Informal Summary of Chief Justice Order 20-016*
A. All courts:
1. Must continue to conduct, with social distancing requirements:
a. Trials necessary to comply with speedy trial requirements;
b. In-custody juvenile delinquency adjudications; and
c. Proceedings defined as Category 1 and 2 essential proceedings (e.g., civil
commitment hearings, protective order applications, certain juvenile
dependency and delinquency proceedings, temporary guardianships and
conservatorships, and specialty court proceedings).
2. May conduct, if sufficient staff are available and social distancing requirements
a. Proceedings defined as Category 3 essential proceedings (e.g., TROs,
certain family law matters and juvenile dependency proceedings); and
b. Motion hearings that do not require witness testimony.
B. In courts where the Governor has authorized Phase One reopening status, courts
also may conduct, on and after June 1 and if sufficient staff are available and
social distancing requirements are met:
1. Bench trials; and
2. All other court proceedings, except jury trials and FED first appearances and
C. In courts where the Governor has authorized gatherings of at least 50 persons in
one location, courts also may conduct, on or after July 1 and if sufficient staff are
available and social distancing requirements can be met:
1. Jury trials in all criminal and civil cases; and
2. FED first appearances and trials if no applicable moratorium is in effect.
D. In courts where the Governor has not yet authorized Phase One reopening
status, operations continue under Level 3 restrictions.
E. Jury trials must be held in the courthouse or alternative physical location. All other
proceedings may be held remotely, with the Presiding Judge determining the
mode of trial. When any part of a proceeding is held in-person, the proceeding
must comply with social distancing and other safety requirements. The presiding
judge may require that certain persons wear masks in the courtroom and must
encourage their use where court operations are conducted.
* For details, including a complete list of essential proceedings defined as
Category 1, 2, and 3, please refer to CJO 20-016