In a move aimed at reducing the jail population to limit the spread of the coronavirus, California judicial leaders are expected to adopt a statewide emergency order setting bail at zero for misdemeanor and lower-level felony offenses.
In a remote meeting Monday, the Judicial Council also is expected to vote to suspend evictions and foreclosures and to allow for the expansion of court hearings held by video or telephone.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye heads the council, the policymaking body for California’s court system. Gov. Gavin Newsom has given her and the council, which is primarily made up of judges, extraordinary temporary powers to suspend laws to deal with the health crisis.
For criminal and juvenile proceedings, including arraignments and preliminary examinations, the council will direct courts to prioritize the use of technology to meet legal deadlines and ensure that defendants and children are not held in custody without timely hearings, according to a report prepared for Monday’s meeting.
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