Court employees under pop-up tents line the entrance to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana most of the day, ready to provide assistance and guidance to members of the public that arrive at the Court with general questions, a scheduled in-person hearing or other approved in-person matters.
“We don’t want the public to face a lifeless, closed building, we want people to interact with us and get guidance,” said Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kirk Nakamura. “Our employees are working hard to assure access to justice, even during these difficult and challenging times,” Judge Nakamura added.
These triage booths are also available nearly the entire day in front of North Justice Center in Fullerton, West Justice Center in Westminster, Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, and Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange. The booths are part of the Court’s “Safe Access to Justice” initiative, which is designed to keep all those who enter Court facilities healthy and safe. At this time, only members of the public that have an in-person hearing, or a previously scheduled appointment for counter services can access Court facilities. Therefore, the Court recommends the use of its new online app (https://www.occourts.org/media-relations/CourtCalendarAppointments.html), which allows members of the public to self-schedule an appointment for specific services available at the public counters. The public should note that during the pandemic, Civil services have been centralized at the Central Justice Center and Family Law services have been centralized at Lamoreaux Justice Center. These services will not be offered at the branch courts until further notice.
This controlled approach will enable the Court to slowly increase the caseload and visitor level at each courthouse, while at the same time ensuring health protocols are being followed. The use of facemasks or face coverings is mandatory for anyone entering a courthouse. Exemptions issued by anyone other than the Court will not be honored. For Court ADA accommodations and exclusions please email Adainformation@occourts.org or visit this web page http://www.occourts.org/directory/ada/. Social distancing rules will also be strictly enforced in all facilities; thus, the number of individuals entering public courtrooms and elevators will be subject to space limitations. Persons displaying possible coronavirus symptoms will not be allowed in Court facilities.
Click here for the official press release.