Alameda County Superior Court announced in a press release Thursday that it will resume a limited number of hearings in civil, family and probate matters, enact new emergency rules and offer limited public courthouse access beginning April 20.
According to the press release, the hearings will be conducted remotely via telephone or videoconference and will be limited to emergency hearings scheduled before March 17 to adhere to coronavirus-related safety concerns.
The court also announced new emergency family and probate local rules and a new family form, which will go into effect starting April 20, according to the press release. The court has also created a list of frequently asked questions to offer further guidance for litigants.
The press release added that the court will begin offering limited public courthouse access for records searches at the René C. Davidson, or RCD, Courthouse in Oakland between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Members of the public must wear respiratory coverings or masks, use their own hand sanitizer and comply with social distancing directives to enter the courthouse.
Access to the RCD Courthouse will also be limited to one person in the criminal office and two people in the civil office at a time, and computer use will be limited to 15 minutes per person. According to the press release, members of the public will be asked to wait outside at 6-foot increments, and those who fail to comply will be denied access to the courthouse.
Presiding Judge Tara Desautels also issued two general orders Tuesday and Thursday, releasing an additional 14 inmates from Santa Rita Jail.
“The Court appreciates the patience and understanding of the public as it works to restore Court services while complying with public health guidelines,” the press release reads.