Some California courts start to reopen as coronavirus restrictions ease

The Stanley Mosk Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles.
The Stanley Mosk Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Some courts in California are slowly reopening as restrictions ease across the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

Contra Costa County Superior Court will reopen to the public at all locations at 8 a.m. Tuesday and resume jury trials.

Everyone in court will be required to wear face coverings and remain six feet from others. No more than 50 potential jurors will be allowed in an assembly room at any one time, and litigants may not have family members or friends attend their hearings.

Santa Clara County and Monterey County will follow suit on June 1, with similar rules for jury trials.

Monterey Superior Court said it will hold fewer trials at any one time to reduce the number of people in the courthouse.

“Because empaneled juries will need to be seated and spaced around the entire courtroom to ensure social distancing, members of the public may be precluded from attending jury trials in person,” the county announced.


The public may call in to listen to trials and hearings that are normally open to the public, the county said.

Alameda County is expanding the number of court hearings that will be held, but they will be done remotely.

Starting June 1, Alameda County Superior Court will resume small-claims trials and hearings on civil harassment, elder abuse, gun violence and domestic violence restraining orders. Family law and probate hearings will resume, also remotely.

The public will be able to monitor the hearings through a live audio stream on the court’s website.