COVID-19

Superior Court of California, County of Merced

Updates and Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

The Superior Court of California, County of Merced (Court) is closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation. The Court attends briefings with the Merced County Department of Public Health and is in communication with Merced County justice agencies, other California Superior Courts, and the Judicial Council of California. We are working with these and other entities to ensure that we have up-to-date information and can best weigh the need to provide access to justice to our community while also supporting the activities of our public health agencies and the health of the public.


*** UPDATE May 20, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order 2020-11

*** UPDATE May 11, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order 2020-10

Update to Court Operations and Clerk’s Office Hours effective May 13, 2020.

*** UPDATE April 29 and April 30, 2020 ***

A Statewide Order was issued by the Chief Justice and Chair of the Judicial Council of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.
Statewide Order

The Court has issued a General Order

*** UPDATE April 28, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order

*** UPDATE April 23, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order

The Court has issued a General Order re. Remote Proceedings

*** UPDATE April 14, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order

*** UPDATE April 10, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order re Remote Judicial Proceedings.

The Court adopted Temporary Emergency Bail Schedules.

*** UPDATE April 7, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order re Juvenile Delinquency.

*** UPDATE April 1, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order

*** UPDATE March 30, 2020 ***

The Statewide Order issued by Chief Justice and Chair of the Judicial Council of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

*** UPDATE March 27, 2020 ***

The Executive Order N-38-20 issued by Governor Newsom

*** UPDATE March 23, 2020 ***

The Statewide Order issued by Chief Justice and Chair of the Judicial Council of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

*** UPDATE March 21, 2020 ***

Update to Court Operations and Clerk’s Office Hours Effective March 23, 2020.

*** UPDATE March 20, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order re Limited Operations and Essential Functions.

*** UPDATE March 18, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a General Order re Jury Trials.

The Court has issued a Letter for Civil Litigants regarding court appearances.

The Court has issued a Notice re Courtroom 7 and 13 regarding Family Law matters.

*** UPDATE March 17, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a Press Release detailing its plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

*** UPDATE March 12, 2020 ***

The Court has issued a Public Policy Statement.



The Court remains open for specific case types that have been determined to be essential matters. Beginning on March 23, 2020, the courtrooms will transition to essential matters. The clerk’s offices will be closed to the public, excluding essential filings limited to, restraining orders, emergency petitions and emergency ex-parte requests


Given that our courthouses are currently closed to the public in an effort to follow public health directives regarding crowd size and social distancing, only individuals having business with the Court should come to court. Please do not bring any friends or family with you; they will not be able to attend the court proceeding and, in many instances, they will be asked to exit the buildings.



Options to avoid physically coming to a courthouse


If you are currently experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (or any flu-like symptoms) and have business with the court, please consider the following options that are available to you to minimize the need to come to a courthouse:


Payment Options:

Pay Online: Click this link https://jpportal.mercedcourt.org/mercedprod
Pay By Mail: All payments and any proof of correction should be mailed to the address listed on your notice. Checks, money orders, or cashier’s checks should be drawn on a US Bank and made payable to Merced Superior Court. Please include the case number and citation number on all correspondence by mail. Do not mail cash.


Jury Duty Rescheduling:

Call or email the Office of the Jury Commissioner at (209) 725-4121 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday. Email: jury@mercedcourt.org



Transcript Requests

Send an email to shauna.leard@mercedcourt.org. Be sure to include your case number, party names, and the hearing date for which you are requesting a transcript.



E-Filing:

Parties can e-file their documents with the Court using one of the certified e-filing service providers at: http://www.odysseyefileca.com/service-providers.htm (http://www.odysseyefileca.com/service-providers.htm)



Self-Help and Remote Assistance Via Email or Telephone:

Online resources: https://mercedcourt.org/online_resources.shtml
Online E-Forms: https://www.mercedcourt.org/online_e_forms.shtml (https://www.mercedcourt.org/online_e_forms.shtml)
Small Claims matters: smallclaims.advisor@mercedcourt.org
Call or email the Self Help Center at (209) 725-4168 between 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, Monday to Friday or by email at selfhelp@mercedcourt.org



If you are currently experiencing symptoms and have a hearing or matter scheduled, please contact your attorney.

