Central District of California
- Jury trials are suspended and all courthouses are closed to the public except for hearings on certain criminal duty matters. Other hearings in criminal matters may proceed in court when the defendant does not consent to appear by video or telephone. Appearances in civil cases will proceed by telephone or videoconference. Individual judges, at their discretion, may offer bench trials in civil cases by video conference in lieu of postponement.
- On December 20, 2020, the United States Senate confirmed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha as U.S. District Judge for the Central District.
- The Court adopted new and amended local rules effective December 1, 2020. Please refer to the Court’s website for additional information. https://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/news/new-and-amended-local-rules-effective-december-1-2020
Southern District of California
- Jury trials and other in-person appearances have been suspended since December 9, 2020, in conformity with California’s regional stay-at-home directive. The suspension will continue until at least March 8, 2021. Most hearings and proceedings can be occur via video or telephone conference and members of the press and public may observe proceedings by video telephone conference. (CJO 52, 52-A, 52-B, 52-C, 60) Grand jury proceedings may proceed in-person. (CJO 58).
- Former Chief Judge Larry Burns assumed senior status and was succeeded as Chief District Judge by Judge Dana Sabraw, effective January 22, 2021.
- To receive news updates via email, subscribe at https://www.casd.uscourts.gov/Subscribe-News-Updates.aspx. Updates include new proposed rules, general orders and information on upcoming events.
New and Proposed Rules and Selected General Orders
- GO #514-E – Directs parties to redact or remove certain personally identifiable information from public filings.
- GO #147-I – Adopts a Jury Selection Plan and repeals Local Rule 83.10 (Jury Selection Plan), effective upon the later of the approval of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or January 30, 2021.
Northern District of California
- Since March 16, 2020, access to all four of the courthouse locations has been restricted to those having “official court business,” including attorneys, parties, witnesses, or other persons who are required or permitted to attend a specific in-person court proceeding. Members of the press and public may observe proceedings by telephone or videoconference. (General Order No. 73)
- All local rules requiring that a courtesy copy be provided to the chambers of the assigned judge are suspended pending further notice, unless a judge orders otherwise in a specific case. (https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/notices/updated-notice-regarding-general-orders-court-operations-and-paper-filings-during-covid-19-public-health-emergency/)
- Jury trials and bench trials may proceed in accordance with the logistical considerations necessitated by the Court’s safety protocols. Each judge will determine whether to hold a hearing or decide a civil matter on the papers. (General Order No. 72-6)
- The Northern District has announced the selection of six new Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council for the 2020-23 term. These attorneys will serve for three years, joining twelve continuing lawyer representatives and replacing six who have completed their three years of service. The new Lawyer Representatives and their professional affiliations are:
- Katherine Lubin Benson—Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
- Kathleen Hartnett—Cooley, LLP
- Kimberly Hopkins—United States Attorney’s Office
- Jonathan Patchen—Baker Botts, LLP
- Claudia Vetesi—Morrison & Foerster, LLP
- Lesley Weaver—Bleichmar Fonti & Auld, LLP.
- Former Chief District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton assumed senior status and was succeeded as Chief District Judge by Judge Richard Seeborg, effective February 1, 2021.
- District Judge Jeffrey S. White assumed Senior Status: After more than 18 years of active service on the court, Judge White has taken senior status.
- District Judge William Alsup Assumes Senior Status: After more than 21 years of active service on the court, Judge Alsup has taken senior status.
Eastern District of California
- Since March 18, 2020 all courthouse locations have been closed to the public. Appearances in civil cases and certain criminal proceedings will proceed by telephone or videoconference. Members of the press and public may observe proceedings by telephone or videoconference. (General Order Nos. 611, 612, 614, 618, 620, 628)
- United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston is designated as Chief Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District, effective November 1, 2010.
- On November 1, 2020, Helena M. Barch-Kuchta was appointed to be the U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Yosemite Division of the Eastern District of California.