INFORMATION REGARDING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND COURT OPERATIONS

Updated June 28, 2021

 

OPERATIONS UPDATE - BEGINNING JUNE 28 THE COURT WILL BE FULLY OPEN WITH SERVICES RE-XPANDED TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS. FOR THIS RE-EXPANSION OF SERVICES, SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE ELIMINATED, BUT FACE COVERINGS ARE STILL REQUIRED OF ALL STAFF AND PATRONS. ALL COURT CLERK'S OFFICES WILL BE OPEN  BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8:30 A.M. AND 12:30 P.M. CUSTOMERS CAN STILL UTILIZE DROP BOXES LOCATED IN COURTHOUSE LOBBYS. FOR INDIVIDUAL DIVISIONS AND OFFICES, PLEASE SEE BELOW.

All other changes to operations are reflected in the Presiding Judge's General Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Order of the Presiding Judge (March 9, 2021)

General Order of the Presiding Judge (April 30, 2020)

General Order of the Presiding Judge (April 13, 2020)

General Order of the Presiding Judge (April 1, 2020)

General Order of the Presiding Judge (March 24, 2020)

General Order of the Presiding Judge (March 19, 2020)

General Order of the Presiding Judge (March 16, 2020)

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.

Emergency Order of the Chief Justice (May 27, 2020)

Statewide Order of the Chief Justice (April 29, 2020)

Emergency Order of the Chief Justice (April 10, 2020)

Statewide Order of the Chief Justice (March 30, 2020)

Statewide Order of the Chief Justice (March 23, 2020)

Emergency Order of the Chief Justice (March 19, 2020)

Emergency Order of the Chief Justice (March 16, 2020)

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.

Appendix I of the California Rules of Court

COVID-19 Safety Measurues for SF Superior Court Visitors

Information about services in specific court divisions:

PUBLIC NOTICE

 

COURT TO FULLY RESTORE SERVICES JUNE 28, 2021

 

         The San Francisco Superior Court is REOPENING the Clerk’s Offices effective February 1, now that the City and County of San Francisco and Department of Public Health have lifted its Shelter in Place order.

However, even with the resumption of many court services, health and safety guidelines remain our top priority. Those guidelines apply to our employees and the public and will impact staffing levels and operations. Please note that the following rules apply to everyone coming to any of our courthouses.

  • You must wear a mask or face covering to enter any court facility and during all times you remain inside a courthouse. The court will not provide masks or face coverings.
  • If you are sick, please do not come to court. No one who is sick or is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be permitted to enter any court facility.
  • Please note and adhere to the posted signs regarding face coverings and health and safety guidelines. Please wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer will be provided throughout the courthouses.

The court encourages you to visit our website at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org to see what services are available before you visit any of our facilities.

CIVIL COURT

CIVIL, SMALL CLAIMS, PROBATE AND RECORDS CLERK’S OFFICE HOURS

The Civil Clerk’s Office, Room 103, Civic Center Courthouse, will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021. Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone service will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Court’s main contact number is 415-551-4000.

The drop boxes remain available in the Civic Center Courthouse lobby for Civil, Small Claims Probate and the Records Divisions Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To reach the Civil Division, please call 415-551-3927. For E-Filing, please call 415-551-3824 and to reach Small Claims, call 415-551-3957..

It is highly recommended that court customers access the SFSC Court’s website online services (case query and case calendar) to see the latest filings and calendar changes before coming to court.

Courtrooms and court proceedings vary by department. To see the latest calendar updates and/or changes in an existing case, please access the court’s website online services tab at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org.

Law and Motion

The moving party should confer with all other parties before scheduling and noticing a hearing, then may e-file and notice the hearing in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 1005 or other applicable requirements.  The moving party need not obtain a hearing date or reservation number before filing the motion.

For all law and motion matters, the court will post tentative rulings and follow the procedures set forth in San Francisco County Superior Court Local Rule 8.3 et seq. All hearings will be conducted remotely by CourtCall or by videoconference.  No in-person appearances will be permitted.

Ex parte hearings in law and motion matters are held daily at 11:00 a.m. by CourtCall. No later than two (2) hours prior to the hearing, the moving party must efile the moving papers and attach them to an email to the opposing party/counsel addressed to [email protected] with the subject line, “Ex Parte Application.”

A party presenting an ex parte application in the law and motion department for a temporary restraining order, alternative writ, appointment of a receiver, or similar matter must schedule the hearing with the court by sending an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance of the proposed hearing date.

