New Orders Regarding County Courthouses and Criminal Matters
The Orange County Superior Court announced that it would be closing all courthouses (with certain exceptions) to the public in an effort to lessen the spread of coronavirus. On March 23, 2020, the Chief Justice issued an order that all jury trials be suspended and continued for sixty (60) days unless done with remote technology. In addition, the countywide bail schedule was lowered for lower-level misdemeanor and felony offenses. In some cases, lowering the bail amount to $0, resulting in fewer people being incarcerated in local jails.
The court is meeting with “justice partners” to determine if anyone in county jail or juvenile hall with less than 60 days remaining on their sentences should be permitted early release. Depending on the case a person may be released “with or without supervision or to community-based organizations for treatment.”
The court is advocating the use of telephone and video appearances in hopes of minimizing or eliminating personal appearances. Restraining orders that were set to expire between 3/17/2020 to 3/27/2020 were extended by “not more than fourteen (14) days.” The original Emergency Order issued on March 16 also extended the time period for a number of other procedural deadlines. Read more about the court closures below and be sure to contact your attorney for information regarding your case.
Read the following court announcements regarding the closures extended through March 30, 2020: