April District Updates

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April 2021

Central District of California

Covid Updates

Covid-19 Update: Effective March 22, 2021, all Courthouses of the Central District of California are open to persons with court business and subject to all posted restrictions. Hearings in emergency civil matters and criminal matters may proceed in court at the discretion of the assigned judge. Hearings in other matters will continue to proceed by video and telephonic conference.  There are still no civil or criminal jury trials, but the Court has begun issuing jury summonses as the process for issuing jury summonses must begin seven weeks before jury trials can commence.

New Magistrate Judge: On March 19, 2021, Margo A. Rocconi was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge, succeeding former Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh.  Judge Rocconi will sit in Los Angeles, the Court’s Western Division.  Before becoming a magistrate judge, Judge Rocconi served for over 25 years with distinction as a Deputy Federal Public Defender in the Central District of California.

Southern District of California

Covid-19 Update: Short cause criminal jury trials resumed on March 8, 2021 and civil jury trials will resume on June 1, 2021.  Criminal bench trials may proceed subject to limitations and civil bench trials may proceed without limitation.  (See CJO 36-A; see also CJO-62 and 63).  Most other proceedings can proceed by telephone or videoconference.

Northern District of California

Covid-19 Update: Access to all courthouse locations continues to be restricted to those required or permitted to attend a specific in-person court proceeding. Trials are proceeding in accordance with the logistical considerations necessitated by the Court’s safety protocols.  A list of upcoming hearings to be held by videoconference is available at

Caseload Rebalancing: The Northern District has extended through September 2021 the caseload rebalancing program launched in March 2018, under which a small percentage of civil cases normally venued in San Jose are assigned to district judges in San Francisco or Oakland without regard to the venue provisions in Civil L.R. 3-2 and General Order 44. The court will again evaluate the effectiveness of this program in September 2021.

Eastern District of California

Covid-19 Update: All courthouse locations are closed to the public.  Appearances in civil cases and certain criminal proceedings will proceed by telephone or videoconference. 

Settlement Week: During the week of May 24, Eastern District judges will conduct settlement conferences in cases pending in the Eastern District of California at no charge to the parties.  (Notice)   If you are interested in having one of your cases included in Settlement Week, please contact Sujean Park at the U.S. District Court via email at

On February 24, 2021, Chief Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Eastern District of California testified about the Eastern District’s  longstanding need for additional judgeships to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing titled, “The Need for New Lower Court Judgeships, 30 Years in the Making.” 

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