San Joaquin County Superior Court Resumes In-Person Operations
August 8, 2020 at 3:39 pm
The San Joaquin County Superior Court announced on Friday that it would resume limited in-person operations. Face masks, per Governor Gavin Newsom’s order, and temperature checks will be mandatory. Six-feet social distancing guidelines will also be in place. Entry will be restricted to attorneys, defendants, plaintiffs, minors and their parents, law enforcement, witnesses, couriers, jurors, and those picking up or filing restraining orders.
Image courtesy of courts.ca.gov
All departments except business services, small claims court, mental health, and appeals have reopened in some capacity. Civil cases except for restraining orders and name changes will be heard telephonically. The criminal division has largely resumed except for misdemeanors, which restart service on October 5 along with Department M2 at the Manteca Branch Court. Department M1 in Manteca was also reopened on Friday. The Lodi Branch Court and clerks’ offices in Stockton, Manteca, and Lodi remained closed.
Jury services, typically the major source of population flow in and out of the courthouse, have also opened full operations. Prospective jurors have been asked to submit their disqualifications or requests for excusal prior to reporting to the courthouse, and scheduling has been reconfigured to limit the number of people as well. The Jury Assembly Room will be sanitized in between jury panels, and elevator use will be restricted to four people at a time.
San Joaquin’s daily case numbers have receded after a high of 567 new cases on July 21. There were 123 new cases on Friday. However, it remains on the governor’s watchlist and has the 9th-most cases in the state. It is also unsure how the county’s numbers may have been affected by glitches with CalREDIE, the state’s coronavirus tracking database.
Other county superior courts near San Joaquin have also begun to reopen. Stanislaus County Superior Court resumed traffic operations on August 3 and small claims and guardianship cases all the way back on may 18. Sacramento County Superior Court also resumed family law trials and some criminal hearings on the 3rd.