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California Bankruptcy Courts Remain Strong: California Chief Bankruptcy Judge… · 2020-06-19 ·...

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California Bankruptcy Forum Webinar with the Chief Judges June 23, 2020 California Bankruptcy Courts Remain Strong: California Chief Bankruptcy Judge's Updates on Remote Operations 1. Central District Orders …………………………………………………... 2-16 2. Eastern District Orders ………………………………………………….. 17-49 3. Northern District Orders ………………………………………………… 50-69 4. Southern District Orders ………………………………………………… 70-87 5. Judge Biographies ……………………………………………………….. 88-90
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  • California Bankruptcy Forum Webinar with the Chief Judges

    June 23, 2020

    California Bankruptcy Courts Remain Strong: California Chief Bankruptcy Judge's Updates on

    Remote Operations

    1. Central District Orders …………………………………………………... 2-16

    2. Eastern District Orders ………………………………………………….. 17-49

    3. Northern District Orders ………………………………………………… 50-69

    4. Southern District Orders ………………………………………………… 70-87

    5. Judge Biographies ……………………………………………………….. 88-90

  • CENTRAL DISTRICT ORDERS

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    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    IN RE:

    CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC EMERGENCY

    ACTIVATION OF CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS PLAN

    ))))))))))

    ORDER OF THE CHIEF JUDGE20-042

    WHEREAS, the President of the United States has declared a national

    emergency in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the

    “Coronavirus;”

    WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of California has declared a state of

    emergency in response to the outbreak of COVID-19;

    WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended

    that throughout the United States, for at least eight weeks, all gatherings should be

    limited to no more than 10 people;

    WHEREAS, local public health departments have recommended that large

    gatherings be avoided, that elderly and other vulnerable populations avoid person-to-

    person contact, and that employers allow employees to telework to the extent practical;

    March 19, 2020

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    WHEREAS, to date, several hundred people within the Central District of

    California have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 and the number of

    those infected continues to rise, causing an emergency pandemic;

    WHEREAS, the Court has issued General Order Nos. 20-02 and 20-03

    regarding the Coronavirus public emergency, implementing temporary emergency

    procedures;

    WHEREAS, since the Court took action to implement those emergency

    procedures, COVID-19 has continued to spread among the population of the Central

    District of California;

    With the consent of the Executive Committee, the Chief Judge orders as

    follows:

    The Continuity of Operations (“COOP”) Plan for the Central District of

    California is hereby activated, effective March 23, 2020 through and including May 1,

    2020. The COOP Plan may be extended or inactivated as necessary.

    The activation of the COOP Plan is necessary to ensure the continuous

    performance of essential functions and operations of the Court.

    The following are examples of actions that will be taken pursuant to the COOP

    Plan:

    All of the Courthouses of the Central District of California will be closed

    to the public except for hearings on criminal duty matters, as discussed

    below.

    In civil cases, no hearings will go forward except for emergency time-

    sensitive matters, such as requests for temporary restraining orders and

    preliminary injunctions, as ordered by the assigned judicial officer. Any

    hearings on emergency civil matters will proceed telephonically only. Pro

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    se litigants must mail their filings to the Clerk of Court at 255 E. Temple

    Street, Suite TS-134, Los Angeles, CA 90012-3332.

    In criminal cases, criminal duty matters will go forward in the Edward R.

    Roybal Building and United States Courthouse in Los Angeles only. All

    criminal document duty will be handled by each division in the normal

    course of business. Telephonic hearings on other criminal matters may

    proceed as directed by the assigned judicial officer.

    All matters before the Bankruptcy Court will proceed telephonically.

    Further guidance will be provided by the Bankruptcy Court to pro se

    petitioners.

    Chambers staff will be directed to telework except as otherwise directed

    by their assigned judicial officer. The Clerk of Court will implement a

    telework policy for the staff of the Clerk’s Office and the Probation and

    Pretrial Services Office at her discretion.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    Date: March 19, 2020

    ________________________________________

    CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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  • MAR 23 2020

    UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT

    CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    In re:

    ORDER TO EXTEND DEADLINES PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL RULES OF BANKRUPTCY PROCEDURE AND BANKRUPTCY CODE

    ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

    GENERAL ORDER 20-03

    The Court hereby finds that on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States

    declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19 outbreak. Based on guidance

    received by the Court from national, state and local agencies, procedures have been put in

    place by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California and the United

    States Trustee for Region 16 to limit the spread of COVID-19, including that the United States

    Trustee for Region 16 has continued in-person § 341 meetings scheduled in all Chapter 7, 12

    and 13 bankruptcy cases, including originally scheduled and continued meetings, pending in all

    divisions of the Central District of California (Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Riverside, San Fernando

    Valley, and Northern Divisions) beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Friday, April 10,

    2020 (the “Continued Cases”).

    Based on the foregoing findings and the recently implemented procedures, the United

    States Trustee’s Ex-Parte Motion to Extend Deadlines Pursuant to the Federal Rules of

    Bankruptcy Procedure and Bankruptcy Code (filed as Misc. No. 20-MP-00101-MT), the national,

    6

  • state, and local states of emergency that have been declared in response to COVID-19, and

    pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 105(a), and good cause appearing therefore,

    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that United States Trustee’s Ex-Parte Motion Extending the

    Deadlines Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Bankruptcy Code is

    GRANTED.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the deadlines for the Continued Cases shall be

    extended as follows:

    1. The deadline set under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007 for debtors

    in a Chapter 7 case to file the personal financial management course completion statement

    required by Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007(b)(7) shall be extended, and the 60 day

    time period set therein shall begin on the newly established date to commence the meeting of

    creditors ( the “reset date”), provided that if the meeting is subsequently reset by the United

    States Trustee and/or order of the Court, such period will begin on the last date to which such

    meeting is reset;

    2. The deadline set under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1017(e) for United

    States Trustee to file a motion to dismiss for abuse shall be extended, and the 60 day time

    period set therein shall begin on the reset date for the meeting of creditors, provided that if the

    meeting is subsequently reset by the United States Trustee and/or order of the Court, such

    period will begin on the last date to which such meeting is reset;

    3. The deadline set under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2003(a) setting

    deadlines for holding § 341 meetings shall be extended as follows: in a chapter 7 liquidation

    case the deadline for the initial meeting of creditors to take place shall be extended from 40

    days after the order for relief to a later date to be determined. In a chapter 12 case, the

    deadline for the initial meeting of creditors to take place shall be extended from 35 days after

    the order for relief to a later date to be determined. In a chapter 13 case, the deadline for the

    initial meeting of creditors to take place shall be extended from 50 days after the order for relief

    to a later date to be determined;

    7

  • 4. The deadline set under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4004(a) for

    objections to the debtor’s discharge shall be extended, and the 60 day time period set therein

    shall begin on the reset date for the meeting of creditors, provided that if the meeting is

    subsequently reset by the United States Trustee and/or order of the Court, such period will

    begin on the last date to which such meeting is reset;

    5. The deadline set under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4007(c) for filing a

    complaint as to the dischargeability of certain debts under § 523(c) shall be extended, and the

    60 day time period set therein shall begin on the reset date for the meeting of creditors,

    provided that if the meeting is subsequently reset by the United States Trustee and/or order of

    the Court, such period will begin on the last date to which such meeting is reset;

    6. The deadline set under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4008(a) for filing a

    reaffirmation agreement shall be extended, and the 60 day time period set therein shall begin on

    the reset date for the meeting of creditors, provided that if the meeting is subsequently reset by

    the United States Trustee and/or order of the Court, such period will begin on the last date to

    which such meeting is reset; and,

    7. The deadline under 11 U.S.C. § 1308(a) for filing tax returns shall be extended

    such that the deadline shall be the day before the initial reset date for the meeting of creditors,

    and the deadlines under 11 U.S.C. § 521(e) and Local Bankruptcy Rule 3015-1 (b), (c), (e), (k)

    and (m) for filing documents, for submission of documents and for submission of plan payments

    to the Chapter 13 trustee shall be based on the first reset date for the meeting of creditors.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    Date: March 23, 2020