If an attorney does not represent you, please contact the court directly:

  • Civil (209) 725-4111
  • Criminal (209) 725-4113
  • Family Law (209) 725-4117
  • Juvenile (209) 725-4119
  • Los Banos (209) 725-4124
  • Traffic (209) 725-4107

Or, you may email specific court departments. Email addresses can be found here: https://mercedcourt.org/
For those who need to come to court, please be aware that the Court has implemented additional cleaning protocols in high use areas to reduce the potential for transmission of this or other viruses for those coming to our courthouses.



Information about specific Court divisions and offices


Executive and Administrative Offices

The Court’s Executive and Administrative Offices will be closed to the public.

Telephone Service

A very limited number of staff will be available across the Court to answer telephones and monitor email accounts. Please anticipate lengthy wait times for telephone service, and understand that email responses will be delayed. See Clerk’s Office Hours for detailed information.

Criminal

The Court has a criminal courtroom calendar that will conduct video in-custody arraignment hearings Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m.. All other essential criminal hearings will be heard in the criminal courtroom in accordance with the General Order dated March 20, 2020.

Juvenile

All juvenile essential hearings will be heard in Courtroom 10 at the 627 W. 21st Street courthouse in accordance with the General Order dated March 20, 2020.

All juvenile delinquency detention and emergency matters will be heard Monday through Friday at 8:15 a.m. in Courtroom 10.

All juvenile dependency detentions and emergency matters will be heard Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 10.

Traffic

The Court’s Traffic offices are closed, and there will be no walk-in Traffic court during the public closure period.

For further detail, please reivew the Traffic Informational Sheet here : Traffic Informational Sheet

All Traffic matters currently set for hearings from March 23, 2020, through April 17, 2020, are currently being reset, and notices will be mailed by the Court. Payments can be submitted by the drop box.

Civil

Because March 23, 2020, through April 17, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, during this period, the Court generally will not accept any Civil filings nor will Civil matters generally be heard. Matters will be reset and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Unlimited Civil matters will be addressed by tentative ruling.

Notwithstanding the above, the Court will continue to accept requests for restraining orders, emergency Ex Parte, and emergency petitions. The Court will accept such requests at the civil clerk’s office window Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and by drop box filing only.

Court Records

The Court records office is closed during the public closure period. Some records may be obtained online by using the Court’s website https://jpportal.mercedcourt.org/mercedprod

Small Claims

Because March 23, 2020, through April 17, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court generally will not accept any Small Claims filings during that period, nor will Small Claims matters generally be heard. Matters will be reset and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Notwithstanding the above, the Court will continue to accept requests for Small Claims exemption requests. The Court will accept such requests at the civil clerk’s office window Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and by drop box filing only.

Appeals

The Appeals desk is closed to the public during the closure period

Probate

Because March 23, 2020, through April 17, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court generally will not accept any Probate filings during that period, nor will Probate matters generally be heard.

Notwithstanding the above, the Court will continue to accept requests for emergency petitions and emergency Ex Parte in Probate matters. The Court will accept such requests at the Civil clerk’s office window Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or by drop box filing only.

Family

Because March 23, 2020, through April 17, 2020, have been deemed holidays for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure sections 12 and 12a, the Court generally will not accept any Family Law filings during that period, nor will Family Law matters generally be heard. Matters will be reset and notices will be mailed by the Court.

Notwithstanding the above, the Court will continue to accept requests for domestic violence restraining orders and emergency Ex Parte requests in Family Law matters. The Court will accept such requests at the clerk’s office window temporarily located on the first floor of the 2260 N Street courthouse Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and by drop box filing only.

Self-Help Center

The Court’s Self-Help Centers are closed for walk-in services. Office hours for telephonic assistance is Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Email assistance is available at selfhelp@mercedcourt.org or smallclaims.advisor@mercedcourt.org

Family Court Services

The Family Court Services office is closed. Mediations for emergency orders as ordered by the Court will be conducted telephonically.

Drop Boxes

Court staff will process filings received in drop boxes on a priority basis, and as staffing permits; filers should anticipate that there may be delays.

Court resources that are available remotely

Certain Court services are still available remotely:


Information for prospective jurors


The Court has a constitutional duty to remain open to serve the needs of the community to the greatest extent possible, even in the face of a potential COVID-19 outbreak. However, the Court is working with counsel and litigants to minimize the need to call in jurors and reduce the number of jurors summoned to the courthouse at a given date or time. The Court is also granting requests for deferrals and postponements remotely -- even for jurors who have previously made such a request -- for all potential jurors who are high risk or under medical or other business directives.



For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following webpages:
The court appreciates your understanding and cooperation in making the courthouse a safe environment.

© 2020 Superior Court of California, County of Merced