MANDATORY FACE MASK USE, SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL CONTINUE IN ALL LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURTHOUSES DESPITE JUNE 15 CHANGES IN STATE, COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH COVID-19 GUIDELINES
Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today reminded the public that face masks and social distancing remain in effect in all Los Angeles County courthouses until further notice. To avoid confusion today, as the state and county public health departments change their COVID-19 protocols, Presiding Judge Taylor asked the general public, including all who visit and work in County courthouses, to continue to follow the Court’s face mask and social distancing requirements.
“While June 15 represents the state’s economic reopening with revised state and county public health guidelines that match recent CDC changes, workplaces must continue to comply with Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards,” Presiding Judge Taylor said. “The Court is carefully monitoring rapid developments and will continue to provide updates on any changes to workplace guidelines. Please be patient and continue to wear your masks and remain six feet apart in all court buildings. If you forget your mask when coming to the courthouse, one will be provided to you at the entrance.
Here are the protocols that remain in effect until further notice:
Courthouse Access and Remote Appearances:
In the interest of safeguarding the well-being of court users and enforcing social distancing, persons seeking services from the Clerk’s Office, court support services, and/or the Self-Help Centers must have a prescheduled appointment. For telephone or video assistance, or to schedule an appointment, the telephone number for each courthouse is listed at the courthouse entry and posted on the Court’s website, www.lacourt.org.
Access to Superior Court of Los Angeles County proceedings is governed by General Order 2020-GEN-025-00 issued on November 23, 2020.
In accordance with Amended General Order No. 2021-GEN-009-02, issued on February 25, 2021, all persons are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while in a courthouse. Persons whose disabilities preclude them from wearing face coverings are urged to seek accommodation under Rule 1.100 of the California Rules of Court in advance of their court appearance or appointment.
The Order prohibits the use of face masks with valves in all Los Angeles County courthouses. It also requires that face masks be worn beneath face shields except as required by a physician. Children under the age of two are exempt from the Order.
Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that precludes them from wearing a face mask, are exempt from wearing a face covering. Nevertheless, they must take whatever protective measures their condition permits, such as appearing remotely or wearing a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge. Individuals with disabilities who seek an exemption from the face mask requirement as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Rule 1.100 of the California Rules of Court, should contact the ADA liaison at each courthouse. A list of liaisons is available at www.lacourt.org/ada/adahome.aspx.
To reduce the risk of contagion, the matters of individuals exempted from wearing a face mask may be scheduled when fewer people are present in court.
The Order requires:
- All persons entering any courthouse or courtroom shall wear a face mask over their nose and mouth at all times within public areas of the courthouse or courtroom.
- Non-exempt individuals who decline or refuse to wear a face mask will be denied entry to the courthouse and/or courtroom.
- Individuals who remove their face masks after entering the courthouse or courtroom will be reminded to wear them. If they refuse, they may be denied services, may have their legal matters rescheduled, and/or will be asked to leave the courthouse or courtroom immediately.
- Persons who refuse to leave voluntarily will be escorted out of the courthouse and/or courtroom by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel.
- Individuals are required to maintain at least six (6) feet of physical distance from all persons (except those within your household) at all times and comply with social distance signage throughout the courthouse.
- Use hand sanitizer when entering the courthouse, practice good hand-washing hygiene and cover coughs and sneezes, preferably with a tissue.
View the full notice here.
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