Updated Temporary New Procedures for All South County (Venice) Circuit Matters
Effective immediately through Friday, April 17, 2020:
INJUNCTIONS FOR PROTECTION WILL PROCEED AS NORMAL
but can be heard remotely. Any party wanting to attend the hearing via video conferencing must email the judicial assistant within 24 hours of the hearing to obtain the video conferencing link.
Case Managements, Pre-Trials, Docket Soundings and all nonevidentiary hearings
regardless of length must be conducted via video conferencing. If there is a court reporter, the court reporter must be remote and not in the courtroom. Should the scheduled hearing present a difficulty for any party, please file a motion to continue and explain that difficulty. A copy of the motion should be emailed to the judicial assistant with copy to all parties.
There is hearing time available on JACS over the next few weeks, and nothing about scheduling hearings has changed. If hearing time is not available in the timeframe you need, or for longer hearings, please continue to contact the assigned judge’s judicial assistant. The judicial assistants have received a much higher volume of telephone calls. Email contact with the judicial assistant with copy to all parties generally is the quicker and more efficient means of communication.
All jury trials during this time are cancelled.
Nonjury Trials and Evidentiary Hearings:
Currently, nonjury trials and evidentiary hearings may not occur during the COVID-19 state of emergency unless ordered by the assigned judge (usually with the consent of all parties). The parties should discuss the logistics of conducting any nonjury trial or evidentiary hearing via video conferencing and to notify the assigned judge in advance for final determination as to whether the proceeding may occur.
Normal procedures for handling emergency matters outlined in Local Rule 4b are still followed. Emergency matters must first be presented to the assigned judge who, in most instances, will resolve the matter.
Uniform Motion Calendar:
Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) are cancelled through the end of April.
Emergency Temporary Guardianship hearings/Final Guardianship hearings/Hearings on DNR Orders:
shall be conducted via video conferencing. If the matter necessitates an in person hearing, a motion requesting an in person hearing must be filed indicating the reasons why the matter cannot be heard remotely.
Use of Video Conference for Court Hearings:
The Zoom video conferencing platform will be used to conduct virtual court hearings, although traditional telephonic hearings remain a viable option. Information about Zoom may be found at its website. There are no fees for attending a court hearing via Zoom—the Court is obtaining the necessary licenses to permit judges to host the court hearings on the Zoom platform. This platform will allow individuals to appear via telephone if they do not have an available camera.
Court proceedings are public; how to access a court hearing:
As a reminder, Court hearings remain public proceedings despite the existence of COVID-19. Until the Zoom platform is fully implemented, contact the judicial assistant via email to obtain the video conference link and call-in information for your hearing. The party scheduling the hearing must include the video conference link and call-in information on the notice of hearing.
When the Zoom platform is fully implemented, the current plan (subject to change) is for those judges to post on a single page on the Court’s website the necessary information that will permit the parties and the public to access the court hearing. The Court will publicize the specific location of that page when it is available. Additionally, the Court will then require the notice of hearing to contain language that will direct the parties and public to that site.
Last updated March 26, 2020