General Info
 
Text resize: Decrease font site Increase font site

COVID-19

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
 
Updates and Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda (Court) is closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation. The Court is in routine communication with the Alameda County Public Health Department, the Alameda County Office of Emergency Services, other Alameda County justice agencies, other California Superior Courts, and the Judicial Council of California. We are working with these and other entities to ensure that we have up-to-date information and can best weigh the need to provide access to justice to our community while also supporting the activities of our public health agencies and the health of the public.

***UPDATE July 10, 2020*** The Court has issued a Press Release announcing extension of unlawful detainer stay and clarifies acceptable unlawful detainer filings; amends Family and Probate emergency Local Rules; and updates Civil, Family, Probate, and Criminal FAQs.

  • July 8, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing staff furlough days to address Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget reductions.
  • June 16, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing the adoption of emergency “zero bail” schedule and additional amendments to emergency Local Rules.
  • June 12, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its opening of appellate and limited emergency unlawful detainer filings, otherwise extends unlawful detainer stay, and requires email addresses on all filings.
  • June 5, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing resumption of Jury Trials.
  • June 1, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its extension of Emergency Order and issues further Implementation Order.
  • May 28, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing resumption of in-person traffic trials, increases remote traffic trial opportunities, and extends unlawful detainer stay.
  • May 20, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing remote “reopening.”
  • May 15, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that it will resume accepting reservations for and setting hearings on most motions, beginning May 18, and detailing remote appearance options in conservatorships
  • May 7, 2020 The Court has issued a Press Release announces plan to “re-open” civil filings, including new complaints.
  • May 1, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing a new implementation order in response to an emergency order granted by the Chief Justice, and the extension of the Court’s public closure through May 29, 2020.
  • April 29, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that it has expanded filings and hearings in civil, family, and probate matters, publishes updated FAQ, and prepares to seek additional Emergency Order in anticipation of extending public closure.
  • April 24, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing that it has expanded the types of documents that can be filed by fax, drop box, and mail.
  • April 23, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing the launch of remote public and media access to court proceedings.
  • April 22, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing the enactment of new emergency Local Rule and Local Rule amendments to facilitate the resumption of Court services during the COVID-19 crisis, posts traffic court FAQ and begins accepting some traffic documents via drop box.
  • April 17, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release regarding its offer of relief to litigants in traffic cases, and provides alternatives to litigants in time-not-waived traffic trials. 
  • April 16, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release regarding the resumption of limited hearings in Civil, Family, and Probate matters, issues related Emergency Local Rules and FAQs, permits limited public courthouse access, and orders additional jail releases.
  • April 13, 2020 The Court has issued a Press Release ordering the release of 56 additional persons from the Santa Rita Jail.
  • April 10, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release announcing new Emergency Local Rules, the opening of limited emergency Civil, Family, and Probate fax filing opportunities, and the tentative start of limited emergency hearings the week of April 20, 2020. The Court also orders release of additional persons from Santa Rita Jail.
  • April 8, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its adoption of the Emergency Bail Schedule as directed by the Judicial Council of California, along with new local form to facilitate remote criminal court appearances.
  • April 3, 2020 - The Court recieved a second Emergency Order from the Chair of the Judicial Council of California and has issued a Press Release regarding its implementation of that Order, its adoption of a new local rule, and its excusal of prospective jurors from service.
  • April 2, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its extension of the public closure period and requests extension of emergency relief, enacts emergency bail schedule, and extends stay of unlawful detainer actions.
  • April 2, 2020 - The Court has adopted new Local Rule 4.115, Emergency Rule Adopting Temporary Emergency Bail Schedule, to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to the March 23, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice.
  • March 27, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release regarding its expansion of remote services during the COVID-19 public closure period.
  • March 25, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release regarding the resumption of Self-Help telephone service, two additional Orders, dated March 20, 2020 and March 25, 2020, releasing persons from custody, and the continuance of trials in accord with the March 23, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice.  
  • March 19, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release regarding the Presiding Judge's General Order releasing 247 persons from the Santa Rita Jail in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Press Release also refers to the new information added below, which details the impact of the current public closures on specific Court divisions and offices.  
  • March 17, 2020 - The Court received an Emergency Order from the Chair of the Judicial Council of California and has issued a Press Release providing additional details regarding services that are impacted pursuant to the authority conferred by that Order.
  • March 16, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its closure of all courthouses in support of the “Shelter in Place” Orders issued by Bay Area public health officials.
  • March 14, 2020 - The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
 
Information about specific Court divisions and offices

Executive Office

The Court’s Executive Office will be closed to the public. 

