The coronavirus pandemic changed every aspect of life in California. Though the health crisis has improved, the long-term effects of COVID continue to affect us in many different ways. One of the big problems facing the legal profession is access to the state court system. Emergency procedures shut the courts down entirely in the early days of the pandemic. Soon, the courts operated on a limited basis, but even these short closures caused serious problems in a backlog that existed long before the COVID crisis. Reuters reports on the emergency COVID-19 orders that were rescinded in March 2022. After two full years, the California court system is no longer operating under restrictions. This change does not mean that it will be business as usual for every litigant seeking help in the courts.
The state court system enacted many emergency procedures to protect the health and safety of all litigants during the COVID-19 pandemic. These steps included remote hearings, mask use, and restricting the number of people in a courtroom at the same time. These restrictions have been lifted as the health crisis improves. You are more likely to find normal court procedures in cases throughout the state. The courts’ limited operations during COVID have, however, created a backlog. As a result, it can take much longer to get a court date at all.