Covid-19 Advisory

Covid-19 Advisory

While courts remain limited in operations during the current public health emergency, they are continuing operations for emergencies such as Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. Consistent with Stay-At-Home orders issued by Governor Newsome and Mayor Garcetti, Castellanos & Associates, APLC continues to serve clients and our local communities during the coronavirus crisis. You can reach us via phone, email, and video-conferencing, upon request, and at attorney discretion. All of our attorneys are working remotely and we will advise you on the status of court operations, as that information is made available to us.

To Our Clients and Friends:

In response to recent stay at home orders from Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsome, our downtown Los Angeles office is closed. We want you to know that our team will continue to respond to all client inquiries via email and telephone. If you are a client with a hearing on calendar at an area court, we will provide you with an update regarding changes to your hearing. However, please call us if you have questions.

As indicated above, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a “Safer at Home” emergency order, calling on Los Angeles residents to stay in their homes and to limit outside activities to “essential” tasks. As outlined in Mayor Garcetti’s order, residents of the City of Los Angeles are ordered to remain in their homes. Some lawful exceptions were made for critical tasks such as securing food and health, safety and medical necessities, as well as caring for children, elder adults, family, friends and people with disabilities.

In addition, many establishments not covered in previous orders, including clothing and some other retail stores, were also ordered to “cease operations that require in-person attendance by workers at a workplace.” The order went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.; a brief exemption was made, until Friday, March 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., permitting employees and business owners to access their workplaces to gather belongings or address other administrative needs, so long as social distancing requirements are followed. The Mayor further ordered that such workplaces must remain closed to the public in accordance with the order.

The order is in place until April 19 and is subject to extension.

Additionally, on March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Statewide stay at home order directing California residents to follow current State public health directives to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This order is in place until further notice.

The Governor’s executive order provides an exception for “essential critical infrastructure Workers” with guidance from the State Public Health Officer on the designation of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers,” which includes a list of workers that “help state, local, tribal, and industry partners who protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”

The State Public Health Officer designates Courts as “community-based operations” performing “essential functions” under the Governor’s order. However, the court’s function must be consistent with guidance from the California Chief Justice.

At the present time, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County has closed the Clerk’s Offices at all 38 courthouses in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Although most courthouses in Los Angeles County are open (except Beverly Hills and Catalina courthouses), judicial business is limited to “time-sensitive, essential functions” in accordance with Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile’s General Orders dated March 17, 2020 and March 19, 2020, which include “Family Temporary Restraining Orders and Hearings” and “Family Ex Parte Hearings.”

We understand that many of you may be coping with a challenging family matter during what is an already difficult and uncertain time. You should know that our lawyers are available to assist you with your legal matter. We will continue to monitor all advisories concerning COVID-19, and we encourage you to read our blog, Coronavirus Updates, and to stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates.

Thank you for cooperation.