Hearings are conducted via Zoom Videoconferencing, please see the Law and Motion webpage for further information.

Discovery Department

Any party who wishes to have a discovery motion heard, must confer with all other parties before scheduling and noticing the hearing.  The moving party shall file a notice of motion setting the matter for hearing in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 1005 or other applicable requirements.

The parties need not deliver courtesy copies of their filed discovery motion papers to Department 302. After filing the papers, they should attach copies to an email addressed to [email protected]. The subject line of the email should state the case name and number and the date of the hearing. The text of the email should include the name and contact information, including the email address of the attorney or party who will appear at the hearing.

Hearings are conducted via Zoom Videoconferencing, please see the Law and Motion webpage for further information.

Complex Litigation

The Complex Litigation Departments will continue scheduling telephonic conferences. Please continue to file opposition and reply briefs on the previously agreed upon schedule. If counsel need a continuance on their briefing deadlines, they shall meet and confer to adjust any briefing schedules, and then email the court on their agreed upon deadlines. Counsel should continue to meet and confer to prepare the statement and file these statements on the day their hearing would have occurred. Based on the filed statements, the court will set further dates.

Records

The Records Public Viewing Room is closed. Records requests may be mailed or dropped off in the Court’s Dropbox located in the lobby of the Civic Center Courthouse. There are no pick-up options for records requests. All records requests must have a self-addressed stamped envelope for returned paperwork. The Records Request Form is located on the Court’s website at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org.

Restraining Orders

The Court continues to accept applications for civil harassment restraining orders. The Court Clerk’s office is closed, but there is a drop box in the lobby of the Civic Center Courthouse. Within 24 hours of filing the request for a Temporary Restraining Order, the petitioner will receive a call to pick up the documents.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

At this time settlement conferences and judicial mediations are being conducted remotely by telephone or videoconference, unless notified otherwise by the court. Questions about an existing settlement session should be directed to the settlement judge/settlement officer. This applies to all general civil case. Probate, Family, Unlawful Detainer, Asbestos, CEQA and Complex cases should refer to the procedures of the department/judge presiding over that case. More information about specific alternative dispute resolution programs follows:

Judicial Mediation Program: The Judicial Mediation Program continues to operate, based on settlement judge availability and court capacity to administer the program. Mediations will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference until further notice. See the ADR page on the court’s website for more information about the program and the procedure for requesting a mediation: https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/civil/dispute-resolution.

General Civil Cases (not including Unlawful Detainers): Mandatory settlement conferences (MSCs) conducted by volunteer settlement conference officers will continue to be scheduled in advance of the trial date as long as the Court maintains capacity to administer the program. The Court will attempt to schedule MSCs in as many cases as possible but does not have the capacity to set MSCs in all cases. MSCs will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference until further notice. See Local Rule 5.0 for more information about MSCs.

General Civil Cases: The Voluntary Settlement Conference (VSC) program will continue to operate. The Court has civil trial judges available to conduct remote settlement conferences. If parties are interested in a VSC, counsel (and self-represented litigants) should confer with their clients and with each other and if all parties agree to participate in a remote VSC they should contact ADR Administrator Elizabeth Kelber at [email protected] or, if the trial date is quickly approaching, they should be prepared to advise the Presiding Judge at trial call of their interest in a VSC. Only cases where all parties agree will be considered. Inclusion in the program is based on judge availability. VSCs will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference until further notice.

JURY SERVICE

Starting on Monday, June 28, 2021, The Jury Assembly Rooms at the Civic Center Courthouse Room 007 and the Hall of Justice Room 307 will be open Monday to Friday, except holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Phone service will remain available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  For inquiries and Jury Duty Reporting Instructions, please call (415) 551-3608, or visit the Court’s website at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org.  

 PROBATE FILING WINDOW (ROOM 103)

The Civic Center Courthouse Probate Filing window Room 103 will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021. Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone service will remain available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  It is highly recommended that you call or email the probate clerk’s office as many services are now available over the phone, online or by mail.  Please call (415) 551-3892 and ask to speak to a clerk or email [email protected].  The drop box remains available in the Court’s lobby and is accessible Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Room 202 for Probate filings will remain closed at this time.  Also see our website for more information. https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/civil

PROBATE ADMINISTRATION OFFICE (ROOM 202)

The Civic Center Courthouse Probate Administration Office will remain closed until further notice.  You may direct all questions or inquiries to the Probate Filing Window in Room 103.  The Probate Filing window will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021.  Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone service will remain available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  It is highly recommended that you call or email the probate clerk’s office as many services are now available over the phone, online or by mail.  Please call (415551-3892 and ask to speak to a clerk or email [email protected].  The drop box remains available in the Court’s lobby or in front of Room 202 and is accessible Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Also see our website for more information. https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/civil

