To Our Legal Community:
As leaders of the Orange County Superior Court our hope and desire that this next year will be a prosperous and healthy year for each one of you. During the pandemic, we, along with all the judges, commissioners and staff of the Court have been committed to keeping the court open and moving forward with a steadfast pledge to each of you to do so in a safe and secure manner as we confront the challenges of COVID.
Toward the end of the 2021 legislative session the California Legislature enacted California Code of Civil Procedure, section 367.75 which becomes effective January 1, 2022. This statute sets forth the rules and procedure for allowing parties the right to appear remotely in a non-evidentiary hearing and presents limitations to remote proceedings in evidentiary hearings and trials.
In light of the recent COVID-19 surge of the Omicron variant, the Orange County Superior Court has implemented interim procedures that will allow us to move forward on January 3, 2022 with the statutory changes in much the same as we have been doing the last year: Nonevidentiary hearings will be remote; evidentiary hearings and trials will remain in-person. But because of the new C.C.P. section 367.75 our doors will be “open” even during remote sessions for those who exercise their right to appear in-person.
The Court’s C.C.P. 367.75 interim procedures across various civil case types encourages the continued use of remote technology and addresses the continued safety of our litigants and court users. All updated procedures have been posted on the court’s website. To further support easy access to remote appearance information, the court has developed a Remote Appearance Information page accessible from the court’s main webpage https://www.occourts.org/ by clicking the blue button . Courtrooms have been modified with additional cameras to ensure everyone appearing remotely or in person in the courtroom can see each other for meaningful participation. The public is encouraged to take advantage of these remote appearance opportunities.
We believe this approach demonstrates the Courts unwavering commitment to the administration of justice, attentive to the safety of all our court participants.
Read the official letter by Presiding Judge Erick L. Larsh and Chief Executive Officer David Yamasaki.