As California courts begin to reopen, several COVID-19 emergency measures will be rescinded on June 20. Among these will be the emergency bail schedule that allowed $0 posted bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies that were not yet tried.
The emergency bail procedure was set “to curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails and surrounding communities,” and more than 20,000 defendants were released from California jails during this time.
“The Judicial Council’s action better reflects the current needs of our state, which has different health concerns and restrictions county-to-county based on the threat posed by COVID-19,” Justice Marsha Slough said. “We urge local courts to continue to use the emergency COVID-19 bail schedule where necessary to protect the health of the community, the courts, and the incarcerated.”
If a county feels that it must continue the emergency bail schedule, its court has until June 20 to make the Judicial Council aware.
The Council initially passed the emergency bail schedule on April 6, along with 12 other statewide, as court-related emergency rules that were meant to be temporary.
Among the other emergency measures were an extension of temporary restraining orders, the allowance of electronic depositions in civil cases and requiring court operations be conducted remotely, with the defendant’s consent.