PRESIDING JUDGE DONNA STASHYN ISSUES ORDER TO LIMIT
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ALLOWED IN SOLANO COUNTY
COURTHOUSES AMID SPIKE IN COUNTY AND STATEWIDE
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, public access to courthouses is restricted to authorized persons only and measures to enforce social distancing in courthouse hallways and courtrooms will be strictly enforced as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge in Solano County, Presiding Judge Donna L. Stashyn announced today.
Under Court Order (M-18-2020) issued today, public access to courthouses is limited at all times to judicial officers, court employees, co-lessees, Judicial Council staff, vendors, jurors, mediators, authorized persons (including news media representatives and news reporters), attorneys, litigants and witnesses with matters on calendar, and individuals with confirmed appointments.
Recently, despite mandatory and previous Orders requiring the use of face masks and social distancing and ubiquitous signage in each courthouse reiterating the face mask and social distancing mandates, attorneys, litigants, and others remove their masks, wear their mask improperly, and/or fail to observe social distancing while in courthouses. Non-compliance with the basic protective measures that this Court has repeatedly required by way of prior Orders may increase the spread of COVID-19.
In the interest of enforcing social distancing and to reduce the number of people in the courthouses, effective immediately, members of the public, not otherwise referenced above, who wish to attend a court proceeding may do so upon advance request and at the discretion of the judicial officer presiding over the matter. Instructions on how to make such a request are available on the Court’s website at the COVID-19 page at “Access to Remote Hearings”. All persons attending remotely must comply with applicable California Rules of Court, including Rule 1.150. There shall be no recording by anyone of the court proceeding, hearing or trial.
“We continue to strive to adapt operations as circumstances change in order to promote the health and safety of all who enter the courthouses while balancing access to justice, freedom of the press, and public access to proceedings,” Judge Stashyn said.
To address concerns about lack of social distancing in some courthouse hallways and public areas, all attorneys, litigants, witnesses and authorized persons are prohibited from gathering with or speaking to anyone outside their household in courthouse hallways or public areas of the Court unless they can do so at least six feet apart from each other and while wearing masks over their nose and mouth.
To enforce social distancing, each court department shall schedule only the number of matters during each session as it can accommodate consistent with social distancing requirements in courtrooms and outside hallways of the courthouse.
Eating in courthouse hallways and courtrooms by the public shall be prohibited at all times.
Sheriff’s Department personnel are directed to enforce the mandatory face mask requirement and social distancing protocols in courthouses.