INFORMATION REGARDING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND COURT OPERATIONS
Updated May 27, 2020
On June 1, 2020, the Court will be restoring a number of services to its operations that were reduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see this public notice to restore services for more information. In the meantime, the following information still applies.
The Court has reduced operations and is only providing necessary and essential services. This is to reduce the number of jurors, parties, and attorneys in the Court for the time period of March 17 through June 1, 2020, as advised by public health officials.
All changes to operations are reflected in the Presiding Judge's General Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All orders of the Presiding Judge are authorized by emergency orders or a statewide order by the Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council.
The Judicial Council has approved 13 emergency rules due to the immediate and ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. These 13 emergency rules have been added as Appendix I of the California Rules of Court.
Information about services in specific court divisions:
ALL COURTHOUSES AND FACILITIES
- A local health order requires all members of the public to wear face coverings when interacting with others outside the home and at essential businesses and government. Anyone arriving to the court's facilities must wear a face covering or will be denied entry. Once admitted into the courthouse, parties must wear a face covering at all times.
- The court hereby extends the time period provided in Penal Code § 859b for the holding of a preliminary examination from 10 court days to not more than 30 court days. (March 30, 2020 Statewide Order, section A., paragraph 1).
- The court hereby extends the time period provided in Penal Code § 825 within which a defendant charged with a felony offense must be taken before a magistrate from 48 hours to not more than 7 days. (March 30, 2020 Statewide Order, section A., paragraph 2).
- The court hereby extends the time period provided in Penal Code § 1382 for the holding of a criminal trial by no more than 90 days from the last date on which the statutory deadline otherwise would have expired between March 16, 2020 and June 02, 2020. (April 30, 2020 Statewide Order).
- Traffic clerks are available to answer questions about citations over the phone Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM. Please call 415-551-8550 and ask to speak to a clerk.
- All traffic matters currently set between Tuesday, March 17, and Tuesday, June 16,, 2020, will be rescheduled to a future date. Notice of new hearing and trial dates will be mailed.
- Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all traffic “walk-in” appearances will be suspended through Friday, May 29. 2020. Please do not come to court. Courtesy notices will be mailed with new due dates and further instructions. Tickets can be paid online here.
- The Traffic Office will be closed during the period of Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, May 29, 2020. A drop box is available for payments near Room 145 of the Hall of Justice and will be checked throughout each court day.
- The trial dates for all cases on the civil trial calendar with trial dates from March 23, 2020, through June 1, 2020 (“applicable cases”) are hereby vacated. The court will set a new trial date for each case which will be 60 days from the vacated trial date (new trial date).
- For all applicable cases, except where the dates to conduct discovery have passed, the last dates to conduct discovery and expert discovery and to file motions for summary judgment and summary adjudication are hereby vacated. Effective immediately, the last date to conduct discovery and expert discovery and to file motions for summary judgment and summary adjudication for every applicable case is based on the new trial date.
- All parties and counsel in the applicable cases are hereby relieved of the pre-trial filing requirements set forth in San Francisco Local Rules of Court, Local Rule 6 and Code of Civil Procedure sections and California Rules of Court rules referenced in Local Rule 6.
- The dates for mandatory settlement conferences in all applicable cases are hereby vacated. When the court resumes normal operations, the court will set new mandatory settlement conferences dates for all applicable cases.
- For cases that were scheduled for trial between March 23, 2020 and June 1, 2020, and where all parties and counsel agree, a Voluntary Settlement Conference (VSC) judge is available to assist with the settlement of their matter, which shall be remotely conducted. Details on how to participate in the VSC program are in the April 30, 2020 General Order of the Presiding Judge.
LAW & MOTION
- The hearing dates for all law and motion and discovery matters currently calendared in departments 301 and 302 are hereby vacated. Any party to a law and motion matter filed before March 17, 2020 for hearing in department 302 may request the court to set a new hearing date on the matter. Details on how to have a previously filed matter heard are in the April 30, 2020 General Order of the Presiding Judge.
- Parties with emergencies which require court orders may submit ex parte applications in compliance with CRC 3.1200-3.1207 and attach them to an email to the opposing party/counsel addressed to [email protected] with the subject line, “Ex Parte Application for Emergency Relief.” The court will review the applications and—where appropriate—notify the parties to appear for a telephonic hearing. Parties and counsel should efile the applications and any opposition papers with the court.