    Maureen A. Tighe

    Chief Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court

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  • UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    In re: AMENDED PROCEDURES FOR PUBLIC EMERGENCY RELATED TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK

    ) ) ) ) )

    AMENDED GENERAL ORDER 20-02

    Upon consideration of (a) the state of emergency declared by the President of

    the United States regarding COVID-19, (b) the directives from federal, state, and local

    officials regarding safety of the public and the personnel of this court, (c) the suspension

    of meetings of creditors (11 U.S.C. § 341(a)) by the United States Trustee, Region 16,

    (d) available guidance from other units of the Judicial Branch, and (e) all other facts and

    circumstances, and after deliberation at an emergency meeting of the Bankruptcy Court

    Board Of Judges of this District held on March 18, 2020, and on the court’s own motion

    (11 U.S.C. § 105(a)), good cause appearing,

    General Order 20-02 was issued on March 19, 2020; this order amends that

    original order to provide for additional procedures in light of the expanded pandemic.

    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows, unless and until otherwise ordered by this

    court or the presiding judge in any specific case:

    1. Telephonic appearances are mandatory in all matters through April 30, 2020.

    All parties are required to appear by telephone at all hearings that require

    an appearance. There will be no physical access to the courthouse for any

    APR 1 2020

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  • hearings. Instructions for telephonic appearances are posted on the

    Bankruptcy Court’s website (www.cacb.uscourts.gov) and there will be

    no cost for parties not represented by an attorney. For any evidentiary

    hearings, including trials, special procedures will be implemented by each

    presiding judge on a case-by-case basis. If the evidentiary hearing is

    continued, notice will be provided to the parties. Parties may make requests

    for continuances consistent with each presiding judge’s usual requirements.

    2. Appearances. Any person who has shown up at the courthouse for a hearing

    but not been able to get in or has attempted to appear by telephone, but has

    been unable due to lack of physical or telephonic access, may seek

    reconsideration by the presiding judge under Rule 7052, 9023, or 9024

    (Fed. R. Bankr. P.) or any other applicable rule. Parties must contact

    the chambers of the presiding judge within 24 hours after the hearing to notify

    the judge of the difficulty attending the hearing and state that reconsideration

    will be sought. All prohibitions on the use of cell phones for telephonic

    appearances are suspended. There is no change to currently calendared

    motions or applications except for the above. Other than the above, and

    unless ordered by the presiding judge, there is no change to other

    procedures, including but not limited to applications for emergency injunctive

    relief, orders shortening time, and hearings on Chapter 11 “First Day”

    motions.

    3. Chapter 13. All Chapter 13 matters, including the Chapter 13 Trustees and

    their attorneys will also be telephonic. The court recommends consulting

    each individual Chapter 13 Trustee website for any special instructions

    related to pending Chapter 13 cases. The Chapter 13 calendars will continue

    to be held under the above but additional procedures have been implemented

    by each Trustee to obtain records and payments without personal contact.

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    http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/

  • 4. Judge’s or courtesy copies. Except for documents over 25 pages, including

    exhibits, the requirement to deliver judges’ copies of documents to chambers

    (LBR 5005-2(d)) is temporarily suspended – including delivery via U.S. mail,

    personal delivery, or any other means. Documents over 25 pages should still

    be provided through the mail unless the judge’s specific updated instructions

    have waived that requirement. Parties are reminded, however, that the judge

    and chambers’ staff do not receive electronic notices of filings, and therefore,

    (a) for documents that are filed late, and (b) for matters that are either

    (i) not set for hearing, or (ii) not the subject of an electronically uploaded order

    (LOU), parties must contact the chambers of the presiding judge and advise

    chambers of the filing. Messages will be regularly retrieved from the judge’s

    chambers phone.

    5. Mediations. All mediations conducted by a judge of this court are suspended

    through April 30, 2020, absent a specific order and agreement by all to

    proceed telephonically. Mediations with private mediators may be continued

    upon consultation with the assigned mediator but will be in the discretion of

    the mediator as to how to proceed.

    6. Cash. The Clerk of Court is specifically authorized to decide at any time

    that no cash will be accepted. Such a decision will be placed on the court’s

    website with any further payment instructions. Parties may pay any filing fee

    with a certified cashier’s check or postal money order if they cannot comply

    with the CM/ECF fee requirements.

    7. Signatures. Local Bankruptcy Rule 9011-1 does not require in person contact

    as it permits an attorney to receive a signature page by electronic means.

    Nothing in the rule precludes the filing of a signature page that has been

    received by facsimile, pdf, text or photo. This signature can be filed separately

    in whatever format is reasonably possible so that there is a clear indication

    that the signor has read and is signing the actual document filed.

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  • a. In light of the difficulty of obtaining any paper files during

    this emergency, the requirement of LBR 9011-1(d) to maintain

    a wet signature for 5 years is temporarily suspended and

    the attorney should maintain the electronic transmission of

    the client to file the document in whatever format is reasonable at

    this time.

    b. If there is a situation where a client cannot transmit a signature

    electronically either due to lack of required technology or internet

    access, etc., the attorney should so explain the circumstances with

    the filing, verify that permission was obtained from the client to sign

    the document on their behalf, and obtain the signature as soon as

    possible after the filing through another means.

    8. Filing of petitions by people without attorneys. The court’s existing electronic

    filing for self-represented debtors (eSR) is now authorized to accept

    both Chapter 7 and 13 petitions. All Chapter 7 and 13 petitions shall be filed

    through eSR or mail. Any other chapter must be filed through CM/ECF

    with an attorney or mailed to the court. No petitions will be accepted at

    any courthouse absent a separate appointment made with the staff by

    prior arrangement through the help line.

    9. Signatures and Filing Fees. If a bankruptcy case is filed through eSR or

    mail, the debtor must mail the required signatures, the required Statement

    of Social Security Number, and the required filing fee within 10 days,

    or the case will be dismissed. The signatures and fees required are

    explained in more detail on the court’s website under the “Don’t Have an

    Attorney” tab. (https://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorney)

    All petitions from self-represented parties through the mail or eSR

    are automatically granted a fee installment so that the full required filing

    fee is due no later than 10 days after the filing of the petition.

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  • Any request for a fee waiver must be mailed within 5 days of the

    electronic petition filing on the form available on the website.

    https://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/forms/application-individuals-pay-filing-fee-

    installmentsapplication-have-chapter-7-filing-fee Any request for installment

    payments other than paying the full filing fee no later than 10 days after filing

    should also be mailed within 5 days on the required form available on the

    website. If a fee waiver or installment order is entered in a specific case,

    it will supersede this general order requiring the full fee within 10 days.

    If the requisite fee or signatures are not mailed within 10 days, the court

    will dismiss the case without a hearing.

    10. Filing of pleadings by non-attorneys after case has commenced. Parties who

    do not have attorneys or who are otherwise not eligible for CM/ECF filing

    privileges are authorized to use the electronic dropbox (“EDB”) described on

    the court’s website. Parties wishing to use EDB may apply for authorization

    through the procedures on the website. Only pleadings not requiring an

    additional fee may be submitted to the court using EDB. If the filing requires

    a fee, the fee and the pleading should be mailed to the court. Any pleadings

    filed by mail will be docketed as received by the court on the date of the

    postmark stamp on the document.

    11. Travel. Many U.S. Bankruptcy Court staff and judges have essential duties

    requiring them to travel to the locked courthouse on a limited basis solely

    to maintain essential court operations. They may access the building

    if necessary to maintain basic court operations. These essential functions

    will be decided as court needs require. They are instructed to carry their

    court-issued identification cards and are authorized to show this identification

    and explain their essential function as requested by any federal, state or local

    officer. All other non-essential travel is cancelled.

