involving any request for a restraining order set to be heard during the closed period will be rescheduled to a new hearing date after May 1. Any Temporary Restraining Order or Temporary Emergency Order currently in effect and expiring during the closed period will be ordered extended and shall remain in effect to the rescheduled hearing date.
Department of Child Support Services
All Child Support Hearings scheduled to be heard during the closed period will be reset for the hearing to occur on a date after May 1 and notice of the rescheduled date will be mailed by the court to counsel and parties.
Veterans Court and Drug Court
All matters set to occur in Veterans Court and Drug Court during the closed period will be reset to be heard on a date after May 1 and notice of the rescheduled date will be mailed by the court to counsel and parties.
Court Clerk’s Offices
The Court Clerk’s Offices will remain closed to the public. Court staff will be available by phone. A drop-box for the emergency matters listed above will be available at both the Lakeport Courthouse (located in the first-floor Lobby) and Clearlake Courthouse (accessed from outside the main door) between 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Filings will be accepted by mail or drop-box. Any temporary emergency order returned from a judge, will be available for pick up after 4:00 pm. All other filings will require a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope if endorsed copies are desired.
The Self-Help Center will be closed to the public. Assistance will be provided by phone and email only. No in-person assistance will be provided.
If you received a summons to appear for jury service between April 1 and May 1, you are not required to appear. You will be rescheduled and sent a new notice. As the situation is quickly evolving, we will keep the public up to date on our website www.lake.courts.ca.gov.
View the full notice here.
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