The COVID-19 (coronavirus) has no doubt impacted all aspects of our lives. Courts and judicial proceedings are not immune to the upheavals of this pandemic. In response, state courts across California are implementing a variety of measures to curtail public activity in many instances, and in others to shut down completely. Each court is making its own modifications under the circumstances and has included, among other things: closing courthouses, restricting courthouse access, continuing trials, cancelling non-case related activities, and rescheduling or permitting videoconferencing of oral arguments.
These disruptions impact many, if not all, individuals seeking justice under the system, especially accident victims seeking to file claims against the negligent or reckless parties who caused the accident.
California Issues Emergency Orders
In response to public health guidance related to COVID-19, many courts and agencies are adjusting the way they operate. On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council approved 11 additional temporary statewide measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rules below specifically apply to civil (and accident) claims:
Emergency Rule 9: Toll the statutes of limitations for civil causes of action.
Notwithstanding any other law, the statutes of limitation for civil causes of action are tolled from April 6, 2020, until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.
Emergency Rule 10: Extensions of time in which to bring a civil action to trial.
(a) Extension of five years in which to bring a civil action to trial. Notwithstanding any other law, including Code of Civil Procedure section 583.310, 23 for all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020, the time in which to bring the action to trial is extended by six months for a total time of five years and six months.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, including Code of Civil Procedure section 583.320, 30 for all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020, if a new trial is granted in the 31 action, the three years provided in section 583.320 in which the action must again 32 be brought to trial is extended by six months for a total time of three years and six 33 months. Nothing in this subdivision requires that an action must again be brought 34 to trial before expiration of the time prescribed in (a).
Emergency Rule 11: Depositions through remote electronic means.
Notwithstanding any other law, including Code of Civil Procedure section 42 2025.310(a) and (b), and rule 3.1010(c) and (d), a party or non-party deponent, at 30 Revised April 6, 2020 1 their election or the election of the deposing party, is not required to be present 2 with the deposition officer at the time of the deposition.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The skillful attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates are here to answer your questions and help you with your accident claim that may have happened before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. They can answer any questions you have about how the coronavirus may affect your legal matters. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of the attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.
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