Issued: April 6, 2020

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin 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.  The Chief Justice issued additional statewide orders extending some 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 3, 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 6, 2020, through May 6, 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 6, 2020, except for services described herein. Beginning April 6, 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
  • Arrest and Search Warrants
  • Or any other matter deemed to be an emergency by a judicial officer

Courthouse

Pursuant to the Declaration of Local Health Emergency issued by the Public Health Officer of Sierra County on March 20, 2020, and the Sierra County Board of Supervisors Resolution proclaiming the existence of a local state of emergency in Sierra County as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic virus,  the courthouse is currently closed to the public.  There is no projected date when the courthouse will reopen to the public.

Trials and Contested Hearings

Except by special order of judicial officer, the court will not be conducting any trials or hearings during the closed period of April 6, 2020, through May 6, 2020.  The trials and hearings currently set to occur during the closed period will be rescheduled by the court to a date after May 6, 2020, and notice of the rescheduled date will be mailed to counsel or the self-represented party.

Current Scheduled Court Dates

All regular court calendars and currently scheduled court dates for the period of April 6, 2020, through May 6, 2020, will be rescheduled by the court.  Notice of the rescheduled date will be mailed to counsel or the self-represented party.

Traffic Court Dates

All Traffic matters currently scheduled for Court between April 6, 2020, and May 6, 2020, will be continued.  You do not need to come to Court to request a continuance.  A notice of any new hearing or trial date will be mailed to all parties.  Traffic tickets may be paid online at www.sierra.courts.ca.gov or by phone: 530-289-3698.

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 6, 2020.  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.

Court Clerk’s Offices

The Court Clerk’s Office will remain closed to the public until further notice.  Court staff will be available by phone.  Filings will be accepted by mail or email at superiorcourt@sierracourt.org.  Filings by mail will require a self-addressed stamped envelope if endorsed copies are desired.  Filings received by email will be filed the day received, with copies returned via email within two (2) business days. Any temporary emergency order issued by a judge will be emailed to the requesting party.

As the situation is quickly evolving, we will keep the public up to date on the Court’s website at: www.sierra.courts.ca.gov

View the full notice here.

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