 

FAMILY LAW

The Family Law Offices at the Civic Center Courthouse, Room 402 and the Juvenile Justice Center, Room 101, will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021. Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone service will remain available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Many services to resolve your matters are available over the phone, online or by mail. For service regarding your family law, dissolution, adoption, domestic violence, child support, and juvenile dependency matters, please phone the Family Law Office at (415) 551-3900 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and ask to speak to a clerk.   For Juvenile Delinquency matters, please call 415-682-5100. The Family Law drop box remains available at the lobby at the Civic Center Courthouse and Juvenile Delinquency drop box remains available outside Room 101 at the Juvenile Justice Center.  Both drop boxes are accessible Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. See our website for more information. https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/ufc

OPEN COURTROOMS

(For Calendar types and times, check court’s website to contact the Departments)
Civic Center Courthouse (CCC):
• Department 403 Monday through Friday.
• Department 404 Monday through Friday.
• Department 405 Monday through Friday.
• Department 406 Monday through Friday.
• Department 414 Friday only.
• Department 416 Monday through Friday by telephonic appearances ONLY.
• Department 425 Monday through Friday.
Juvenile Justice Center (JJC):
• Department 3 – Juvenile Delinquency, Monday through Friday.
• Department 4 – Juvenile Delinquency, Monday through Friday
• Department 5 – Juvenile Traffic (Once a month)


FAMILY COURT SERVICES


Mediations will continue to be conducted remotely. Please call 415-238-3623 to schedule a mediation. Also, instructions for parents re: Mandatory online orientation are posted on the court’s website.

PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT:
• Any member of the public exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms WILL NOT be allowed to enter into the court’s facility. NO EXCEPTIONS.
• Face coverings  are required throughout the court’s building, to comply with COVID-19 preventive CDC guidelines.
• Longer waiting and lines are to be expected as building access to the public will be limited and monitored.
• Obey all signs, Sheriff’s and Court’s staff directions at all times.
• Your patience and cooperation are greatly needed and appreciated during these difficult times.
 

CRIMINAL COURT

The Criminal Office will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021.  Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Phone service will remain available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is highly recommended that you phone the criminal office as many services are now available over the phone, online or by mail.  Please call (415) 551-0651 and ask to speak to a clerk.  

The drop box remains available outside of room 101 and is accessible Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also see our website for more information. https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/criminal

TRAFFIC

The Traffic Office will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021. Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Phone service will remain available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.   

Many services to resolve your traffic matters are available over the phone, online or by mail. For service regarding your traffic matters, please phone the traffic office at (415) 551-8550 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and ask to speak to a clerk.

The drop box remains available outside of room 145 and is accessible Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

See our website for more information. https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/divisions/traffic

Court Collections

The Court Collection Unit will continue to welcome walk-in service on Monday, June 28, 2021.  Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Phone service will remain available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  It is highly recommended that you phone the Court Collections Unit as many services are now available over the phone, online or by mail.   Please call (415) 551-0670 and ask to speak to a clerk.

To make a payment on delinquent court-ordered debt, contact AllianceOne on the internet or phone them at (877) 541-8420.

The drop box remains available outside of room 101 and is accessible Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

JURY SERVICE

Our Court is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment, and will take all steps necessary to adhere to all public safety guidelines. Any prospective jurors who are not feeling well or who have COVID-19 symptoms, must stay home and should contact the Jury Services Office at (415) 551-3608 for further reporting instructions. Face masks are required to enter the Courthouse and shall be worn at all times when reporting for jury service in person. The Court will provide a clean and sanitized Jury Assembly Room, as well as all courtrooms to be used for trials. The Court will work in conjunction with the San Francisco Department of Health to ensure the safety of all prospective jurors. 

Jury Office staff is available by telephone only.  Please call (415) 551-3608 for inquiries regarding your jury service, or visit the Court’s website at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org for your Jury Duty Reporting Instructions.  Phone hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Thank you for your service.

 

ACCESS CENTER

Self-represented litigants may visit the ACCESS CENTER webpage at https://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/self-help for information and assistance via online chat, telephone helpline, online survey inquiries, and for legal informational material in the self-help FAQs library. These services are currently available and do not require a visit to the courthouse.

All other substantive and procedural information and assistance will be provided remotely by telephone and online inquiries only.