In-person hearings, trials continue at L.A. courts despite recent deaths of 3 employees of COVID-19

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Court interpreter Nao Ikeuchi, left, and wife Yoshimi Shirata attend a vigil to honor two court interpreters at Los Angeles Superior Court who died recently of COVID-19.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

In this undated photo, court interpreter Nao Ikeuchi, left, and wife Yoshimi Shirata attend a vigil to honor two court interpreters at Los Angeles Superior Court who died recently of COVID-19.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

At a time when officials are pleading with residents to not leave their homes because of COVID-19, Juan Garcia rode the bus to a downtown L.A. court to defend against getting evicted from his.

The disabled widower used a cane as he navigated Stanley Mosk Courthouse, waited among dozens in a hallway for his hearing, and then asked a judge for more time to secure low-income housing — at least another month or two. The judge set an eviction trial for April.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Garcia, 60, said in an interview outside the courtroom as he wrestled with the prospect of homelessness.

It’s a scene that plays out daily in the Los Angeles County Superior Court system — the nation’s largest — which is still holding in-person hearings, including eviction proceedings and trials, despite the recent deaths of three court employees from COVID-19 and warnings that being inside with others can easily spread the virus.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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