Telephone Service

A very limited number of staff will be available across the Court to answer telephones and monitor email accounts.  Please anticipate lengthy wait times for telephone service, and please understand that email responses will be delayed.

Criminal

The March 30, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice and the Court’s April 2, 2020, Implementation Order authorize the extension of the usual 48-hour adult criminal arraignment standard to 7 days during the Closure Period.

The Court is currently running bi-weekly in-custody arraignment calendars within the limitations of our COVID-19-related staffing and health and safety constraints. The District Attorney’s Office is continuing to make timely charging decisions; thus all arrestees not charged will be released. For those charged with criminal offenses who have not been released prior to arraignment through the pretrial risk assessment pilot, the Court will conduct in-custody arraignments only (no out-of-custody arraignments), on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  These arraignments are conducted via video-conference between the Santa Rita Jail and Departments 702 and 705 at the East County Hall of Justice (ECHOJ).  (Videoconference call in numbers can be obtained through representatives of the District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, Alameda County Bar Association and Court Appointed Attorney Program, and through the specific arraignment departments.)

In addition to the above arraignment departments, the Court is also hearing preliminary examinations via videoconference and personal appearance on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  These matters are set out of Dept. 713.  Starting June 1, the Court began a weekly felony law & motion calendar on Mondays; misdemeanor motions will be heard on Wednesdays, beginning June 10.  Starting June 8, the Court is resuming report & sentencing hearings on Mondays and Wednesdays via videoconference.  In anticipation of the resumption of criminal jury trials, starting June 11, the Court will operate a countywide master trial readiness calendar on Thursdays in ECHOJ Dept. 702.  Jurors will be summonsed for criminal jury trials beginning June 29, 2020.

Given public health directives regarding crowd size and social distancing, and given that our courthouses are generally closed to the public, these court proceedings are not physically open to the public.  However, members of the public may attend via the Court's Livestream audio link.  Members of the media may also request court access through videoconference or in person pursuant to emergency Local Rule 1.7a.

In addition to conducting the above formal calendars, the Court continues to accept Criminal filings made through the Odyssey E-Filing System.  Court staff will process filings on a priority basis, and as staffing permits; filers should anticipate that there may be delays.  Attorneys and members of the public should be aware that the Court is not currently monitoring the email accounts of its criminal departments not currently in regular operation during this Closure Period.  Emails to these departments will not be addressed; all matters requiring judicial action should be E-Filed, as stated above.

Additional information about Criminal matters during the public closure period can be found in this Criminal Closure FAQ.

Criminal Forms & Bail Schedules

Juvenile

The Court is working to develop a detention calendar within the limits of our COVID-19-related staffing and health and safety constraints.  The Court initially plans to attempt to conduct the detention hearings on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

The first in-custody detention calendars will take place on Friday, March 20, 2020, in Department 401 of the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro.  602 petitions will be heard at 9:00 a.m., while 300 petitions will be heard at 1:30 p.m.

During the closure period, the Court will only accept the following juvenile court documents for filing:

  • 300 and 600 petitions
  • Intake and Detention reports
  • Warrants
  • Any emergency medical request or JV220

Traffic

The Court’s Traffic offices are closed, and there will be no walk-in Traffic court during the public closure period.

All Traffic matters currently set for hearings from April 6, 2020, through May 29, 2020, are currently being reset, and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Effective April 22, 2020, the Court will begin accepting requests to waive time for traffic trials, and requests to appear at traffic trials via remote video appearance, via drop box at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, and Fremont Hall of Justice. Those requests can also be submitted via email to AskTraffic@alameda.courts.ca.gov.

