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Tue Mar 17, 2020, 07:34 PM

Coronavirus prompts CA courts to close, delay trials

California courts are delaying trials and even temporarily closing their doors in hopes of preventing the spread of the new coronavirus, moves intended to balance public safety with due process that could leave some cases in limbo for weeks.

The Contra Costa County Superior Court is closing until at least April 1. Superior Court in Orange County will not start new civil trials until at least May 1. The Supreme Court of California has suspended in-person oral arguments — instead, lawyers will appear remotely, through video, telephone or other electronic means.

In Los Angeles, a judge postponed the murder trial of multimillionaire New York real estate heir Robert Durst until April 6. Superior Court in Los Angeles is delaying certain trials, and on Monday announced it would shut down through Thursday “in response to the substantial need to control and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

The court will reopen Friday for handling essential or emergency matters.


I have been in communication with many Los Angeles law offices which are opposing counsel in cases in my office. It's a mess out there and some of the soonest continence dates for pending civil trials which start at the end of March or during this April are now in October 2020. Criminal cases and family law cases with child custody have preference over general civil matters.

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