- For the most recent information regarding the Complex Litigation Division, please visit the Complex Litigation page at: https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/civil/litigation
REAL PROPERTY AND HOUSING COURT
- All actions in unlawful detainer cases, including trials, motions, discovery, and ex parte applications, with the exception of unlawful detainer cases resulting from violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues, are stayed for 90 days, until June 19, 2020. Parties in all matters that are not stayed may appear by telephone. Telephone appearances must be arranged through Court Call by calling 1-888-88-COURT. All unlawful detainer filings will continue to be processed as they are submitted for filing. The period from March 18, through June 19, 2020 is deemed a holiday for purposes of computing time under Code of Civil Procedure § 1167, with the exception of unlawful detainer cases resulting from violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues.
- The hearing dates for all law and motion matters in unlawful detainer cases will be continued by the Court to a date after June 19, 2020 on a rolling basis.
- All new motions filed in unlawful detainer cases will be assigned a hearing date on or after June 22, 2020.
- The hearing dates for all law and motion matters in civil cases (excluding unlawful detainers) will be continued by the Court at least 90 days out from the existing hearing date on the rolling basis.
- Trials and Mandatory Settlement Conferences in unlawful detainer cases will be continued for at least 90 days on a rolling basis, with the exception of unlawful detainer cases resulting from violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues. Jury trials in unlawful detainer cases resulting from violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues may be continued for a week on a rolling basis based on availability of jurors.
- The dates to conduct discovery in all unlawful detainer cases remain in accordance with the original trial date.
- All trust, estate, guardianship, and probate conservatorship matters on calendar through June 22, 2020 will be continued for 12 weeks subject to further continuances as required. New filings will be given dates to accommodate future calendars. Temporary letters will be extended to the continued hearing date on presentation of an order from counsel. All motions calendared through June 22, 2020 will be continued to dates set by the Court.
- Ex parte applications for temporary letters in guardianship and probate conservatorship matters or to advance hearing dates in other matters are subject to a showing in the moving papers of immediate and irreparable injury justifying an emergency hearing. Such ex parte applications will be heard on Wednesdays and Thursdays subject to existing calendar procedures. The Court will review submissions and will continue or take off calendar matters the Court does not deem sufficiently emergent. The Court, in its discretion, will decide ex parte matters on the papers or telephonic hearing. Physical proposed orders must still be dropped off at court.
- LPS Calendars will proceed as scheduled but will be relocated to Department 622 of the Civic Center Courthouse, subject to the parties cooperating in continuing matters that are not urgent to the extent possible. Where hearings are necessary, hearings will be conducted by video or telephone, subject to the patient’s consent to proceed in that matter. LPS T-Cons will be considered on Wednesdays and Thursdays (or another day if there are urgent circumstances and the Court has been given one day advance notice). CIPP and AOT status hearings are off calendar until further notice.
- Certification and Riese Hearings will proceed by telephone or video connections.
- All in-person visits related to guardianship and conservatorship cases are suspended until May 15, 2020. As suspension of in-person visits may result in initial appointment petitions being continued, the court invites counsel to file for temporary guardianships and conservatorships when the need to appoint a fiduciary is urgent.
- For more detailed information, please see the Administrative Order of the Probate and Mental Health Division.
UNIFIED FAMILY COURT
- All family law trials and Family Code § 217 evidentiary hearings in Departments 403, 404, and 405, excluding Requests for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) where child custody and visitation are an issue, scheduled between Monday, March 23, 2020, through Monday, June 22, 2020, (affected family case) are hereby vacated. DVRO trials will remain on calendar as scheduled but will be continued by the court for 21 days. When the court resumes normal operations, the court will set new trial dates for all applicable cases, taking into consideration the order and any statutory priority for the applicable cases. Department 416 will continue to reset matters as needed. Click here for more information about Child Support Services.
- For all affected family cases, except where the dates to conduct discovery have passed, the last dates to conduct discovery and expert discovery are hereby vacated. The last date to conduct discovery and expert discovery for every affected family case will be determined by the new trial date.
- For family law matters San Francisco Local Rules of Court, Local Rule 11.13 continues to apply.
- The dates for mandatory settlement conferences in all family law cases, are hereby vacated. When the court resumes normal operations, the court will set new mandatory settlement conferences dates.
- For more detailed information, go to the Unified Family Court page.
- The Clerk’s Office at all locations will be closed during the period of Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, May 29, 2020. A drop box is available will be checked throughout each court day. The period of Wednesday, March 18, through Monday, June 1, 2020, is deemed a holiday for purposes of computing time for filing papers with the Court for certain matters. Please see the Presiding Judge’s Implementation Order for details.
- Anyone scheduled for jury service during the period of Tuesday, March 17, through Friday, May 29, 2020, will be rescheduled. Notice of rescheduled jury service dates will be mailed.
- The ACCESS Center will be closed to the public. For updates of hours of operation and other available self-help online services, visit the ACCESS Webpage at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/access.selfhelp/