Madera County Superior Court resumes its services


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

The Superior Court of California County of Madera is at 200 S. G. Street.

The Madera County Superior Court resumed court services Tuesday under the general order of presiding judge Ernest J. LiCalsi.


General operating hours of the court are from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays.


Courtroom calendars generally begin each day at 8:30 a.m. Check all notices or the court’s public portal for specific calendar times. In addition, to continuously adhere to the directives of State and local public health officials, the following is to be considered:


• No one who is ill with symptoms of COVID-19 is to appear at the courthouse. All persons desiring entry into the courthouse will be asked health screening questions, and those allowed entry to submit filings or conduct other authorized business must properly wear a mask/face covering at all times and must maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and other persons. If an individual is denied entry, they are to contact the court for additional guidance.


• Attorneys and litigants are reminded of their responsibility to keep contact information, including addresses and telephone numbers, current with the court. This is the court’s only way of contact to keep informed of developments in this fluid and rapidly changing environment. Please regularly check hearing status at https://madera-prod-portal.ecourt.com/public-portal/?q=node/393


LiCalsi also issued the following general orders:


1. No personal in-court appearances will be permitted in any civil, family law or family support proceeding. All such proceedings may be conducted remotely by use of CourtCall or the Zoom video conference platform. Exceptions to this order apply to civil trials/evidentiary hearings, all emergency probate matters and emergency cases involving the issuance of restraining orders or protective orders, as well as statutorily mandated hearings.


2. All criminal proceedings in which the time for commencement of trial, provided for in Penal Code section 1382, has not been waived may be continued for good cause, as determined by the judicial officer, and/or as authorized by any continuation order of the Chief Justice.


3. All criminal hearings, including arraignments, shall be by Zoom video conferencing or other method of video conferencing approved by the court. No in-custody defendant is to be transported to the courthouse from CDCR or Madera County DOC unless transport is ordered by the court.


4. Drug Court and Batterer’s Treatment reviews set through the week of Feb. 22 will be continued and scheduled for a future date. Notifications containing the future date are forthcoming.


5. All mediation services and investigative interviews to be provided by Family Court Services shall be conducted over telephone unless in-person mediation or interview is specifically ordered by the court. Pursuant to provisions of section 1851 (a)(1) of the Probate Code, the court investigator may conduct conservatorship investigations as required by sections 1850 and 1851 of the Probate Code by means of a video interview of the conservatee, in lieu of visiting the conservatee. This order is necessary for the health and safety ofthe investigator, the conservatee, the caregivers, and the public, and to prevent harm to the conservatee.


6. The self-help office will resume in-person appointments. Use of remote technology is authorized as an alternative to in-person appointments.


7. Notwithstanding Madera County Superior Court, Local Rule 2.4.6, all applications for ex parte relief shall be submitted to the court before notice of hearing is provided to the opposing party. A judicial officer will review the application and a judicial assistant will notify the applicant if notice to the opposing party and a court appearance is required. If a hearing date is ordered by the judicial officer, the person applying for ex parte relief must notify the opposing party no later than 10 a.m. the court day before the hearing date ordered, unless the judicial officer finds good cause to dispense with such notice.


8. All oral arguments in the appellate department may be conducted remotely via CourtCall or the Zoom video conference platform.


9. Each judicial officer retains discretion to deviate from the foregoing orders upon a finding of good cause.


In addition, with the request of LiCalsi, beginning Tuesday through March 18, Madera County Superior Court is authorized to:


• Hold sessions anywhere in the county, including in correctional and juvenile detention facilities


• Extend the time period provided in section 1382 of the Penal Code for the holding of a criminal trial by not more than 30 days, applicable only to cases in which the original or previously extended statutory deadline otherwise would expire.


This is a signed emergency order from Tani G Caltil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council.

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