Citing the community spread of COVID-19, the presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s court system has announced another extension of deadlines in criminal trials and hearings to determine if there is enough evidence to require a defendant to stand trial.
In a statement, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor said, “The public health threat posed by the COVID-19 virus remains present in Los Angeles County. This order will enable the court to maintain our careful approach to scaling up court operations while continuing to closely follow emerging public health guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The presiding judge noted that the court is still strongly urging parties to make remote appearances whenever possible and follow all COVID-19 protocols in place at court facilities, including wearing face masks.
The new extensions allow for:
— the time within which a criminal trial must be held to be extended by up to 30 days in cases in which the statutory deadline would otherwise fall between Aug. 14 and Aug. 27;
— the time for a preliminary hearing following arraignment to be extended from 10 court days to no more than 30 court days until Aug. 27;
— pretrial hearings in misdemeanor cases set between Aug. 14 and Aug. 27 for out-of-custody defendants to be extended by 90 calendar days unless statutorily required to be held sooner and the defendant does not consent to a continuance.
— deadlines in certain juvenile dependency cases set between Aug. 14 and Sept. 11 to be extended by four weeks.