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  • 12. Temporary Emergency Rules. These provisions are temporary and may be

    vacated, amended or extended as necessary. Further explanations and

    details may be obtained at the court’s website on all of the above.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    DATED: April 1, 2020

    Maureen A. Tighe

    Chief Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court

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  • APR 14 2020

    UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT

    CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    IN RE: AMENDED PROCEDURES FOR PUBLIC EMERGENCY RELATED TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK

    SECOND AMENDED GENERAL ORDER 20-02

    Upon consideration of the United States District Court’s continuation of the

    Continuity of Operations Plan to and including June 1, 2020, and the need to continue

    hearing all matters remotely based on the guidance and orders of federal, state and

    local officials,

    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows, unless and until otherwise ordered by

    this court or the presiding judge in any specific case:

    1. Continuation of Earlier Order. This court’s Amended General Order 20-02,

    issued on April 1, 2020, remains in effect and is continued to and including

    June 1, 2020.

    2. Only Telephonic or Video Appearances are permitted in all matters through

    and including June 1, 2020. There will be no physical access to the United

    States Bankruptcy Court for any hearings or unscheduled filings before that

    date.

    3. Social Security Number Statements. A self-represented litigant filing

    a voluntary bankruptcy case must include the signed “Statement About

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  • Your Social Security Numbers” (Official Form 121) with the initial filing

    when mailing the documents (F.R.B.P. 1007(f).). When filing a voluntary

    bankruptcy case through the court’s eSR program, the signed “Statement

    About Your Social Security Numbers” form must be mailed to the court

    within ten (10) days of filing, or the case will be dismissed. All self-represented

    filing instructions are explained in more detail on the court’s website under

    the “Don’t Have an Attorney” tab. (https://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-

    an-attorney)

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    DATED: April 14, 2020

    Maureen A. TigheChief Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court

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    https://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorneyhttps://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/filing-without-an-attorney

  • EASTERN DISTRICT ORDERS

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  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: ) GENERAL ORDER NO. 610 ) RESTRICTIONS ON VISITORS ) TO EASTERN DISTRICT OF ) CALIFORNIA COURTHOUSES ) )

    The Centers for Disease Control have advised people to take precautions in light of the

    COVID-19 virus outbreak and state that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed

    to this virus.

    IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, effective immediately, in an attempt to ensure the

    safety of courthouse staff and visitors, the following persons shall not enter any courthouse in the

    Eastern District of California:

    • Persons who have travelled to any of the following countries within the last 14 days:

    CHINA SOUTH KOREA JAPAN ITALY IRAN

    (This list may be updated as further guidance is received.)

    • Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has traveled to one

    of the countries listed above within the last 14 days;

    • Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health

    agency;

    • Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has

    been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days;

    • Persons with fever, cough or shortness of breath.

    18

    khollandRectangular Exhibit Stamp

  • Anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols will be denied entry by a

    Court Security Officer.

    These restrictions will remain in place temporarily until it is determined to be safe to

    remove them. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their

    healthcare provider immediately.

    DATED: March 11, 2020. FOR THE COURT:

    19

    kmuellerKJM CalistoMT

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    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: ) GENERAL ORDER NO. 611 ) FINDINGS AND ORDER ) AS TO COURT PROCEEDINGS ) IN LIGHT OF COVID-19, ) ALSO KNOWN AS CORONAVIRUS. ) ) ____________________________________)

    WHEREAS, the President of the United States of America has declared a national

    emergency in response to COVID-19, also known as “Coronavirus,” and encouraged limitations

    on gatherings of more than 10 persons;

    WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of California has declared a public health

    emergency throughout the State in response to the spread of COVID-19, and strongly encouraged

    certain segments of the population to remain at home at the current time;

    WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of

    Public Health and other public health authorities have advised the taking of precautions, including

    limiting gathering sizes and practice social distancing, to reduce the possibility of exposure to the

    virus and slow the spread of the disease;

    WHEREAS local health officials in the Eastern District of California in particular have

    declared local health emergencies in light of the presence of persons infected with the coronavirus

    in their jurisdictions, including in Sacramento and Fresno Counties where the court’s two main

    courthouses are located, and the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Eastern District has reached the

    point where court operations are affected in that many persons at higher risk of serious or fatal

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    illness are involved in court proceedings as attorneys, parties or court staff or being asked to serve

    the court as jurors;

    WHEREAS slowing the transmission of the virus in the community is an important part of

    mitigating the impact of the disease on vulnerable individuals and reducing the immediate burden

    on the health care system and the community at large, including members of the federal bar and

    their clients as well as pro se litigants;

    WHEREAS the Eastern District court maintains a robust capacity for conducting business

    remotely, and essential court operations can and will continue unimpeded, but not all of the

    court’s work can be completed at a distance; and

    WHEREAS the need for in-court hearings and trials must be balanced against the risk

    stemming from the associated interpersonal contact; jury proceedings are inadvisable in the

    current environment to protect public health and ensure that when juries are seated they represent

    a cross-section of the community and constitute the required jury of one’s peers to which criminal

    defendants in particular are entitled, see Thiel v. S. Pac. Co., 328 U.S. 217, 220 (1946) (“The

    American tradition of trial by jury, considered in connection with either criminal or civil

    proceedings, necessarily contemplates an impartial jury drawn from a cross-section of the

    community.”); Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522, 537 (1975) (“[T]he Sixth Amendment affords

    the defendant in a criminal trial the opportunity to have the jury drawn from venires

    representative of the community[.]”); and even if a jury that meets these requirements could be

    seated at this point notwithstanding public officials’ urging certain populations to remain home,

    there is no assurance the jury’s deliberations would be unaffected by continuing health and safety

    concerns and evolving public health mandates and protocols.

    Accordingly, with the concurrence of a majority of the District Judges of the court, in

    order to protect public health, reduce the size of public gatherings and unnecessary travel, and

    /////

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    3

    ensure the ability to deliver fair and impartial justice to all those who come before the court, the

    court orders as follows:

    1. The United States Courthouses in Sacramento, Modesto (with hearings held in

    Sacramento during ongoing remodeling), Fresno, Bakersfield, Yosemite and Redding

    will remain open for business, subject to the following limitations.

    2. Effective immediately, the court will not call in jurors for service in civil or criminal

    jury trials until May 1, 2020. All civil and criminal jury trials in the Eastern District of California

    scheduled to begin during this time period are continued pending further order of the court. The

    court may issue other orders concerning future continuances as necessary and appropriate.

    3. All courtroom proceedings and filing deadlines in a case will remain in place unless

    otherwise ordered by the Judge presiding over that case.

    4. The time period of any continuance entered in a criminal case as a result of this order

    shall be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A), as the court finds based

    on the recitals above that the ends of justice served by taking that action outweigh the interests of

    the parties and the public in a speedy trial. Absent further order of the court or any individual

    judge, the period of exclusion shall be from March 17, 2020, to May 1, 2020. The court may

    extend the period of exclusion in a subsequent order as evolving circumstances warrant.

    5. Individual judges may continue to hold hearings, conferences and bench trials in the

    exercise of their discretion, including by teleconference or videoconference, consistent with this

    order.

    6. Criminal matters before Magistrate Judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments,

    detention hearings and the issuance of search warrants, shall continue to take place in the ordinary

    course, subject to the parties’ established ability to seek continuances or, as allowed by law, the

    holding of telephonic or videoconference appearances.

    7. The Bankruptcy Court, Clerk’s Office, Probation Office, Pretrial Services Office and all

    other court services shall remain open pending further order of the court, although the method of

    providing services may be modified to account for COVID-19 and attendant public health

    advisories.

