NAPA, CA—In response to ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Napa County Superior Court will continue to maintain limited operations through May 29, 2020. The Court has also begun
planning for a gradual reopening and phased reinstatement of services.
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Napa County Superior Court significantly scaled back operations in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This included closing two courthouses and limiting entrance to a third facility while reducing calendars to emergency and time-sensitive matters (Criminal, Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency, emergency Ex Parte applications). These measures—implemented to protect court users, litigants, and staff—were previously in effect through Friday, May 1.
Earlier this week, based on guidance provided by public health officials, the Napa County Superior Court submitted a request to the Chief Justice of California to extend limited operations through Friday, May 29, 2020. This afternoon, the Court received notice that the Chief Justice signed an emergency order granting authority to the Court to extend, as it deemed appropriate, various case-related deadlines.
Under this authority, please note the following:
- Handling of time-sensitive in-custody arraignments, certain family & juvenile cases, and emergency matters will continue.
- Most non-time sensitive matters scheduled through May 29 will be continued from 8 to 12 weeks from the current hearing date. Refer to the Court’s website for more detailed information by case type.
- Check the online Court Calendars here to confirm if you are required to appear. If your case is on the list, you need to appear.
- All court calendars will be heard in the Criminal Court Building.
- Guidelines for entering a court facility are located here.
- The Historic and Juvenile Courthouses will remain closed.
- No jury trials will occur during this time. If you have been called for jury service, please check your status online or at 707-299-1150.
- A drop box for emergency matters is available at the Criminal Court Building located at 1111 Third Street in downtown Napa.
- Routine matters will not be processed until normal court operations resume or conditions permit staff to report to work.
- Check the Court’s website at www.napa.courts.ca.gov for the latest information. Detailed plans by case type are posted on the website.
Additional Resources for Court Users
On April 13, the Court expanded services in its Self-Help Center (SHC) to support all inquiries, even those outside the normal scope of SHC assistance. Any court user, including attorneys, may submit inquiries by phone from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday at 707-299-1137 or by email at Selfhelp@napa.courts.ca.gov. All inquiries will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition, the Court added case type-specific and topical ‘buttons” to its home page for easier navigation for those seeking information on specific court services and calendars. Court users are encouraged to check back frequently for service updates.
Gradual Reopening and Reinstatement of Services Planned
Given the uncertain timelines surrounding state and local shelter-in-place orders, and when they may be lifted, the Court is preparing for a gradual reopening as it explores ways to safely expand operations. To do so, the Napa Superior Court will continue to leverage technology and pursue the use of digital, telephonic, and remote video services to conduct court business. The Court expects to be able to process some non-emergency matters soon, such as those in certain civil, probate, and family law filings, especially as it relates to stipulations and orders. As those items get implemented, the Court will look to expand from there.
Looking ahead, the Court is engaged in planning and preparation for in-person services balanced with the various social distancing and public health protocols likely to be required. Further announcements on courthouse entrance guidelines are planned later.
“The restoration of court services and the reopening of courthouses will occur in phases. We will follow the advice of public health experts in doing so to protect the health of our staff, litigants, attorneys, and the community. In the meantime, we will look to find ways to safely expand court operations and services,” said Presiding Judge Mark Boessenecker.
For any additional questions, please contact the Court Executive Office by email at Court.Administration@napa.courts.ca.gov.
View the full notice here.
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