LASC: PRESIDING JUDGE ERIC C. TAYLOR URGES THE BENCH AND BAR TO REDUCE IN-PERSON APPEARANCES, ENCOURAGING USE OF REMOTE COURTROOM TECHNOLOGY AS LOS ANGELES COUNTY EXPERIENCES HOLIDAY SURGE
PRESIDING JUDGE ERIC C. TAYLOR URGES THE BENCH AND BAR TO REDUCE IN-PERSON APPEARANCES, ENCOURAGING USE OF REMOTE COURTROOM TECHNOLOGY AS LOS ANGELES COUNTY EXPERIENCES HOLIDAY SURGE
Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today strongly encouraged attorneys and the public to rely on remote courtroom appearance technology – and remote and virtual service options – to continue reduced capacity in all Los Angeles County courthouses as the winter COVID surge, fueled by dual variants and family gatherings, has tripled the number of cases in Los Angeles County since last week. While there are no social distancing mandates in LA County, Presiding Judge Taylor reminded everyone that safe access to justice depends on adherence to public health guidance, including the mandatory use of face masks over the nose and mouth in all courthouses.
“Today’s report of more than 20,000 cases in LA County – which has tripled in just one week – is a troubling sign that we are facing another challenging winter surge that requires vigilance and a recommitment to public compliance with health orders and
guidance,” Presiding Judge Taylor said. “The Court’s longstanding mandatory face mask order and other public health guidance remains in effect to protect everyone seeking and delivering justice in LA County courthouses. As the Court continues to closely monitor escalating COVID case trends, I am urging litigants, bar leaders and judicial officers to rely on remote appearance technology and to avoid social gatherings whenever possible through the month of January and for as long as needed to combat the ongoing pandemic. I remind everyone that all 580 courtrooms in the LA Superior Court are equipped with remote appearance technology.”
Presiding Judge Taylor also:
- Emphasized that in accordance with General Order 2021-GEN-023-00, all persons – regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while in a courthouse. Persons whose disabilities preclude them from wearing face coverings compliant with the guidance are urged to seek an accommodation under Rule 1.100 of the California Rules of Court in advance of their court appearance or appointment. A list of ADA liaisons is available at https://www.lacourt.org/ada/adahome.aspx.
- Encouraged urged persons seeking services from the Clerk’s Office, court support services, and/or the Self-Help Centers to schedule appointments and use the available online services. 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, lacourt.org.
- Reminded the public that anyone experiencing symptoms, who has been exposed to COVID-19, or tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, should not enter any courthouses. If you have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms, promptly call the courtroom and other parties to continue the hearing or trial.
- Urged everyone not to eat or drink in courthouse hallways.
- Asked attorneys and litigants not to meet and confer unnecessarily in hallways.
- Asked that people who must come to courthouses not bring unnecessary companions.
- Urged judicial officers that in the absence of countywide social distancing mandates or guidelines, they should continue to have jurors spread out, to the extent possible, using all available space in their courtrooms.
- Emphasized the Court’s vigilance in carefully monitoring local COVID trends and following all LA County Department of Public Health Officer orders as well as state public health and CDC guidance.
- Reminded the public that the great majority of court employees, judicial officers, and justice partners are fully vaccinated following successful efforts to prioritize vaccinations in early 2021 for justice system workers. The Court will continue to work with its justice partners to provide safe and efficient access to justice, with health and safety remaining the highest shared priority.
For updates, follow the Court on Twitter (@LASuperiorCourt) and the Court’s website (LACourt.org).
|View the full notice here.
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