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    8. This order does not affect grand juries, which are convened by the U.S. Attorney and

    shall continue to meet as scheduled by his office.

    9. This order may be modified, expanded or superseded at any time to account for the

    developing nature of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    DATED: March 16, 2020.

    23

    kmuellerKJM CalistoMT

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: ) GENERAL ORDER NO. 612 ) ADDITIONAL TEMPORARY ) RESTRICTIONS ON COURTHOUSE ) ACCESS AND IN COURT HEARINGS ) )

    WHEREAS, the court previously has issued General Orders addressing the national,

    regional and local public health emergency posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by

    continuing all trials to May 1, 2020;

    WHEREAS, since the issuance of the court’s prior orders circumstances related to the

    outbreak have continued to quickly evolve, with state and local public agencies instituting further

    enhanced measures to manage the spread of the virus and limit the potential for the illness and

    death it can cause;

    WHEREAS, within the Eastern District of California, the Sacramento County Public

    Health Department has now issued an order for residents to stay at home to the extent possible

    and many facilities to close, while recognizing the need for essential services to continue; and the

    Fresno County Board of Supervisors has adopted a Local Emergency resolution and that County

    has activated its Emergency Operations Center in response to COVID-19;

    WHEREAS, the Judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of

    California are continuing to balance the various interests implicated by the COVID-19 outbreak

    and the court’s response to the outbreak, including: the health of jurors, witnesses, parties,

    attorneys, the public whom it is our privilege to serve, Clerk’s Office and all court staff,

    24

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  • Probation and Pretrial Services staff, chambers staff and judges; the constitutional rights of

    criminal defendants and other parties; and the public’s interest in, and the court’s duty to ensure,

    the effective and expeditious administration of justice;

    NOW THEREFORE, effective immediately through May 1, 2020, the United States

    District Court for the Eastern District of California hereby issues the following Order to

    supplement its prior orders issued on March 12 and 17, 2020, with the findings relied on in those

    orders incorporated in full herein:

    1. In light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, all courthouses of the United

    States District Court for the Eastern District of California shall be closed to the public. Only

    persons having official court business as authorized by a Judge of the District Court or the

    Bankruptcy Court, or a healthy building tenant having official business on behalf of a tenant

    agency, may enter courthouse property. This order applies to the following divisional locations:

    (1) The Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento;

    (2) The Robert E. Coyle United States Courthouse, 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno;

    (3) The Redding Federal Courthouse, 2986 Bechelli Lane, Redding;

    (4) The Bakersfield Federal Courthouse, 510 19th Street, Bakersfield;

    (5) The Yosemite Federal Courthouse, 9004 Castle Cliff Court, Yosemite; and

    (6) The Modesto U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1200 I Street, Second Floor, Modesto.

    2. All of the court’s civil matters will be decided on the papers, or if the assigned Judge

    believes a hearing is necessary, the hearing will be by telephone or videoconference. This applies

    to all matters including motion hearings, case management conferences, pretrial conferences and

    settlement conferences.

    3. In civil matters and bankruptcy matters in which parties represent themselves (pro se

    litigants), those parties are strongly encouraged to file documents by mail. For those unable to

    file by mail the court will provide drop boxes for filing inside the entrances to the Sacramento,

    Fresno and Modesto courthouses, that otherwise previously have accepted hand-delivered pro se

    filings in the Clerk’s Offices for those courts.

    25

  • 4. In the court’s criminal matters all initial appearances, arraignments and other essential

    proceedings will continue to be held before the duty Magistrate Judges, unless the parties agree

    to continue them; to the full extent possible matters that are maintained on calendar shall be

    conducted by telephone or video conference.

    5. In criminal cases before the District Judges, the assigned District Judge may continue

    matters to a date after May 1, 2020, excluding time under the Speedy Trial Act with reference to

    the court’s prior General Order 611 issued on March 17, 2020, with additional findings to

    support the exclusion in the Judge’s discretion; if any criminal matters are maintained on

    calendar, to the full extent possible they shall be conducted by telephone or video conference.

    6. Any Judge may order case-by-case exceptions to any of the above numbered

    provisions for non-jury court matters at the discretion of that Judge or upon the request of

    counsel, after consultation with counsel.

    IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: March 18, 2020. FOR THE COURT:

    26

    kmuellerKJM CalistoMT

  •  

     

     

    INTERPRETATION OF GENERAL ORDER 612;

    CLARIFICATION REGARDING MEDIA ACCESS

    Clarification

    General Order 612 provides as follows, in pertinent part:

    “Only persons having official court business as authorized by a Judge of the District Court or the Bankruptcy Court, or a healthy building tenant having official business on behalf of a tenant agency, may enter courthouse property.”

    “Persons having official court business” is defined to mean only the following essential individuals: counsel representing a party to an item on a published court calendar and a party required by the court to appear in person for the matter calendared. Any other person who believes he or she has a right to attend a court proceeding, and desires to attend the hearing in person, must qualify as someone who is essential to the proceeding, obtain the advance written approval of the judge presiding over the proceeding and present that approval to court security in order to enter courthouse property.

    Media Access

    The court recognizes the Constitutional right of the media to access court proceedings on behalf of the public. Therefore, a member of the media may enter courthouse property upon presenting bonafide press credentials to court security and identifying a court proceeding that person will attend. If a member of the media wishes to monitor a court proceeding telephonically, that person shall contact the Courtroom Deputy for the judge presiding over the proceeding. Upon the media representative’s presentation of bonafide press credentials to the Courtroom Deputy, the Courtroom Deputy will provide instructions for allowing telephone access on a secure line, at no cost, to listen to the hearing with all other court rules in effect including the standing prohibition on audio recording.

    27

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: TEMPORARY PROCEDURES TO PROVIDE PRETRIAL SERVICE REPORTS BY EMAIL TO ASSIGNED COUNSEL (AUSA AND DEFENSE ATTORNEY) WHO ARE APPEARING TELEPHONICALLY OR BY VIDEO

    GENERAL ORDER NO. 613

    On March 18, 2020, the Eastern District of California issued General Order No. 612

    which placed additional restriction on courthouse access based on the coronavirus (COVID-19)

    outbreak. The Order requires that to the extent possible, all criminal matters be conducted by

    telephonic or video conferences. Due to these telephonic and video appearances, the court finds

    that it is necessary to implement temporary procedures for providing attorneys access to pretrial

    services reports and to allow pretrial services officers to appear telephonically in criminal cases.

    Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3153, “[e]ach pretrial services report shall be made available to

    the attorney for the accused and the attorney for the Government.” 18 U.S.C. § 3153(c)(1). The

    Director is to issue regulations establishing the policy for the release of such information which

    is to provide for the confidentiality requirement that the information be used only for purposes of

    bail determination and is otherwise confidential. 18 U.S.C. § 3153(c)(2). The Guide to Judiciary

    Policy provides that the pretrial report shall be made available to the defendant, and the attorneys

    for the defendant and the government pursuant to the practice and procedure of the district court

    in connection with a pretrial release or detention hearing. Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol. 8A,

    Appx. 5A. In this district, it has been the practice and procedure to physically provide copies of

    FILEDMarch 25, 2020

    CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    28

  • the pretrial services report to the interested parties at the hearing and collect the report at the

    conclusion of the hearing. However, in the current state of affairs, the parties are not present in

    court to receive the pretrial services report. Good cause therefore exists to implement temporary

    procedures to provide the pretrial services report while taking into account the confidentiality of

    the information contained within the report.

    Accordingly, through May 1, 2020 and any time thereafter based upon a further General

    Order or any extension(s) of Generals Orders 611 and 612, the United States Pretrial Services for

    the Eastern District of California may appear telephonically in criminal proceedings. Pretrial

    Services shall email pretrial services reports to the assigned counsel (AUSA and FDO/Panel

    Attorney/retained Counsel) who are appearing telephonically or by video in criminal cases.

