End of social distancing at

LA County courthouses

Masks remain required

By OW Staff

Los Angeles County courthouses reopened this week without any public access restrictions, eliminating the requirement for advance appointments for service as well as the need to make an online request for in-person courtroom seating.

“Expanding access to justice safely remains the Court’s top priority,” Presiding Judge Taylor said. “During the pandemic, the Court adopted alternative services and solutions to offer safe access to justice. I am pleased to announce the Court is aligning with, and responsibly following, federal, state and county public health and Cal/OSHA workplace guidance that eliminates social distancing in public spaces.

“Public health guidance also dictates safety measures, including mask-wearing, to protect workers and the public from spread of the virus and those persons not yet vaccinated,” Taylor continued. “This is a huge step forward in our rise from the pandemic.”

Taylor said those seeking services from the Clerk’s Office, court support services, and/or the Self-Help Centers should continue to schedule advance appointments to reduce lines.

Here are other important updates and requirements under the Order:

• All persons, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face mask over both the nose and mouth while in public areas of the courthouse, including courtrooms.

• Individuals with a physical or mental health impairment or disability who seek an exemption from the face mask requirement must contact the ADA liaison at the courthouse prior to their appearance to request a reasonable accommodation.

• Individuals who decline or refuse to wear a face mask without a court order exempting them from the mask requirement will be denied entry to the courthouse and/or courtroom.

• Individuals who remove their face masks after entering the courthouse or courtroom will be reminded to wear them. If they refuse, they may be denied services, may have their legal matters rescheduled, and/or will be asked to leave the courthouse or courtroom immediately.

• Effective immediately, no advance permission will be required for in-person courtroom seating for hearings.

• Drop boxes will remain outside courthouses as a filing option.