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Coronavirus/covid-19 COURT INFORMATION

CIVIL

Q: IS THE CLERK'S OFFICE OPEN FOR BUSINESS?

A: The Clerk's Offices are open, but are not conducting in-person transactions at this time. Clerk's Office employees are available to assist by telephone, and are processing documents submitted by E-Filing or by U.S. Mail or Drop-Box (for self-represented parties only).

For questions regarding Civil cases, you may call:
Santa Maria: 805-614-6414
Santa Barbara: 805-882-4520

Q: IS THE CLERK'S OFFICE ACCEPTING FILINGS?

A: The clerk's office will continue to accept electronic filings. All attorneys are required to E-file. Electronic filing is available at www.sbcourts.org. Self-represented parties are encouraged to e-file, but may submit filings by mail or fax. If it is impossible for Self-Represented parties to file documents electronically, you may mail your documents by U.S. mail to the proper courthouse location at the address listed on the Court website https://www.sbcourts.org/gi/loc/index.shtm.

You may also use the drop boxes located in Santa Maria at the front of the Civil Clerk's Office, in Santa Barbara during business hours at the Figueroa Division, 118 E. Figueroa St; and in Lompoc at the entrance for Superior Court.

You may file by FAX:
Santa Barbara: 805.882.4519
Santa Maria: 805.614.6616

Q: IS THE COURT HOLDING CIVIL PROCEEDINGS?

A: Civil Courtrooms resumed hearing civil law matters on May 26, 2020 by remote appearance, using Zoom video and audio conferencing. The civil law courtrooms will continue to hear civil law matters using Zoom video and audio conferencing only, until further notice.

Information regarding Zoom can be found here: https://www.sbcourts.org/gi/notices/Zoom_Instructions.pdf

All hearings/matters scheduled during the court closure (March 17 – May 23, 2020), have been rescheduled. Notices of the new court date were sent to the address the Court has on file. If you had a civil law hearing scheduled during the court closure, and you have not received a notice either rescheduling or vacating the missed hearing, contact the Clerk's Office at the telephone numbers above.

Q: WHAT IF I NEED TO FILE LEGAL DOCUMENTS TO COMPLY WITH STATUTORY DEADLINES DURING THE TIME THE CLERK'S OFFICE IS CLOSED?

A: The Court issued an emergency order that extends the time limit for filing documents by considering all days between March 17, 2020 and May 23, 2020, as court holidays, which would not be counted for your deadline.

EVICTION CASES: You normally have five "court days" (meaning days that the Court is open) to file a response. Under the emergency order, you would not count the period from March 17 – May 23.

Please see our Amended General Order re: Implementation of Emergency Relief Authorized Pursuant to Government Code Section 68115 by Chair of Judicial Council dated March 30, 2020.

Q: WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH UNLAWFUL DETAINER (EVICTION) CASES?

A: California Emergency Rule of Court 1, effective April 6, 2020 prohibits the court from issuing a summons on a complaint for Unlawful Detainer, prohibits the court from entering a default for failure of defendant to appear, and extends the time to set a trial, unless the court finds that the action is necessary to protect public health and safety. See the Rule here CRC Emergency Rule 1 Unlawful Detainer

Information from the Judicial Council:

Evictions During the COVID-19 Emergency
Landlords should not start eviction cases during the state of emergency.
Your local city or county may have rules for evictions that provide more tenant protections than described below. Please consult with your local government for more information.

California's statewide emergency rules say that:
Courts will not process new eviction cases unless needed to protect public health and safety.

This rule applies to cases filed after April 6, 2020 and until either the rule is amended or the state of emergency is lifted by the Governor.

This means that if a landlord files an eviction case after April 6, 2020:

• The court will not issue a summons unless the landlord shows that the eviction is needed to protect public health and safety.
• The tenant's time to answer the complaint will not start until a summons is issued, which will occur only after the council amends the rule or after the state of emergency is lifted.
• Until July 28, 2020, if the eviction is based solely on failure to pay rent and the tenant complies with the Executive Order described below, the tenant will have 60 days to respond to the complaint.

Even in cases filed before April 6, 2020, after that date a court may not enter a default judgment against a tenant unless the findings show:

• The eviction is needed to protect public health and safety; and
• The tenant did not answer by the legal deadline, including any extended deadline allowed by the Governor's Executive Order.

At Least 60 Days Before a Trial

If there is a trial, it must be at least 60 days after the landlord requests it.

Exception: The trial can happen sooner if needed to protect public health and safety.

Important! Tenants Must Still Pay Rent
The new rules stop most evictions during the state of emergency. They do not stop the tenant's obligation to pay rent.

The Governor's Executive Order says:

  • Tenants should try to pay rent on time.
  • If they cannot pay rent on time because of a COVID-related loss of income, they must:
    • notify the landlord in writing within 7 days or sooner, and
    • keep records of their COVID-related loss of income (such as termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining the tenant's changed financial circumstances).
    • If they do these two things, they have 60 days to answer an eviction complaint.

The Governor has extended the protections in that Order until July 28, in this Executive Order .

The Court has issued a General Order staying evictions General Order Staying Evictions in Consideration of State of Emergency dated April 23, 2020

In the North County, Judge Rigali and Commissioner Foley have issued a standing order June 16, 2020 North County Standing Order Unlawful Detainer.

Q: IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO HELP FACILITATE A PROMPT RESOLUTION OF MY CIVIL MATTER ONCE THE COURT STARTS HEARING THEM AGAIN?

A: The Court will reschedule all hearing dates for civil, family, and probate matters scheduled between March 17, 2020, and May 23, 2020. (General Order signed April 24, 2020.) If you had a civil law and motion hearing scheduled on one of those dates, the Court strongly recommends that you file your responsive briefs under the statutory time frames calculated on the original hearing date, even though the hearing will be rescheduled. While not mandatory, doing so will help to facilitate the prompt resolution of the motion once court operations resume and a new hearing date is assigned. If you resolve the motion, please inform the Court as soon as possible.

Q: IS THE COURT HEARING EX PARTE REQUESTS?

A: Please contact the assigned department for ex parte requests.
Dept. SM 2, SM 3 and LM 2: 805-614-6500
Dept. SM 4: 805-614-6515
Dept. SB 3 and SB 5: 805-882-4570
Dept. SB 4 and SB 6: 805-882-4590


COURT LOCATIONS:

SANTA BARBARA:

CIVIL CASES
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107 
(805) 882-4520

CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC CASES
118 E. Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 568-3959

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SANTA MARIA:

CIVIL CASES
312-C East Cook Street
Bldg. E
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 614-6414

CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC CASES
312-M East Cook Street
Bldg. E
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 346-7550

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LOMPOC:

115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA 93436-6967 
CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC: (805) 737-7789
CIVIL : (805) 737-5452

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SOLVANG:

1745 Mission Drive, Suite C
Solvang, CA 93463-3605 
(805) 686-5040
* Effective 10/14/14 all matters previously filed at the Solvang Division will be filed at the Lompoc Division.

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