    Pursuant to the pretrial services confidentiality regulations, 18 U.S.C. § 3153(c)(1), pretrial

    services reports shall be used only for the purposes of bail determination. Pretrial services

    reports shall be made available to the attorney for the accused and the attorney for the

    government. Pretrial services reports are not public record, shall not be reproduced or disclosed

    to any other party, and shall remain confidential. Once the matter is complete the email shall be

    deleted and no record of the pretrial services report shall be kept by the recipient.

    IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March 25, 2020. FOR THE COURT: ____________________________________ /s/ Edmund F. Brennan KIMBERLY J. MUELLER, CHIEF JUDGE EDMUND F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE /s/ Deborah L. Barnes /s/ Stanley A. Boone DEBORAH L. BARNES STANLEY A. BOONE MAGISTRATE JUDGE MAGISTRATE JUDGE /s/ Allison Claire /s/ Dennis M. Cota ALLISON CLAIRE DENNIS M. COTA MAGISTRATE JUDGE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

    29

  • /s/ Carolyn K. Delaney /s/ Erica P. Grosjean CAROLYN K. DELANEY ERICA P. GROSJEAN MAGISTRATE JUDGE MAGISTRATE JUDGE /s/ Barbara A. McAuliffe /s/ Kendall J. Newman BARBARA A. McAULIFFE KENDALL J. NEWMAN MAGISTRATE JUDGE MAGISTRATE JUDGE /s/ Sheila K. Oberto /s/ Jeremy D. Peterson SHEILA K. OBERTO JEREMY D. PETERSON MAGISTRATE JUDGE MAGISTRATE JUDGE /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston JENNIFER L. THURSTON MAGISTRATE JUDGE

    30

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC EMERGENCY AUTHORIZING VIDEO- TELECONFERENCING AND TELEPHONE CONFERENCING FOR CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS UNDER SECTION 15002 OF THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT

    GENERAL ORDER NO. 614

    This court issues this General Order1 as another in a series of General Orders in response

    to the exponential spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Eastern District of

    California and elsewhere, making the following findings and orders:

    WHEREAS on March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and

    Economic Security (CARES) Act, H.R. 748 (the “CARES Act”), into law;

    WHEREAS on March 29, 2020, pursuant to Sections 15002(b)(1) and 15002(b)(2)(A) of

    the CARES Act, the Judicial Conference of the United States found that emergency conditions

    due to the national emergency declared by the President under the National Emergencies Act (50

    U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.) with respect to COVID–19 have affected and will materially affect the

    functioning of the federal courts generally;

     

    1 As the court was preparing this order on its own motion, it received email communications from the U.S. Attorney and Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California. The court has considered those communications in finalizing this order.  

    31

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  • WHEREAS, this court has previously issued General Order Nos. 610, 611, 612 and 613,

    making findings and implementing temporary emergency procedures in response to the COVID–

    19 crisis, and those General Orders remain in effect;

    WHEREAS, for the reasons previously set forth in those orders, I specifically find that

    felony pleas under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and felony sentencings

    under Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure generally cannot be conducted in

    person in this district without seriously jeopardizing public health and safety;

    WHEREAS, given infrastructural and technological limitations both within the court

    system, the various jails in the district housing federal detainees, and the Bureau of Prisons,

    videoconferencing is not yet reasonably available to conduct most if not all criminal hearings in

    the Eastern District of California;

    As Chief Judge, under the authority granted by Section 15002(b)(1) of the CARES Act, I

    hereby order as follows:

    (1) I hereby authorize the use of videoconferencing, or telephone conferencing if

    videoconference is not reasonably available, for all events listed in Section 15002(b) of the

    CARES Act, including:

    a. Detention hearings under 18 U.S.C. § 3142;

    b. Initial appearances under Fed. R. Crim. P. 5;

    c. Preliminary hearings under Fed. R. Crim. P. 5.1;

    d. Waivers of indictment under Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(b);

    e. Arraignments under Fed. R. Crim. P. 10;

    f. Probation and supervised release revocation proceedings under Fed. R.

    Crim. P. 32.1;

    g. Pretrial release revocation proceedings under 18 U.S.C. § 3148;

    h. Appearances under Fed. R. Crim. P. 40;

    i. Misdemeanor pleas and sentencings as described in Fed. R. Crim. P.

    43(b)(2); and

    32

  • j. Proceedings under 18 U.S.C. ch. 403 (the “Federal Juvenile Delinquency

    Act”), except for contested transfer hearings and juvenile delinquency

    adjudication or trial proceedings.

    (2) If a judge in an individual case finds, for specific reasons, that a felony plea or sentencing

    in that case cannot be further delayed without serious harm to the interests of justice, the judge

    may, with the consent of the defendant after consultation with counsel, use videoconferencing, or

    teleconferencing if videoconferencing is not reasonably available, for the felony plea or

    sentencing in that case. The defendant’s consent may be obtained on the record at the time of the

    relevant event and need not be in writing.

    (3) As provided by Section 15002(b)(3) of the CARES Act, the authorization provided in this

    order will remain in effect for 90 days unless terminated earlier. If emergency conditions

    continue to exist 90 days from the entry of this order, I will review this authorization and

    determine whether to extend it.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    DATED: March 30, 2020.

    FOR THE COURT:

    33

    kmuellerKJM CalistoMT

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    IN RE: SOCIAL SECURITY MATTERS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC EMERGENCY

    GENERAL ORDER NO. 615

    The United States has moved ex parte for a temporary order staying civil matters

    involving the Commissioner of Social Security as a party under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) due to the

    COVID-19 public health emergency. For good cause shown, the Chief Judge issues this Order:

    1. All cases proceeding under Sections 205(g) and (h) of the Social Security Act, 42

    U.S.C. § 405(g) and (h) (herein referred to as 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)), require the Commissioner of

    Social Security (Commissioner) to prepare and file a certified copy of the administrative record

    (CAR), “including the evidence upon which the findings and decision complained of are based.”

    42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

    2. The Commissioner's Office of Appellate Hearings Operations (OAO) prepares the

    certified administrative records for all courts in the country. OAO personnel are located at one

    site, in Falls Church, Virginia.

    3. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, OAO staff are not authorized to

    report for duty on site and the Commissioner is unable to prepare the CAR for any current or

    future cases while the public health emergency continues.

    34

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  • 4. The United States seeks a stay of all Social Security cases brought under 42 U.S.C. §

    405(g) until such time as the Commissioner can resume preparation of CARs.

    5. Based upon the number of cases already impacted, and the ongoing nature of the

    emergency, requesting individual extensions of time or stays in all cases is impractical,

    particularly at a time when counsel for the Social Security Administration and the United States

    Attorney’s Office are also impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    6. To preserve the status quo until such time as the Commissioner may begin normal

    operations at OAO and may resume preparation of CARs, all civil cases filed on or after

    February 1, 2020, brought against the Commissioner under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), except those

    cases in which a CAR has already been filed, are hereby stayed, unless otherwise ordered by the

    assigned district judge or magistrate judge.

    7. This Order does not alter, vacate, or stay any obligation of individuals to pay amounts

    previously lawfully determined to be owed to the United States or to an agency or office of the

    United States, including the Social Security Administration.

    8. This Order does not prohibit, in any manner, the ability of parties to file claims or

    commence actions against the Commissioner under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). However, all cases or

    matters commenced on or after February 1, 2020, except those in which a CAR has already been

    filed, will be immediately stayed.

    9. Once OAO can resume operations, there will be a backlog of work that will continue

    to impact the Commissioner's ability to prepare CARs. Therefore, at such time as the

    Commissioner resumes preparation of CARs, the stay described in this Order will be lifted on an

    individual case-by-case basis, as CARs become available.

