Eighth Judicial District Court Requires Appearances by Alternative Means Through Jan. 11

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, the Eighth Judicial District Court issued Administrative Order 20-24, which requires all lawyers and litigants, with the exception of in-custody defendants appearing in the Lower Level Arraignment Courtroom, to appear for hearings by alternative means. Video appearance is strongly preferred over other methods of appearance by alternative means, and required in criminal, dependency and delinquency cases unless prevented by technological issues.

The order is effective Nov. 25, 2020. The order affects all case types. No in-person appearances shall be made by lawyers or litigants unless the assigned District Court Judge or Hearing Master determines that there is an extraordinary circumstance requiring a personal appearance.

In addition, the administrative order notes several other services are to be conducted by alternative means, continued, or suspended until Jan. 11, 2021, as follows:

  • Jury trials currently scheduled to begin prior to Nov. 30, 2020, were continued. All district court jury trials, including short jury trials, remain continued through Jan. 11.
  • Bench trials in all case types should go forward as long as the trial may be accomplished by the use of alternative means.
  • Hearings of all sorts, including evidentiary hearings, in all case types should proceed through use of alternative means.
  • No hearings will be scheduled for Jan. 4 or Jan. 5, 2021 other than criminal arraignment court, TPO, child dependency or delinquency, or matters deemed to be an emergency by the assigned judge.
  • No in-person gatherings or meetings may be held to discuss court business until Jan. 11.
  • No in-person depositions shall proceed prior to Jan. 11 unless the parties and witness agree for the deposition to go forward in-person or by order of the court obtained after filing a motion demonstrating an extraordinary circumstance warranting the need for an in-person deposition.
  • The District Court Clerk’s Offices at the Regional Justice Center and Family Court remain closed for in-person filings until further notice.

For more information, see the Eighth Judicial District Court’s blog post from Nov. 24, 2020.