County courts to fully reopen

The following represents the Court’s plan to fully reopen to the public pursuant to the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines, effective June 15.


This plan was developed in response to the new statewide reopening efforts. It is important to note that this plan may be amended at the discretion of the Presiding Judge.


Social distancing: All persons entering the Madera County Superior Court, with the exception of employees, will no longer be required to adhere to the COVID-19 6-foot distancing requirement. This includes all pubic areas of the courthouse, including all courtrooms and jury assembly areas.


Masks/facial coverings: All persons entering the Madera County Superior Court will be required to wear a mask or face covering while inside the courthouse.


COVID-19 symptom screening: All persons entering the Madera County Superior Court will be required to answer screening questions about the presence of symptoms related to COVID-19.


The court requests that no one who is ill with symptoms of COVID-19 appear at the courthouse.


Those who are ill, including attorneys, litigants and justice partners, should remain at home or in a location away from the courthouse. If you have a matter on calendar, or if entry is not granted based on responses to the health screening questions, you should contact the court and advise that you will not be appearing due to illness or the potential exposure to illness.


Court calendars: Calendar times that were created to accommodate social distancing will be eliminated. All Departments will have one calendar each day (8:30 a.m. for the regular calendar or 8:31 a.m. for calendar add-ons), with the exception of special set calendars include, but are not limited to, 8:15 a.m. ex-parte hearings, 9:30 a.m. trial and preliminary hearing calendars, 10 a.m. settlement conference calendars, 1:30 p.m. Behavioral Health Court calendars, and 1:30 p.m. arraignments, etc.).


All hearings currently set on calendar will remain unchanged.


In-person court appearances and court appearances by Zoom or CourtCall: Parties and members of the public will have the choice to appear for proceedings in-person or by Zoom or CourtCall.


Normal, daily criminal arraignments shall be conducted by Zoom or any other method of video conferencing approved by the court.


Zoom appearances currently set for CDCR will remain on calendar; however, no further Zoom appearances will be scheduled unless otherwise ordered by the court.


In-custody defendants will be transported to the courthouse by CDCR or the Madera County Jail unless otherwise ordered by the court.


Individuals appearing via Zoom will follow established procedure to request a link for a calendar. See the Court’s main webpage (www.madera.courts.ca.gov), and select “Remote Individuals appearing via CourtCall should also follow established procedure.


Bail schedules: The 2021 Emergency Bail Schedule is revoked and no longer in effect.


The 2021 Felony Bail Schedule (including selected misdemeanors), signed by Presiding Judge Ernest LiCalsi on January 4, 2021, is reinstituted and is an attachment to this press release.


Self-help office: The Self-Help Office will be open to the public and will also continue to schedule in-person appointments. Whenever operationally feasible, the use of remote technology is authorized as an alternative to in-person appointments.


Future General Order of the Presiding Judge: Prior to the June 19, 2021 expiration of the 30th General Order of the Presiding Judge, a subsequent General Order will be issued to address items contained in this press release and/or to memorialize the continuation of items currently in effect.


Special note: Attorneys and litigants are reminded of the responsibility to keep contact information (including addresses and telephone numbers) current with the court. Hearing status, which is subject to change, should be regularly checked at the following site: https://madera-prod-portal.ecourt.com/public-portal/?q=node/393.