    10. The stay described in this Order will be lifted on a rolling basis automatically in an

    individual case when either: i) the Commissioner files a proof of service showing that the CAR

    has been served on Plaintiff; or ii) the Commissioner files the CAR. Thereafter, case deadlines

    will proceed according to the applicable case management orders and local rules. No motion or

    other notification will be required to lift the stay in any individual case.

    35

  • 11. The stay described in this Order may be lifted in any particular case by the presiding

    judge or magistrate judge upon a showing of good cause, including where the claimant lacks the

    income and resources necessary to meet minimum subsistence for food or shelter.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    DATED: April 14, 2020

    FOR THE COURT:

    ____________________________________ KIMBERLY J. MUELLER, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    36

    pandrewsNinth Circuit

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: CONSENT AND SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS ON DOCUMENTS FILED IN CRIMINAL ACTIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC EMERGENCY

    GENERAL ORDER NO. 616

    As reviewed in this court’s prior General Orders 611-615, the current public health crisis

    surrounding the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing and is expected

    to continue to cause significant disruption throughout the Eastern District of California, with

    temporary closure of courthouses and offices, travel restrictions and disruptions and delays in the

    use of the mail and delivery services.

    Moreover, diagnosed cases of COVID-19 among correctional staff and inmates in at least

    one detention facility in the Eastern District so far have caused restrictions on the movement of

    defendants to and from court, with additional restrictions likely before the coronavirus pandemic

    subsides. These and other considerations have led judges in this District to conduct proceedings

    remotely by videoconference or other means, as provided by General Order 614, with defense

    counsel and defendants sometimes in separate locations. As a result, the court has a need to

    clarify the application of certain rules with respect to signatures on documents.

    In particular, some Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, including but not necessarily

    limited to Rules 10(b)(2), 15(c)(l)(A), 20(a)(l), 23(a)(l), 32(e) and 43(b)(2), allow for consent or

    waiver of certain rights by a defendant, but require that such consent or waiver be in writing.

    FILEDApril 15, 2020

    CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    37

  • More broadly, various documents, including but not limited to financial affidavits, appearance

    bonds/orders for release, and consents to waive preliminary hearings call for the signatures of

    defendants, counsel, and/or judges. The current circumstances are likely to make it

    impracticable, if not impossible, to obtain actual signatures in a timely and safe manner.

    For these reasons, IT IS ORDERED THAT, where a judge finds that obtaining an actual

    signature is impracticable or imprudent in light of the public health situation relating to COVID-

    19, any document may be signed electronically using the format “/s/ name.”

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, where a defendant's signature is called for, unless

    otherwise ordered by the court defense counsel may sign electronically on the defendant's behalf

    using the format “/s/ name” and file the signed document electronically after defendant has an

    opportunity to consult with counsel and consents to counsel’s signing on defendant’s behalf.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, for the avoidance of doubt, where consent or

    waiver is not explicitly required to be in writing by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or

    other applicable law, such consent or waiver may be obtained in whatever form is most

    practicable under the circumstances, so long as the defendant's consent or waiver is clearly

    reflected on the record.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    DATED: April 15, 2020

    FOR THE COURT:

    38

  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: ) GENERAL ORDER NO. 617 ) EXTENDING TEMPORARY ) RESTRICTIONS ON COURTHOUSE ) ACCESS AND IN COURT HEARINGS ) )

    WHEREAS, the court previously has issued General Orders addressing the national,

    regional and local public health emergency posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by

    continuing all trials and closing its courthouses to the public until May 1, 2020;

    WHEREAS, since the issuance of the court’s prior orders circumstances related to the

    outbreak have continued to evolve, with state and local public agencies instituting still further

    enhanced measures to manage the spread of the virus and limit the potential for the illness and

    death it can cause;

    WHEREAS, this week the President of the United States has announced federal

    guidelines for reopening the economy, while at the same time deferring to governors to

    determine when states will resume normal operations;

    WHEREAS, this week the Governor of California has outlined six steps for reopening

    public and private sector operations and lifting restrictions in place throughout the state, without

    providing a definite date by which restrictions will be lifted;

    AND WHEREAS, the Judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District

    of California, in consultation with the Clerk of Court, continue to closely monitor developments

    and balance the various interests implicated by the COVID-19 outbreak and the court’s response

    FILEDApril 17, 2020

    CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    39

  • to the outbreak, including: the health of jurors, witnesses, parties, attorneys, the public whom it is

    our privilege to serve, Clerk’s Office and all court staff, Probation and Pretrial Services staff,

    chambers staff and judges; the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and other parties; and

    the public’s interest in, and the court’s duty to ensure, the effective and expeditious

    administration of justice;

    NOW THEREFORE, in light of the best information available to the Judges of the

    Eastern District of California at this time, effective immediately through June 1, 2020, I hereby

    issue the following Order on behalf of the Court to supplement the prior orders issued on March

    12, 17, 18 and 30, 2020, with the findings relied on in those orders incorporated in full herein:

    1. In light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, all courthouses of the United

    States District Court for the Eastern District of California shall remain closed to the public. Only

    persons having official court business as authorized by a Judge of the District Court or the

    Bankruptcy Court, or a healthy building tenant having official business on behalf of a tenant

    agency, may enter courthouse property. This order applies to the following divisional locations:

    (1) The Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento;

    (2) The Robert E. Coyle United States Courthouse, 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno;

    (3) The Redding Federal Courthouse, 2986 Bechelli Lane, Redding;

    (4) The Bakersfield Federal Courthouse, 510 19th Street, Bakersfield;

    (5) The Yosemite Federal Courthouse, 9004 Castle Cliff Court, Yosemite; and

    (6) The Modesto U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1200 I Street, Second Floor, Modesto.

    2. The court will not call in jurors for service in civil or criminal jury trials until June 15,

    2020, at the earliest, if courthouses reopen to the public on June 1, 2020. All civil and criminal

    jury trials in the Eastern District of California scheduled to begin before June 15, 2020 are

    further continued pending further order of the court.

    3. All of the court’s civil matters will be decided on the papers, or if the assigned Judge

    believes a hearing is necessary, the hearing will be by telephone or videoconference. This applies

    40

  • to all matters including motion hearings, case management conferences, pretrial conferences and

    settlement conferences.

    4. In civil matters and bankruptcy matters in which parties represent themselves (pro se

    litigants), those parties continue to be strongly encouraged to file documents by mail. For those

    unable to file by mail the court is providing drop boxes for filing inside the entrances to the

    Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto courthouses, that otherwise previously have accepted hand-

    delivered pro se filings in the Clerk’s Offices for those courts.

    5. In the court’s criminal matters, all initial appearances, arraignments and other essential

    proceedings will continue to be held before the duty Magistrate Judges, unless the parties agree

    to continue them; to the full extent possible matters that are maintained on calendar shall be

    conducted by telephone or videoconference as provided by General Order 614.

    6. In criminal cases before the District Judges, the assigned District Judge may continue

    matters to a date after June 1, 2020, excluding time under the Speedy Trial Act with reference to

    the court’s prior General Order 611 issued on March 17, 2020, the court’s subsequent declaration

    of a judicial emergency based on 18 U.S.C. § 3174, and the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council’s

    Order of April 16, 2020 continuing this court’s judicial emergency for an additional one-year

    period and suspending the time limits of 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c) until May 2, 2021, with additional

    findings to support the exclusion in the Judge’s discretion; if any criminal matters are maintained

    on calendar, to the full extent possible they shall be conducted by telephone or videoconference,

    also as provided by General Order 614.

    7. Any Judge may order case-by-case exceptions to any of the above numbered

    provisions for non-jury court matters at the discretion of that Judge or upon the request of

    counsel, after consultation with counsel.

    IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: April 17, 2020. FOR THE COURT:

    41

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    UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    In re

    EXTENSION OF DEADLINESRELATED TO 11 U.S.C. § 341 FIRST MEETINGS OF CREDITORSCONTINUED BY THE U.S. TRUSTEE

    ))))))))

    Amended General Order 20-02

    (Amended April 16, 2020)

    On March 16, 2020, due to concerns with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the

    travel and meeting restrictions ordered by the State of California and local governmental entities,

    and General Order 612 issued by the District Court restricting access to the Federal Courthouses

    in this District; the Office of the United States Trustee announced the continuance of all meetings

    of creditors required under 11 U.S.C. § 341 (“341 Meetings”) scheduled through April 10, 2020.

    Various Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure impose specific deadlines and dates for action

    that are computed from the date first set for the Meetings (such date first set referenced in this

    General Order as the “Initial 341 Meeting”).

    Due to the necessity for all Initial 341 Meetings to be continued, the ability of debtors,

    trustees, the U.S. Trustee, and other parties in interest to timely act within such deadlines is

    impaired. Though the debtor or parties in interest may request the court extend such deadlines on

    a case by case basis, due to the large number of Initial 341 Meetings continued due to the

    restricted access to the Federal Courthouses, it is not only impractical to require individual,

    piecemeal motions to extend such deadlines filed by debtors and other parties in interest, but such

    would impose an undue burden on judicial resources, especially in light of the restricted physical

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    access to the Courthouses and the limited ability of court personnel to be present at the court.

    To address the scheduling and deadline issues, the court adopted General Order 20-02,

    providing for extension of specified deadlines and dates by which specified actions must be

    completed by Debtors to be computed from the first date the First Meeting of Creditors was

    conducted with the debtor present, whether in person or telephonically.

    Subsequent to the issuance of that General Order, a practical deadline issue was identified

    concerning Chapter 13 cases and the deadline for the Chapter 13 trustees and creditors to file

    objections to confirmation as provided in Local Bankruptcy Rule 3015-1(c)(4), which is seven

    days after the date first set for the Initial 341 Meeting.

    Additionally, with the extended delays in 341 Meetings, the meeting having to be

    conducted telephonically, the restrictions on travel and physical limitations on obtaining

    documents and other responses to issues arising at the 341 Meetings, and the need to continue the

    341 Meetings as identified above, such continuances would necessitate the filing of precautionary

    objections to confirmation because the parties are unable to immediately resolve these issues.

    Therefore, an extension of the deadline for filing objections to confirmation of Chapter 13 plans is

    appropriate.

    Therefore, upon consideration of the continuance of all Initial 341 Meetings through at

    least April 10, 2020; Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007(c), 1017(e)(1), 2015.3(d),

    4004(b), 4007(c) 4008(a), and 9006(b) providing this court the authority to extend specified

    deadlines thereunder; Eastern District of California Local Bankruptcy Rule 3015(c)(4); 11 U.S.C.

    § 105(a); Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9029; the extension of the following dates and

    deadlines necessarily required in light of the continuances of the Initial 341 Meetings in response

    to the COVID-19 shelter in place directives and orders; General Order 612 issued by the Chief

    District Court Judge for the Eastern District of California restricting physical access to the

    courthouses in this District; and good cause appearing;

    IT IS ORDERED that:

    1. This General Order applies to all bankruptcy cases in which the date first set for

    the Initial Meeting of Creditors is scheduled on or after March 16, 2020, and the Initial 341

    2

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    Meeting has been continued by the U.S. Trustee to a later date (“Continued Initial 341 Meeting”)

    due to COVID-19 travel and event restrictions, and General Order 612.

    2. For bankruptcy cases with a Continued Initial 341 Meeting, the following

    deadlines set under the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are extended to 60 days after the

    date the Continued Initial 341 meeting, whether it is the first announced continued date or an

    announced subsequent continued date, is actually first conducted with the debtor(s) present:1

    a. The deadline under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure2 1007 for

    debtors in a Chapter 7 case to file the statement required under Rule 1007(b)(7).

    b. The deadline under Rule 1017(e) for the United States Trustee to file a

    motion to dismiss for abuse.

    c. The deadline under Rule 4004(a) for the filing of objections to the debtor’s

    discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727.

    d. The deadline under Rule 4007(c) for filing complaints to determine the

    dischargeability of certain debts under 11 U.S.C. § 523(c).

    e. The deadline under Rule 4008(a) for filing a reaffirmation agreement.

    3. The deadline set in Rule 2015.3(b) for the trustee or debtor in possession to file a

    financial report regarding each entity that is not a publicly traded corporation or a debtor in a

    bankruptcy case and in which the estate holds a substantial or controlling interest is extended to

    seven days before the Continued Initial 341 Meeting, whether it is the first announced continued

    date or an announced subsequent continued date, when the Continued Initial 341 Meeting is

    actually first conducted with the debtor(s) present.

    4. The deadline set in 11 U.S.C. § 1308(a) for Chapter 13 debtors to file prepetition

    tax returns is extended to the day before the Continued Initial 341 Meeting, whether it is the first

    announced continued date or an announced subsequent continued date, when the Continued Initial

    1 The “presence” of the debtor(s) may be physically in person or telephonically, if suchtelephonic appearance is permitted by the bankruptcy trustee or order of the court.

    2 Unless otherwise specified, reference in this General Order to “Rule” or “Rules” is tothe Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

    3

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    § 341 meeting is actually first conducted with the debtor(s) present.

    5. The deadline in Chapter 13 cases set in Eastern District of California Local

    Bankruptcy Rule 3015-1(c)(4) for the filing of objections to confirmation of a proposed Chapter

    13 plan timely within fourteen days of the filing of the Chapter 13 petition is extended to seven

    (7) days after the 341 Meeting is concluded and not continued to a further date.

    Dated: April 16, 2020

    __________________________ ___________________________Ronald H. Sargis Fredrick E. ClementChief Bankruptcy Judge Bankruptcy Judge

    __________________________ ___________________________Christopher D. Jaime Rene Lastreto, IIBankruptcy Judge Bankruptcy Judge

    4

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  • UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

    EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN RE: ) GENERAL ORDER NO. 618 ) FURTHER EXTENDING TEMPORARY ) RESTRICTIONS ON COURTHOUSE ) ACCESS AND IN COURT HEARINGS ) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE ) )

    WHEREAS, the court previously has issued General Orders addressing the national,

    regional and local public health emergency posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by

    continuing all trials and closing its courthouses to the public until June 1, 2020;

    WHEREAS, since issuance of the court’s prior orders, the President of the United States

    has provided guidelines for reopening public institutions, businesses and the economy generally,

    accompanied by proposed gating criteria for states or regions to satisfy before proceeding to a

    phased resumption of services and operations;

    WHEREAS, the Governor of California has announced that the statewide stay home

    order he issued on March 19, 2020 remains in effect until further notice, with modifications as of

    May 8 and 12 effecting a gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces, with further reopening

    subject to compliance with defined readiness criteria;

    WHEREAS, many of the 34 counties within the Eastern District of California continue to

    maintain local public health orders supplementing the State of California’s stay home order and

    requiring measures to manage the spread of the virus and limit the potential for the illness and

    death it can cause;

    46

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  • AND WHEREAS, the Judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District

    of California, in consultation with the Clerk of Court, continue to closely monitor developments

    and balance the various interests implicated by the COVID-19 outbreak and the court’s response

    to the outbreak, including: the health of jurors, witnesses, parties, attorneys, the public whom it is

    our privilege to serve, Clerk’s Office and all court staff, Probation and Pretrial Services staff,

    chambers staff and judges; the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and other parties; and

    the public’s interest in, and the court’s duty to ensure, the effective and expeditious

    administration of justice;

    NOW THEREFORE, in light of the best information available to the Judges of the

    Eastern District of California at this time, until further notice, on behalf of the Court, I hereby

    issue the following Order superseding the prior General Order issued on April 17, 2020:

    1. In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all courthouses of the

    United States District Court for the Eastern District of California shall remain closed to the

    public. Only persons having official court business as authorized by a Judge of the District Court

    or the Bankruptcy Court, or a healthy building tenant having official business on behalf of a

    tenant agency, may enter courthouse property. This order applies to the following divisional

    locations:

    (1) The Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento;

    (2) The Robert E. Coyle United States Courthouse, 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno;

    (3) The Redding Federal Courthouse, 2986 Bechelli Lane, Redding;

    (4) The Bakersfield Federal Courthouse, 510 19th Street, Bakersfield;

    (5) The Yosemite Federal Courthouse, 9004 Castle Cliff Court, Yosemite; and

    (6) The Modesto U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1200 I Street, Second Floor, Modesto.

