Archive for the ‘covid-19’ Category

Butte County Court – Coronavirus COVID-19 Oroville Chico Paradise CA

In response to emergency executive orders issued by California Governor, Gavin Newsom, the Superior Court of California, County of Butte (serving Chico, Oroville, Paradise and surrounding communities), has implemented various emergency orders. In addition, the California Supreme Court and the Judicial Council of California have issued emergency orders approving sometimes, and directing at other times, county trial courts’ operations in light of the Governor’s emergency executive orders to shelter-in-place and to practice social-distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 illnesses. Consequently, business with the court is unusual these days. To see the emergency orders affecting the operations of the Butte County Superior Court, go to the court’s website. The website can be found by searching “butte county court” using your favorite search engine, like Google, Bing, etc.

Most criminal cases where the defendant is not incarcerated are being unilaterally continued to a future date. If the Butte County District Attorney (“DA”) has already brought criminal charges by filing a criminal complaint with the court, you can visit the court’s website and search cases by defendant’s name or case number. Once you find the case on the court’s website, you should be able to check the next court date. If, instead, a person was arrested and posted bail or was released on his or her own recognizance and at that time given a court date, but the DA has not filed charges with the court by the date given, the court should mail notice of the new court date if the DA subsequently files a criminal complaint. The address to which the court mails notice will be the address set forth in the criminal complaint filed by the DA. The DA typically uses the address listed in the police report.

Unlawful detainer (eviction) cases have been significantly impacted by the various emergency orders. As of April 6, 2020, a court may not issue a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer unless the court finds, in its discretion and on the record, that the action is necessary to protect public health and safety. Without the issuance of a summons by the court, the eviction case cannot proceed. If a summons was issued and subsequently served because a case was filed prior to April 6, 2020, for example, even if the defendant/tenant has failed to file an answer within the ordinary time required to do so, plaintiff/landlord will be unable to obtain a default judgment for possession of the premises from the court because the emergency orders prohibit a court from entering a default or a default judgment unless the court finds doing so is necessary to protect public health and safety. Which is rarely, if ever, an issue in eviction cases based on tenant’s failure to pay rent. Pursuant to the emergency orders, these prohibitions will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares that the  state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, or until amended or repealed by the Judicial Council of California. Great for non-paying tenants. Very bad for unpaid landlords.