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California's Judicial Council Issues New Emergency Eviction And Bail Rules

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye


The California Judicial Council met yesterday and set standards for how courts should operate during the COVID19 emergency.


Courts around the Bay Area have been changing their procedures to adhere to social distancing guidelines and minimize health risks. But, it’s made for a confusing patchwork of policies from county to county. So the Judicial Council of California met on Monday and approved new emergency rules for court procedures across the state. 


Now, courts will not order or enforce any evictions, regardless of cause. They will also suspend judicial foreclosures. The only exception is for public health and safety.


The Council is also getting rid of bail for most misdemeanors and lower-level felony offenses. It did not change bail schedules for those charged with violent crimes and higher-level felonies. Courts will also be allowed to conduct pretrial proceedings like arraignments remotely, via phone or video, with a Defendant’s consent. 


All of this is part of ongoing efforts to minimize the risk of exposure to coronavirus. The emergency rules will remain in effect until ninety days after the state of emergency ends.


Precious has lived in and loved the Bay Area since 2012 when she moved from Atlanta, Georgia. Her reporting interests include the politics of race and gender and pop culture as a reflection of our changing cultural landscape. Prior to joining KALW, Precious worked with a variety of community development, social impact and economic equity focused organizations. Before moving to the Bay Area, she practiced law in her hometown.