    2. The court will not call in jurors for service in civil or criminal jury trials until further

    notice.

    47

  • 3. All of the court’s civil matters will continue to be decided on the papers, or if the

    assigned Judge believes a hearing is necessary, the hearing will be by telephone or

    videoconference. This applies to all matters including motion hearings, case management

    conferences, pretrial conferences and settlement conferences.

    4. In civil matters and bankruptcy matters in which parties represent themselves (pro se

    litigants), those parties are strongly encouraged to file documents by mail. For those unable to

    file by mail the court is providing drop boxes for filing inside the entrances to the Sacramento,

    Fresno and Modesto courthouses, where Clerk’s Offices otherwise previously have accepted

    hand-delivered pro se filings.

    5. In the court’s criminal matters all initial appearances, arraignments and other essential

    proceedings will continue to be held before the duty Magistrate Judges, unless the parties agree

    to continue them; to the full extent possible matters that are maintained on calendar shall be

    conducted by telephone or video conference as provided by General Order 614, which remains in

    effect.

    6. In criminal cases before the District Judges, the assigned District Judge may exercise

    his or her authority to continue matters, excluding time under the Speedy Trial Act with

    reference to the court’s prior General Order 611 issued on March 17, 2020, the court’s

    subsequent declaration of a judicial emergency based on 18 U.S.C. § 3174, and the Ninth Circuit

    Judicial Council’s Order of April 16, 2020 continuing this court’s judicial emergency for an

    additional one-year period and suspending the time limits of 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c) until May 2,

    2021, with additional findings to support the exclusion in the Judge’s discretion; if any criminal

    matters are maintained on calendar, to the full extent possible they shall be conducted by

    telephone or video conference, also as provided by General Order 614.

    7. Any Judge may order case-by-case exceptions to any of the above numbered

    provisions at the discretion of that Judge or upon the request of counsel, after consultation with

    counsel and the Clerk of the Court to the extent such an order will impact court staff and

    operations.

    48

  • IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: May 13, 2020. FOR THE COURT:

    49

    pandrewsNinth Circuit

  • NORTHERN DISTRICT ORDERS

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    UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT

    NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    In re:

    MATTERS PENDING IN THENORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA.

    GENERAL ORDER 38

    IN RE: Coronavirus Disease Public Health Emergency

    WHEREAS the President of the United States has declared a National Emergency in

    response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) outbreak;

    WHEREAS the Governor of California has declared a State of Emergency in response to the

    outbreak;

    WHEREAS the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that

    throughout the United States for an eight week period, organizations cancel or postpone events

    consisting of 50 persons or more;

    WHEREAS local public health departments have recommended that large gatherings be

    avoided, that elderly and vulnerable populations avoid person-to-person contact, and that employers

    allow employees to telework to the extent practicable;

    WHEREAS seven Bay Area counties have announced a shelter in place order directing

    everyone to stay inside their residences and away from others as much as possible for the next three

    weeks as public health officials try to curb the rapid spread of Coronavirus across the regions;

    WHEREAS Chief Judge Hamilton of the United States District Court for the Northern

    1GENERAL ORDER 38

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    District of California has issued General Orders Nos. 72 and 73 to address the Coronavirus Disease

    outbreak, and that the San Jose, San Francisco, and McKinleyville bankruptcy courts are located

    within the Federal Buildings that are subject to General Orders 72 and 73; and

    WHEREAS to ensure that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of

    California adopts a uniform procedure to protect the health of the court staff, the attorneys who

    practice before it, and all parties and other interested persons, and to ensure the effective and

    expeditious administration of justice in its Salinas, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Rosa

    and McKinleyville courtrooms;

    NOW THEREFORE, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of

    California hereby issues the following Order, effective immediately and through May 1, 2020:

    1. No in-court trial or evidentiary hearing will be commenced before May 1, 2020. All trial or

    evidentiary hearing dates currently scheduled during that period are vacated and will be reset by the

    presiding judge. There is no change to currently calendared motions or applications.

    2. All counsel, parties and other interested persons who intend to appear on a calendared motion or

    application shall appear telephonically. There will be no physical access to any courtroom. The

    instructions for appearing by telephone can be found on the Bankruptcy Court's website:

    http://www.canb.uscourts.gov/procedure/district-oakland-san-jose-san-francisco/policy-and-procedu

    re-appearances-telephone

    There is NO COST for this service for parties who are not represented by an attorney.

    3. Any requirement that counsel or parties provide courtesy copies of filings to chambers is

    suspended pending further notice.

    4. Parties may continue matters that are set for hearing to future hearing dates that are consistent

    with this Order. Dates are posted on each presiding judge’s calendar page. Requests for

    continuances shall be made in a manner consistent with each presiding judge’s requirements.

    5. Unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge, there is no change to all other scheduling

    procedures including, but not limited to, applications for emergency injunctive relief, orders

    shortening time, and hearings on “First Day” Chapter 11 motions.

    6. Parties are directed to the Bankruptcy Court’s website to determine the operating status of each

    2GENERAL ORDER 38

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    http://www.canb.uscourts.gov/procedure/district-oakland-san-jose-san-francisco/policy-and-procedure-appearances-telephonehttp://www.canb.uscourts.gov/procedure/district-oakland-san-jose-san-francisco/policy-and-procedure-appearances-telephonehttp://www.canb.uscourts.gov/procedure/district-oakland-san-jose-san-francisco/policy-and-procedure-appearances-telephonehttp://www.canb.uscourts.gov/procedure/district-oakland-san-jose-san-francisco/policy-and-procedure-appearances-telephone

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    location.

    7. This Order supersedes any inconsistent information or direction in any standing order or notice

    related to the Coronavirus Disease outbreak.

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

    Dated: March 18, 2020

    _________________________________Charles NovackChief Bankruptcy Judge

    3GENERAL ORDER 38

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    UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT

    NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    In re:

    MATTERS PENDING IN THENORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    AMENDED GENERAL ORDER 38

    IN RE: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

    WHEREAS the President of the United States has declared a National Emergency in

    response to the COVID-19 outbreak;

    WHEREAS the Governor of California has declared a State of Emergency in response to the

    outbreak and generally ordered that all individuals shelter-in-place;

    WHEREAS Chief Judge Hamilton of the United States District Court for the Northern

    District of California has issued General Orders Nos. 72 and 73 (as amended), which, among other

    things, close the San Jose, Oakland and McKinleyville federal courts and consolidate that court’s

    activities to its San Francisco court space; and

    WHEREAS to ensure that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of

    California adopts a uniform procedure to protect the health of the court staff, the attorneys who

    practice before it, and all parties and other interested persons, and to ensure the effective and

    expeditious administration of justice in its San Jose, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Rosa,

    Salinas and McKinleyville courtrooms;

    NOW THEREFORE, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of

    1Amended General Order 38

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