Federal Courts Update

For more federal court specific content, please see the Federal Court Committee’s Quarterly Newsletter, which includes interviews with judges and other feature articles.

Central District of California

COVID-19 Update: Through October 15, 2021, video and telephonic hearings may continue to be held in certain criminal matters. In the Western Division (Los Angeles), criminal duty matters will be held in Courtroom 880 of the Roybal Courthouse through October 15, 2021. In the Southern and Eastern divisions, criminal duty matters will be held in the duty magistrate’s courtroom. A redline containing the proposed revisions can be found in this electronic Notice.

Proposed Changes to Local Rules: The Court has proposed changes to the civil local rules nos. 4-5, 37-2.1, and 65-1. (Notice.)

Southern District of California

COVID-19 Update: The Southern District of California has resumed normal operations. Previous limitations on the scope of jury were lifted on July 6, 2021. (See CJO 36-C.) Most other proceedings typically can proceed by telephone or videoconference. (See, e.g., id.CJO 63-E.) Face coverings are required for visitors that are not fully vaccinated. (See CJO 59-A.)

Criminal Justice Act Defense Panel Application: The Court is accepting applications for admission to the CJA Criminal Defense Panel and the CJA Material Witness Defense Panel. (Notice and Notice.) Completed applications must be submitted between July 19, 2021 and October 18, 2021.

Northern District of California

COVID-19 Update: Effective August 2, 2021, all visitors to a Northern District courthouse must review the court’s COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire before arriving at the courthouse and, effective July 29, 2021, all jurors, attorneys, court staff, and other courthouse visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks within public or common areas of courthouse property. Additionally, the Northern District is holding “hybrid” in-court criminal proceedings incorporating Zoom, regarding which additional information is available on the Court’s website.

Proposed Rule Changes: The comments period regarding the Northern District’s proposed substantive modifications to certain Civil Local Rules closed on September 3, 2021.

Eastern District of California

COVID-19 Update: All federal courthouses in the Eastern District of California remain open to the public. (Notice.)  Criminal and civil jury trials are being held in-person.  Judges shall determine whether to hold other proceedings in person or by telephone or videoconference. Civil proceedings are primarily being held by telephone or videoconference.

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