In mid-March, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Within days, states across the nation started taking action to slow the spread of the virus. On Thursday, March 19, 2020, California’s stay home order went into effect until further notice, covering the entire state of California.
“On March 19, 2020, I issued an order directing all individuals living in the State of California to stay at home except as needed to facilitate authorized, necessary activities or to maintain the continuity of operations of critical infrastructure sectors,” wrote Sonia Y Angell, MD, MPH, state public health officer & director of the California Department of Public Health, in the Public Health Order.
Family Courts Closed Due to COVID-19
As a result of the pandemic and the Public Health Order mentioned above, non-essential businesses across California were directed to close their doors. What did the closures mean for family courts in LA and Orange counties? As has been the case nationwide, the family courts in Southern California have been closed to the public with the exception of urgent situations, such as emergency hearings involving serious cases of child abuse and neglect.
What’s happening in Orange County specifically? “The Orange County Superior Court is closed to the public, with minimal exceptions for time-sensitive matters, or matters pertaining to the safety and security of the community. Over the coming days and weeks, the Court may be frequently changing the services available to the public. The Court is mindful of the balance that must be maintained between the timely administration of justice and protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our employees, justice partners, and the Orange County community,” according to the Superior Court of Orange County.
The Orange County Superior Court will be closed to the public until May 22, 2020, with very limited exceptions for urgent and time-sensitive matters that impact the safety of the community. If you have questions about when your case can be reviewed by the court, contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group.