Additional information about Traffic matters during the public closure period can be found in this Traffic Closure FAQ.

Civil

With the exception of papers relating to appeals and unlawful detainer cases, the Court is now accepting all filings—including case-initiating documents—via mail, drop box, and fax filing. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a and Local Rule 3.30 for details.

Beginning April 20, 2020, the Court resumed a limited number of Civil hearings regarding emergency matters and matters that were filed and scheduled before the March 17, 2020 Court closure. These hearings will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference. The Court will notify parties or their counsel in cases that are being set for hearing the week before the anticipated hearing date.

Additional information about Civil matters during the public closure period can be found in this Civil, Family and Probate Closure FAQ.

Fax Filing

Premium fax filing service has been suspended during the public closure period.  However, regular fax filing service is available for most Civil, Family, and Probate documents.  Documents received by 3:00 p.m. will be processed within three business days. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details.

Court Records

The Court records office is closed during the public closure period.  Some records may be obtained online by using the Court’s DOMAINWeb portal.

Notwithstanding the above, beginning April 20, 2020, the Court is offering limited public courthouse access for records searches between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (with no access granted after 2:45 p.m.) at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland (RCD). Members of the public who wish access may enter the criminal and civil clerk’s offices of RCD to conduct record searches if they wear a respiratory covering or mask, use their own or Court-provided hand sanitizer, and comply with social distancing directives. Access will be limited to one person in the criminal office and two people in the civil office at any given time; computer use will be limited to 15 minutes per user. Those waiting will be asked to wait outside weapons-screening at 6-foot increments. Failure to follow any of these directives will result in denial of access.

Appeals and Exhibits

Beginning Monday, June 15, 2020, any papers relating to appeals received by mail, fax filing, or e-filing between March 17, 2020, and March 31, 2020, will be processed and file-stamped with the date of June 15, 2020.  Papers pertaining to appeals received by mail, fax filing, or e-filing on or after April 1, 2020, will be processed and file-stamped on a rolling basis thereafter as resources permit.

Probate

The Court is now accepting all filings except for probate letters with associated bonds via mail, drop box, and fax filing.  Probate letters may be filed only by mail or drop box. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details.

Beginning April 20, 2020, the Court resumed a limited number of Probate hearings regarding emergency matters and matters that were filed and scheduled before the March 17, 2020 Court closure. These hearings will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference. The Court will notify the Petitioner of the hearing date. The Petitioner is required to notify all interested parties of the hearing date and the remote appearance requirement. See Emergency Local Probate Rule 7.180 for details. Interested parties can obtain the Meeting ID number for a particular case by clicking on this link after 5:00 p.m. the week before the date of the hearing.

The Court will continue to accept requests for emergency relief in Probate matters. The Court will accept such requests via fax filing, drop box filing or mail. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details. Drop boxes have been set up at the public entrance to the Berkeley Courthouse in Berkeley for that purpose. Court staff will contact moving parties when their requests have been ruled on. Please be sure to include a contact number and email address on your pleadings.

Additional information about Probate matters during the public closure period can be found in this Civil, Family and Probate Closure FAQ.

Family

The Court is now accepting all filings—including case-initiating documents—via mail, drop box, and fax filing. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details.

Beginning May 4 the court began conducting limited remote hearings for matters that were scheduled or filed prior to March 17, 2020.  On June 1, 2020 remote hearings were expanded to include all matters previously heard on the morning calendars.  Invitations to remote hearings are being sent by email to the parties or to their counsel once the court dates have been set.  These notices are typically being sent the  week before the anticipated  hearing date.  If you have not received an invitation to appear remotely on an upcoming court date, email the department directly for guidance.

The Court will continue to accept requests for emergency relief and responses in Family Law matters.  The Court will accept such requests and responses to such requests via fax filing, drop box filing or mail. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details. A drop box has been set up at the public entrance to the Hayward Hall of Justice for that purpose. Court staff will contact moving parties when their requests have been ruled on.  Please be sure to include a contact number or email address on your pleadings.

