Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile today signed an updated General Order mandating facial coverings and social distancing requirements in all 38 Superior Court of Los Angeles County courthouses and courtrooms. Under the Order, all persons entering any courthouse or courtroom must wear a face-covering/mask over his or her nose and mouth at all times within the public areas of the courthouse or courtroom. Individuals who wear a face shield must ensure it covers both the nose and the mouth, wraps around the sides of a wearer’s face, and extend to below the chin with a cloth drape from the bottom of the face shield to below the neck.
“The more we learn about COVID-19 and measures to slow its spread, it is imperative to follow the evolving local, state, and federal public health protocols,” Presiding Judge Brazile said. “Face shields should not be used in place of a mask or cloth face-covering according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the absence of data that face shields alone provide adequate protection from respiratory droplets, I am amending my June 5 General Order on face coverings to specify face shield requirements, including the use of a cloth drape.”
Children under the age of three (3) are exempt from the Order.
Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that precludes them from wearing a face-covering are exempt from today’s Order. However, they must “take whatever protective measures their condition permits, such as wearing a face shield without a drape on the bottom edge,” according to the Order. Individuals with disabilities who seek an exemption from this Order 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.
Under the Order:
- To reduce the risk of contagion, the matters of individuals exempted from wearing a mask may be scheduled when fewer people are present.
- Non-exempt individuals who decline or refuse to wear a mask or face covering will be denied entry to the courthouse and/or courtroom.
- Individuals who remove their masks or face coverings 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 (6) six feet of physical distance from all persons (except those within their 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.
The Order, which is attached, is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.
Judicial officers and employees also are required to wear masks or facial coverings in all courthouses, courtrooms, and public spaces unless they have a medical exemption. The Court has provided judicial officers and employees with two cloth face coverings for their use.
The Court must fulfill its statutory duties while safeguarding the well-being of the public it serves. For more information on the Court’s Here For You | Safe For You initiative, visit the Court’s home page (www.lacourt.org) and follow us on Twitter (@LASuperiorCourt).
View the full notice here.
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