Alameda County Superior Court extends public closure, excuses prospective jurors

Audrey McNamara/File

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In light of the COVID-19, colloquially known as the coronavirus, pandemic, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued a second emergency order to the Alameda County Superior Court, excusing prospective jurors and extending the court’s public closure period.

The order called for the implementation of emergency authority as well as the adoption of emergency local rule, which requires appearances and electronic service. It also excused prospective jurors, according to a press release.

Under the order — which was granted Friday to extend its public closure period — April 6 to May 1 will largely be considered holidays. Additionally, the timelines for holding many juvenile court hearings will be extended.

Additionally, as of April 6, all appearances involving civil action and misdemeanor appeals will be held virtually, either over the phone or using video technology. Also, all pleas will occur electronically.

While all jury trials will be continued, because of the court’s extended closure period, they will not call any jurors.

Prospective jurors who receive summons with a date between April 6 and May 1 will not be required to participate in jury service. Those who receive a summons will also be treated as though they have completed their jury service and will not be summoned again within a year.

Mallika Seshadri is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.