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Court Information and Legal Deadlines – COVID-19 – Issues

Last Update May 7, 2021

Below are selected websites from reliable sources, vetted by our Law Librarians. This is not an exhaustive list of information available on this topic, but a starting point to provide you with basic information.

 

San Diego Superior Court

Courthouse Procedures

Statutory Deadlines

Civil Court Information

E-Filing

Unlimited Cases

Limited Cases

Family Law Cases

Small Claims Cases

Unlawful Detainer Cases

Virtual Court Hearings

Jury Service

4th District Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court – Southern District of California 

Other Legal Deadlines

 

San Diego Superior Court

***San Diego Superior Court Services Resumed on May 26, 2020.***

 

Courthouse Procedures: 

For updated information regarding COVID-19 and San Diego Superior Court services and operations review this portal on the courthouse website –

http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,2053814&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

The court has created this guide updated April 16, 2021: San Diego Superior Court Services Available During COVID-19

 

The San Diego Superior Court, by General Order 052220-54, sets forth the following procedures that will be in effect until further notice. Here are some of the procedures listed in the order:

  • Access to all courthouses, courtroom, business offices, and public areas are restricted at all times to judges,  commissioners, court staff, persons seeking or participating in emergency services, persons required or permitted to attend scheduled hearings, and other authorized persons.
  • Access to any and all court proceedings shall be limited to parties, their attorneys, witnesses subpoenaed to testify, on support person statutorily permitted to accompany a person seeking a temporary restraining order, and other authorized persons.

On September 28, 2020, The San Diego Superior Court, by General Order 092820-92, outlines face covering and screening requirements for visiting the courthouse, as well as expanded in-person services.

 

Statutory Deadlines:

The San Diego Superior Court, by General Order 040320-29, extends the time periods provided in CCP 583.310 and 583.320 for a period of 60 days for those cases in which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire from March 17, 2020, to April 30, 2020, inclusive.

 

Court closure is deemed holiday for computing time:

Pursuant to San Diego Superior Court General Order 043020-47:

  • Civil Cases: All court days from March 17, 2020, to May 22, 2020, inclusive, will be deemed a court holiday for purposes of computing the time for filing papers with the court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure §§ 12 and 12a.
  • Juvenile Cases: All court days from March 17, 2020, to May 22, 2020, inclusive, will be deemed a court holiday for purposes of computing the time under Welfare & Institutions Code §§ 334, 631, 632, 637, and 657.
  • Criminal Cases: All court days from March 17, 2o20 to April 30, 2020, inclusive, will be deemed a court holiday for purposes of computing the time under Penal Code § 825. Beginning May 1, 2020, the emergency holiday designation no longer applies.
  • Unlawful Detainer Cases: All court days from March 17, 2020, to May 22, 2020, inclusive, are court holidays for purposes of computing time for the 5 day period that the defendant has to respond t0 an unlawful detainer complaint under the Code of Civil Procedure § 1167.

Civil Court Information

On May 13, 2020, the San Diego Superior Court issued General Order 051220-51(A), which stated the following:

Civil Court Cases Assigned to the Civil Independent Calendar Departments

Hearings on Motion

  • Hearings on motions in an Independent Calendar Department are vacated as of May 17, 2020, unless otherwise ordered by an  Independent Calendar Judge.
    • Independent Calendar Departments are Departments 64,65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, & 75 in the Hall of Justice, and N-27, N-28, N-29, & N-31 at the North County Regional Center.
  • To obtain a new hearing date, the parties must follow the following procedure:
    • Meet & confer regarding the continued necessity of the motion.
    • If the motion is still deemed necessary after the meet & confer, the part must first schedule a status conference hearing with the Independent Calendar Department in which the case is designed in order to address the rescheduling with the Judicial Officer.
    • For scheduling requests, please contact the calendar clerk for your assigned department. Department information can be found here.
    • Motion hearings vacated by the Order will not be re-calendared unless and until a Status Conference is Held.

Case Management Conferences

  • Case Management Conferences calendared
    • Between March 17, 2020, and May 22, 2020, are hereby continued to approximately 120 days from the date they were originally set to be heard.
    • After May 26, 2020, are hereby continued to approximately 120 days from the date they were originally set to be heard.
  • The Court will provide the parties with notice of the new date and time.

 

Trials and Trial Readiness Conferences

  • Trials and Trial Readiness Conferences calendared
    • Between March 17, 2020, and May 22, 2020, are hereby continued to approximately 180 days after they were originally set to be heard.
    • After May 26, 2020, are hereby continued to approximately 180 days from the date they were originally set to be heard.
  • The Court will provide the parties with notice of the new date and time.

