Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s court system has announced another extension of deadlines in criminal trials and hearings to determine whether there is enough evidence for a defendant to stand trial.
“The court is encouraged by the county’s improving COVID-19 trends and will continue its periodic assessment of the need for such relief as we seek to balance access to justice with our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of court users,” Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor said in a statement.
Taylor announced the following timeline changes for cases:
— 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 Oct. 10 and Oct. 22;
— the time for a preliminary hearing following arraignment to be extended to no more than 30 court days in which the deadline would otherwise expire;
— pretrial hearings in misdemeanor cases set between Oct. 10 and Oct. 22 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; and
— the extension of time periods within which a minor taken into custody pending juvenile dependency proceedings must be given a detention hearing to no more than seven days, applicable only to minors for whom the statutory deadline would otherwise expire between Oct. 10 and Nov. 5.
The order notes that all people regardless of vaccination status are required to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside Los Angeles County courthouses.