Updated Actions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
May 15, 2020
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SOLANO COUNTY ANNOUNCES UPDATED ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
PANDEMIC UPDATED: May 15, 2020Theorder of the Solano County Health Officer to shelter in place was modified May 7, 2020. The Governor’s Executive Order to shelter in place continues to apply to Solano County.Emergency Rules adopted by the Judicial Council on April 6, 2020, as well as the Statewide Emergency Orders issued by the Chief Justice continue to be in effect. The Emergency Operations order issued by the Chief Justice for the Solano County Superior Court is effective through May 28, 2020.
Effective May 18, 2020, the Court is able to reinstate limited proceedings while utilizing social distancing and remote court proceedings as appropriate to reduce the number of persons physically present at the court.The need for limited basis operations continues to exist. As circumstances evolve, the court will continue to prioritize essential hearings while it begins to transition court operations in a manner necessary to promote public health and safety.
Limited basis operations are described as follows:
- Filings. Filings in Fairfield and Vallejo courthouses will continue to be accepted via the drop-box. All filings will be stamped received on the date received. Filings will be prioritized for processing by the clerk’s office pursuant to the criteria and directions of the Presiding Judge and/or Supervising Judges from each division.
- Time-Waived Criminal Cases. All time waived felony and misdemeanor arraignments, hearings, and court appearances in both the Vallejo and Fairfield courthouses, are continued 8 weeks from their current date unless the parties are otherwise notified. This shall continue until June 30, or further order of the Court. (See MISC 6-2020 Standing Order re: COVID-10 Notification of Continued Criminal Cases.)
- No-Time-Waiver Criminal Cases. All no time waived felony and misdemeanor hearings and court appearances in both the Vallejo and Fairfield courthouses will be heard in the Fairfield courthouse on the date presently set until May 29, 2020. As of June 1, 2020, all Vallejo felony cases shall be heard in the Vallejo courthouse on the date presently set. As of June 1, 2020, all Fairfield felony and both Vallejo and Fairfield misdemeanor matters shall be heard in the Fairfield courthouse on the date presently set.
- Jury Trials. By order of the Chief Justice, all jury trials are suspended 90 days. Jurors who have received summons should follow there porting instructions for updates regarding your jury service or your continued date for jury service.
- Traffic and Infractions. All non-traffic infraction and traffic infraction matters will be continued until further order of the Court. The Court will provide notice of the continued hearing date and options for Remote Video Arraignment and Trial will be available.
- Juvenile Delinquency and Dependency. All juvenile delinquency and dependency detentions, arraignments and other hearings will remain as scheduled unless the parties are notified not to appear or the parties have an approved stipulation or order for continuance.
- Restraining Orders including Domestic Violence, Civil Harassment and Elder Abuse. The Court continues to process requests for Restraining Orders, including domestic violence, civil harassment and elder abuse orders.Restraining order hearings currently scheduled will remain as scheduled.Courtroom and judicial officer assignments for cases involving restraining orders are subject to change. All hearings will be in Fairfield but may be heard in the Hall of Justice, Old Courthouse or Law and Justice building. Upon arrival to court, please check the electronic bulletin board to confirm the courtroom and judicial officer assignment. Please arrive 15 minutes early to allow time to locate your assigned court.
- Family Law. Commencing May 4, 2020,and continuing through May 29, 2020, the court will hear a limited number of matters regarding custody and parenting time as currently scheduled. Parties are encouraged to appear via CourtCall or to contact the department to make alternative arrangements to avoid personally appearing. If applicable, parties may be contacted by Family Court Services to attend pre-hearing Child Custody Recommending Counseling (“CCRC”) via phone conference in these matters. Additionally, the court may hear settlement conferences as currently scheduled via Zoom or conference call. Parties and counsel may stipulate to schedule a case management or settlement conference meeting with the assigned judicial officer via Zoom or conference call to be scheduled directly through each department’s judicial assistant; matters assigned to Department 10 will be scheduled on a rotating basis. All other family law matters will be postponed by written notice provided by the court. The court will continue to process requests for emergency family law orders on an ex parte basis for emergencies as defined in California Rules of Court, Rule 5.151. True defaults will not be processed during the period of emergency operations until 10 court days after any period in which the State Health Officer has lifted the order to shelter in place; however, the court will process defaults with an agreement as staff resources are available.
- Temporary Guardianships. Effective May 1, 2020,letters establishing temporary guardianships were extended 28 days.
- Probate and Probate Conservatorships. Effective April 3, 2020, letters of special administration establishing special powers in probate matters were extended 60 days. (See MISC 002721 Standing Order re: Probate, LPS and Guardianship Matters During Emergency Operations) Any automatic extensions expire June 3, 2020. All probate matters will remain as currently calendared. Effective May 18, 2020, all probate conservatorships are reassigned to Civil Division and will be heard by the Honorable Alesia Jones, Department 22. Unless otherwise notified, probate conservatorships scheduled May 21 and May 28, 2020, will remain as currently calendared but will be heard in Department 22. To promote social distancing, attorneys, parties and interested persons are strongly encouraged to appear via Zoom, Zoom telephone conference call or CourtCall for all hearings with the exception of trials unless otherwise ordered by the court. Based upon resources, some cases may only proceed utilizing Zoom and/or the Zoom telephone conference line. An invitation to remote court proceedings will be emailed to the attorneys of record or pro pers. (See Standing Order re: Remote Proceedings.) .
