Information Regarding COVID-19 and Court Operations, Restrictions, and Closures


The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California continues to closely monitor the national response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and will be following guidance provided by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). 

Clerk's Office Reduced Phone Hours: Sacramento   9:00am - 1:00pm
Fresno            9:00am - 12:00pm
OR email 9:00am to 4:00pm to:
(and we will promptly respond)
Sac-Info@caed.uscourts.gov
Fresno-Info@caed.uscourts.gov


General Order 612 - Additional Temporary Restrictions on Courthouse Access and in Courthouse Hearings.
(Issued 03/18/2020)

Effective immediately through May 1, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California hereby issues the following Order to supplement its prior orders issued on March 12 and 17, 2020, with the findings relied on in those orders incorporated in full herein:

  1. In light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, all courthouses of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California shall be closed to the public. Only persons having official court business as authorized by a Judge of the District Court or the Bankruptcy Court, or a healthy building tenant having official business on behalf of a tenant agency, may enter courthouse property. This order applies to the following divisional locations:

         (1) The Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento;
         (2) The Robert E. Coyle United States Courthouse, 2501 Tulare Street, Fresno;
         (3) The Redding Federal Courthouse, 2986 Bechelli Lane, Redding;
         (4) The Bakersfield Federal Courthouse, 510 19th Street, Bakersfield;
         (5) The Yosemite Federal Courthouse, 9004 Castle Cliff Court, Yosemite; and
         (6) The Modesto U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1200 I Street, Second Floor, Modesto.
  2. All of the court’s civil matters will be decided on the papers, or if the assigned Judge believes a hearing is necessary, the hearing will be by telephone or videoconference. This applies to all matters including motion hearings, case management conferences, pretrial conferences and settlement conferences.
  3. In civil matters and bankruptcy matters in which parties represent themselves (pro se litigants), those parties are strongly encouraged to file documents by mail. For those unable to file by mail the court will provide drop boxes for filing inside the entrances to the Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto courthouses, that otherwise previously have accepted hand-delivered pro se filings in the Clerk’s Offices for those courts.
  4. In the court’s criminal matters all initial appearances, arraignments and other essential proceedings will continue to be held before the duty Magistrate Judges, unless the parties agree to continue them; to the full extent possible matters that are maintained on calendar shall be conducted by telephone or video conference.
  5. In criminal cases before the District Judges, the assigned District Judge may continue matters to a date after May 1, 2020, excluding time under the Speedy Trial Act with reference to the court’s prior General Order 611 issued on March 17, 2020, with additional findings to support the exclusion in the Judge’s discretion; if any criminal matters are maintained on calendar, to the full extent possible they shall be conducted by telephone or video conference.
  6. Any Judge may order case-by-case exceptions to any of the above numbered provisions for non-jury court matters at the discretion of that Judge or upon the request of counsel, after consultation with counsel.

Additional Guidance on General Order 612
(Issued March 20, 2020)

INTERPRETATION OF GENERAL ORDER 612;
CLARIFICATION REGARDING MEDIA ACCESS

Clarification

General Order 612 provides as follows, in pertinent part:

“Only persons having official court business as authorized by a Judge of the District Court or the
Bankruptcy Court, or a healthy building tenant having official business on behalf of a tenant
agency, may enter courthouse property.”

“Persons having official court business” is defined to mean only the following essential
individuals: counsel representing a party to an item on a published court calendar and a party
required by the court to appear in person for the matter calendared. Any other person who
believes he or she has a right to attend a court proceeding, and desires to attend the hearing in
person, must qualify as someone who is essential to the proceeding, obtain the advance written
approval of the judge presiding over the proceeding and present that approval to court security in
order to enter courthouse property.

Media Access

The court recognizes the Constitutional right of the media to access court proceedings on behalf
of the public. Therefore, a member of the media may enter courthouse property upon presenting
bonafide press credentials to court security and identifying a court proceeding that person will
attend. If a member of the media wishes to monitor a court proceeding telephonically, that
person shall contact the Courtroom Deputy for the judge presiding over the proceeding. Upon
the media representative’s presentation of bonafide press credentials to the Courtroom Deputy,
the Courtroom Deputy will provide instructions for allowing telephone access on a secure line, at
no cost, to listen to the hearing with all other court rules in effect including the standing
prohibition on audio recording.


 

General Order 611 - Findings and Order as to Court Proceedings in Light of COVID-19, Also Known as Coronavirus.
(Issued 03/17/2020)

 

  1. The United States Courthouses in Sacramento, Modesto (with hearings held in Sacramento during ongoing remodeling), Fresno, Bakersfield, Yosemite and Redding will remain open for business, subject to the following limitations.
  2. Effective immediately, the court will not call in jurors for service in civil or criminal jury trials until May 1, 2020. All civil and criminal jury trials in the Eastern District of California scheduled to begin during this time period are continued pending further order of the court. The court may issue other orders concerning future continuances as necessary and appropriate.
  3. All courtroom proceedings and filing deadlines in a case will remain in place unless otherwise ordered by the Judge presiding over that case.
  4. The time period of any continuance entered in a criminal case as a result of this order shall be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A), as the court finds based on the recitals above that the ends of justice served by taking that action outweigh the interests of the parties and the public in a speedy trial. Absent further order of the court or any individual judge, the period of exclusion shall be from March 17, 2020, to May 1, 2020. The court may extend the period of exclusion in a subsequent order as evolving circumstances warrant.
  5. Individual judges may continue to hold hearings, conferences and bench trials in the exercise of their discretion, including by teleconference or videoconference, consistent with this order.
  6. Criminal matters before Magistrate Judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings and the issuance of search warrants, shall continue to take place in the ordinary course, subject to the parties’ established ability to seek continuances or, as allowed by law, the holding of telephonic or videoconference appearances.
  7. The Bankruptcy Court, Clerk’s Office, Probation Office, Pretrial Services Office and all other court services shall remain open pending further order of the court, although the method of providing services may be modified to account for COVID-19 and attendant public health advisories.
  8. This order does not affect grand juries, which are convened by the U.S. Attorney and shall continue to meet as scheduled by his office.

 


 

General Order 610 - Restrictions on visitors to Eastern District of California Courthouses
(Issued 03/12/2020).

In an attempt to ensure the safety of courthouse staff and visitors, the following persons shall not enter any courthouse in the Eastern District of California:

• Persons who have travelled to any of the following countries within the last 14 days:

• China

• Iran

• South Korea

• Europe (Schengen Area): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City

• United Kingdom and Ireland: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland

          (This list may be updated as further guidance is received.)

• Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has traveled to one of the countries listed above within the last 14 days;

• Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency;

• Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days;

• Persons with fever, cough or shortness of breath.

 

If you have a scheduled appointment or you are otherwise required to appear at one of the courthouses in the Eastern District of California, and you are unable to appear because of the restrictions in General Order 610, please CLICK HERE.

 


 

Any future changes or updates will be posted on this website.