LA County Courts Shut Down for Three Days Amid Virus Outbreak

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Los Angeles County Superior Court, the largest trial court in the nation, will be closed for three days starting Tuesday due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

The court’s 47 courthouses and 600 courtrooms will be closed to the public beginning Tuesday and will reopen in a limited capacity Friday for hearing or handling emergency matters, LA County Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile announced Monday. 

The Stanley Mosk Courthouse of the LA County Superior Court (Nathan Solis/CNS)

LA County Department of Public Health Monday announced 25 additional confirmed cases of residents who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 95. City of Los Angeles and state officials called for the closure of all bars, nightclubs and theaters, following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the ban of gatherings of 50 people or more.

Brazile said California Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye granted his request for an emergency order and the court closures will be counted as statutory holidays so they do not count toward court deadlines.

In a statement, Brazile said the LA County Superior Courts are committed to “fair, timely and efficient resolution to all cases.”

“However, it is imperative that we continue aligning our court with the most recent directives and guidelines issued by our national, state and local public health officials,” Brazile said. “Let me be clear: we will continue to serve the needs of the most vulnerable people in Los Angeles County – our children, the elderly, domestic violence victims, people whose life and liberty interests are at stake, and in many other emergent cases as is possible and safe.”

Los Angeles County has a population over 10 million and the superior court is staffed by over 5,400 employees.

The emergency order also allows Brazile to authorize time extensions for criminal arraignments, preliminary hearings and trials, along with extensions for deadlines in civil, small claims, unlawful detainer and dependency cases in civil, probate and family court.

Brazile says there will be additional updates on the impact to court services in the next few days.

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