- LPS Conservatorships. Effective May 1, 2020, all LPS proceedings are reassigned to Civil Division and will be heard by the Honorable Christine Carringer, Department 12. Cases will remain as currently calendared.To promote social distancing, attorneys, parties and interested persons are strongly encouraged to appear via Zoom, Zoom telephone conference call or CourtCall for all hearings with the exception of trials unless otherwise ordered by the court.Based upon resources, some cases may only proceed utilizing Zoom and/or the Zoom telephone conference line. An invitation to remote court proceedings will be emailed to the attorneys of record or pro pers. (See Standing Order re: Remote Proceedings.)
- DCSS. All cases involving the Department of Child Support Services (“DCSS”) scheduled between May 4, 2020 and May 29, 2020 will be postponed. DCSS will provide notice of the continued hearing date.
- Self-Help Center.The Self-Help Center is not open for in-person assistance. Requests for assistance may be made by email email@example.com. Additional self-help resources may be found on the California Judicial Council’s website at www.courts.ca.gov.
- Small Claims. All small claims matters scheduled between March 15 and May 30, 2020 are continued.Effective May 18, 2020, the court will commence re-noticing previously continued small claims hearings which will be heard in Fairfield.The court will provide notice of the continued hearing date to any defendant if a proof of service with a mailing address is on file. If the court does not have evidence of a mailing address, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to timely serve the notice of the rescheduled hearing upon a defendant in addition to the underlying claim and order. Please follow the directions on the notice of continued hearing provided by the court. Parties may also check the status of their case by reviewing Court Connect on the court’s website at www.solano.courts.ca.gov.
- Unlawful detainer. Writs of possession under submission with the Clerk’s Office will be processed effective May 18, 2020.Pursuant to Emergency Rule 1 adopted April 6, 2020 by the Judicial Council: (a)UD defaults cannot be processed,unless the action is necessary to protect public health and safety and the party failed to appear in the time required by law and as set forth by Executive Order; (b) all UD trials previously scheduled were suspended at least 60 days,unless necessary to protect public health and safety; (c) no summons may be issued in any UD case, unless the case is necessary to protect public health and safety. Parties seeking to process a UD case on the basis that it is necessary to protect public health and safety may seek relief by following the process set forth in the applicable standing order.(See Second Amended Standing Order re: Unlawful Detainers effective May 18, 2020.)
- Civil. With the exception of jury trials scheduled between May 18 and July 1, 2020, civil cases will remain as currently calendared. To promote social distancing, attorneys, parties and interested persons are strongly encouraged to appear remotely via Zoom, telephone conference call or CourtCall for all hearings with the exception of court trials, unless otherwise ordered by the department. Based upon resources, some proceedings may only proceed utilizing Zoom and/or the Zoom telephone conference line. An invitation to remote court proceedings will be emailed to the attorneys of record or pro pers. (See Standing Order re: Remote Proceedings.)Default sand default judgments in civil cases will be processed as staffing resources permit commencing June 2, 2020.
Social Distancing and Physical Appearances at Court
Members of the public shall adhere to social distancing requirements and maintain a six foot separation from others while at court, with the exception of persons from the same household or association. Signage has been posted throughout the court to assist the public to self-monitor and adhere to social distancing requirements. Due to social distancing needs, it may be necessary to limit numbers of persons in a physical courtroom.Priority for courtroom access will be given to parties with cases on calendar. The Solano County Health Officer has not ordered the use of masks in Solano County. However, the public is strongly encouraged to use masks while on court property. Judicial officers may request the removal of masks as necessary to conduct judicial proceedings or to ensure public safety.
Public Access to Remote Court Proceedings
Remote Court proceedings are public proceedings. Members of the public, the media, professional journalists or interested persons may request to be included in a fully virtual remote court proceeding. Such a request should be made at least one day in advance to permit sufficient time to administer the request. Requests to join a remote proceeding should be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested parties may check the court website to view all public calendars to determine which matters are being heard remotely.
Due to court closures, personnel and facility needs, hearings may be reassigned to alternative courtrooms. Please consult the electronic bulletin boards and follow any posted notices. The Court will continue to monitor the evolving situation and will update this notice as circumstances warrant. Any revised orders will be posted on the Court’s website at www.solano.courts.ca.gov. Accurate Contact Information. To ensure accurate notice of continued hearing dates,and to allow processing of remote court appearances, it is the responsibility of each attorney or person appearing in pro per to ensure that the court has current contact information including mailing address, email address and telephone number.Updated contact information may be mailed or emailed to each division depending upon the type of case. Emails updating contact information may be sent to the Civil Division at email@example.com to the Family Law Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.