The Court has posted guidelines to clarify the Court’s expectations for those families and parents with current child custody and visitation orders in place during the “shelter-in-place” and public Court closure resulting from the COVID19 crisis. Additional information about Family matters during the public closure period can be found in this Civil, Family and Probate Closure FAQ.

Family Forms

Temporary Restraining Orders

The Court will continue to accept requests for Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs), and requests to renew, modify, withdraw or terminate TROS. The Court will accept such requests via fax filing, drop box filing or mail. See Emergency Local Rule 1.8a for details. Drop boxes have been set up at the public entrance to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland and the Hayward Hall of Justice for that purpose.

Court staff will contact petitioners by telephone when their TROs have been ruled on and are ready for pick-up, so it is critical that petitioners provide the Court with a contact phone number on their applications. Completed TROs will then be available in a pick-up box located at the public entrance to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland or the Hayward Hall of Justice.

The week of May 4, 2020, the Court began conducting remote hearings on requests for temporary restraining orders. See Emergency Local Rule 5.38 for details. These hearings will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference.  Invitations to remote hearings are being sent by email to the parties or to their counsel once the court dates have been set. These notices are typically being sent the week before the hearing date. If you have not received the invitation to appear remotely on an upcoming hearing court date, email the department directly for guidance.

Self-Help Center

The Court’s Self-Help Centers are closed for walk-in appointments, and all in-person Self-Help clinics have been suspended during the public closure period.

Self-Help Center staff are available to answer questions and provide assistance via telephone from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The Self-Help Center telephone number is (510) 272-1393. Self-Help Center staff are also available to answer questions and provide assistance via Live Chat service from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. For customers needing additional assistance, individual telephone or video appointments are also available. 

Interpreter Safety Guidelines

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Farsi
  • Korean
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnam

Family Court Services

The Family Court Services office is closed for in-person mediation appointments.

Family Court Services clerical staff are available to answer telephone calls from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone number is (510) 690-2500. Child Custody Recommending Counselors are currently conducting mediation sessions via telephone, and will contact parties to schedule. The Court is also exploring the option of offering mediation sessions by videoconference in the near future.    


Court resources that are available remotely

Although the Court is closed to the public, certain Court services are still available remotely:

Information for prospective jurors

The Court is now summonsing prospective jurors for new trials beginning the week of June 29, 2020.

Prospective jurors who were summonsed to appear between March 17 and April 30, 2020, are considered to have satisfied their jury service and will not be summonsed again for at least one year.  Prospective jurors who had postponed their previously scheduled jury service to a date after May 1, 2020, will receive new summons in the mail. Please check the Jury Duty Reporting page daily for updated information.


Additional questions about the Court’s response to COVID-19 that are not answered above

If you have additional questions about the Court’s response to COVID-19, please email the Court at covid19questions@alameda.courts.ca.gov

 
General Orders regarding COVID-19
 

Local Rules adopted to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to the March 23, 2020, Statewide Order of the Chief Justice


Local Rules amended to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic


Local Emergency Forms

 

Chief Justice & Chair of the Judicial Council of California resources regarding COVID-19

Additional Court resources regarding COVID-19

Health and Safety Measures When Visiting the Court

In order to promote the health and welfare of all persons visiting and working in court facilities, the Court has implemented numerous safety measures, including:

  • Requiring all persons entering a courthouse to wear masks or face coverings at all times and undergo health screenings; 
  • Enforcing social distancing standards, including limiting elevator, restroom, courtroom, and assembly area capacities;
  • Staggering juror reporting times to limit attendance numbers;
  • Reconfiguring and marking jury assembly rooms, courtrooms, and offices to ensure social distancing;
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting throughout, focusing on high use and high touch areas; and
  • Making hand sanitizer available in public areas.

Persons displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will not be permitted entry to any court facility. 

At the recommendation of the Alameda County Health Department, all visitors to court facilities will be required to complete a health screening survey upon entry. 

In order to minimize associated wait times, visitors are encouraged to print and complete the health screening survey immediately prior to their visit and bring the completed survey with them. Health screening surveys will be collected at the volunteer information desk inside each courthouse entrance and must be dated the same date as your visit.
 
 
For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following webpages:
 


Back To Top Print This Page