 

Motion/ Discovery Cut-Off and Expert Designation Dates in any cases where the trial date is extended by this order are extended by 180 days from the date they were originally set.

 

E-Filing

As of April 15, 2021, e-filing through one of the San Diego Superior Court’s approved electronic filing service providers is mandatory in all Limited and Unlimited Civil Cases and Probate Cases for parties represented by attorneys. Self-represented litigants are encouraged, but not required, to e-file in these cases, as well.

 

Unlimited Civil Cases

All Unlimited Civil Cases not assigned to an Independent Calendar Departments and on the calendar on or after March 17, 2020, are hereby vacated and will be rescheduled at a time to be determined. The court will provide notice to the parties of the new date and time.

  • This Order excludes cases related to restraining or protective order, gun violence restraining order, and name changes.

Limited Civil Cases

All hearings in a Limited Civil action on or after March 17, 2020, are vacated and will be re-calendared on a date and time to be determined.

The Court will provide notice to the parties of the new date and time of the rescheduled hearing, as well as information on how to appear.

 

Family Law Cases

Family Law Virtual Hearings

Frequently Asked Question About Family Court Procedures During Emergency Conditions

For more information regarding Family Law, please reference our COVID-19 Family Law Issues Guide.

The Family Law Facilitators Office is open and providing remote assistance via workshops and personal assistance.

 

 

Small Claims Cases  

Small Claim FAQs 

All hearings on the calendar in small claims actions on or after March 26, 2020, will be scheduled for a future date.

The Court will provide notice to the parties of the new date and time of the rescheduled hearing, as well as information on how to appear.

Also, on January 29, 2021, the California legislature amended the California Code of Civil Procedure 116.223 to allow the Small Claims Court jurisdiction to resolve claims arising out of nonpayment of residential rent that occurred between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, even if the amount in dispute exceeds the $10,000 limit for Small Claims Court.

 

Unlawful Detainer 

Information on Unlawful Detainer Hearings

(General Order 043020-47 – Third Implementation Order, #13) 

All hearings on the calendar in small claims actions on or after March 17, 2020, are vacated and will be re-calendared on a date and time to be determined.

The Court will provide notice to the parties of the new date and time of the rescheduled hearing, as well as information on how to appear.

 

Virtual  Hearings

How to Access a Virtual Hearing

 

Jury Service

The San Diego Superior Court announced on January 27th, 2021 that jury trials will resume in February 2021. All potential jurors should follow instructions on their summons and call in for telephone standby jury duty.

More information for potential jurors can be found here.

 

A new online portal allows potential jurors to register their phone number and email address to receive an alert if they aren’t needed to come into the courthouse.

The San Diego Superior Courthouse has created a helpful video regarding the safety procedures in place for jurors, and the court’s jury information page can be found here.

Criminal Court Information

Criminal Court Live Streaming Information

San Diego County General Order 043020-47 does the following:

  • Time for individual charged with a felony to appear before the magistrate extended from 48 hours to no more than 7 days ONLY IF statutory deadline would have expired from May 1, 2020 to May 22, 2020. (Penal Code § 825)
  • Preliminary examination extended from 10 court days to not more that 30 court days ONLY IF statutory deadline would have expired from May 17, 2020 to May 22, 2020.  (Penal Code § 859b)
  • Time for holding a criminal trial extended by 90 days ONLY IF statutory deadline would have expired from May 17, 2020 to May 22, 2020.  (Penal Code § 1382)

More information on San Diego Superior Court response to COVID-19

 

4th District Court of Appeal

For information on Court Operations

 

U.S. District Court – Southern District of California

For information on Court Operations

Video resource from our YouTube channel: How the Federal Court is Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic (MCLE).

 

Other Legal Deadlines

Department of Motor Vehicles deadlines extended 60 days on April 23, 2020 for renewal of registration, registration display requirements, identification card renewal, applications for transfer of registration, and renewal of motor carrier property permits, with waiver of associated late fees.

September 30, 2020: Commercial DL Extended Through December 2020

June 1, 2020: DMV Encourages Online Renewal for IDs & Drivers Licenses

May 22, 2020: DMV Further Extends Expiring Drivers Licenses

May 8, 2020: DMV Extends Temporary Driving Permits

April 23, 2020: DMV Waives Late Fees, Delays Registration, Extends Permits & IDs

https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/N-54-20-COVID-19-4.22.20.pdf

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/2020/2020_18