Burbank Pandemic Orders
Like all courts throughout California and Los Angeles, the coronavirus and COVID19 pandemic has affected criminal operations in Burbank. The City of Burbank contains has a small branch of the California Superior Court. All misdemeanors committed in Burbank are sent to this courthouse and are handled by city employees in the Burbank City Attorney’s Office Prosecution division. Felonies committed in Burbank are filed by Deputy District Attorneys, Los Angeles County employees, from their offices in Glendale. Felonies receive a Glendale case number, but are sent back to Burbank Courthouse. Felonies remain in Burbank for the first court date and intermediate hearings. Once a Preliminary Hearing is held, a Burbank felony case will move back to Glendale to proceed to Jury Trial.
For an individual charged with a crime, the Justice System always seems vast and confusing. A small courthouse creates additional challenges, as avoiding a Bench Warrant requires keeping track of different locations and agencies at different times in the process. COVID-19 has introduced additional complexity into the Burbank Criminal system. Constitutionally protected timelines are changing for the first time in history. The City of Burbank is issuing its own orders, while attempting to comply with Los Angeles County, California, and national orders.Kraut Law Group Has Adapted to the Burbank Quarantine
The attorneys at Kraut Law Group are working throughout the pandemic to ensure that our client’s rights are respected throughout the quarantine. We follow all guidelines for essential workers, even as we visit the Burbank Courtroom or the Burbank Jail for our clients. Kraut Law Group has recently achieved early release for a Burbank client in custody. This client was not scheduled for release, even under the coronavirus emergency order. But the Attorneys at Kraut Law Group are known and respected by the judges at the Burbank Courthouse. We are in regular contact with the Burbank courtroom clerks and prosecutors from both the Burbank City Attorney’s Office and Los Angles District Attorney Burbank Branch Office. We use our trust and respect along with our constant review of the new quarantine guidelines to secure release for our clients.
Despite the best efforts of those in charge, courtroom practices often differ from published guidelines. This is because each courthouse must tailor their local rules to the realities of their courtrooms. No statewide order is specific enough to describe every scenario. Things change daily at the Burbank Courthouse, as Judges take turns at home or in the courtroom, as clerks work from home and take turns in the courtroom, and as courtroom deputies must limit their contact with their colleagues across Los Angeles County.
Each Burbank judge, deputy and clerk has their own way of ensuring the safety of courtroom occupants. Without knowledge of these variances, many individuals are seeing their cases drag on months longer than usual. But having a knowledgeable attorney ensures that necessary action is taken on every case, even in the midst of the pandemic.Callifornia Pandemic Orders Affecting Burbank Criminal Courts
On March 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency across all of California. This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 19, 2020 the Governor issued the Stay at Home Order, urging citizens to stay at home and follow the safety guidelines of the Department of Public Health. While Burbank Courts were permitted to stay open, the criminal department was reduced from three courtrooms to one courtroom. Individuals were required to wear masks and maintain six feet between themselves, even while in the Burbank Courthouse halls and side rooms.
On March 23, 2020 California Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued a statewide order affecting all California Courts. She noted how hard it would be for courthouses to make all the required changes. This is a particular challenge for small courthouses like Burbank that have limited space to spread people out. Burbank has done its best with limited space to create an environment in compliance with state orders. But the disrupting effects on Burbank Criminal cases is unprecedented. In part, all Burbank jury trials were continued ninety days. Furthermore, Penal Code 1382 criminal deadlines were extended for ninety days. In normal times, Burbank defendants are entitled to a dismissal on a felony case if they are not brought to trial within sixty days. Burbank misdemeanor defendants are entitled to a dismissal after thirty or forty five days, depending on their custody status. Covid-19 has significantly increased the time that a Burbank prosecutor may delay before bringing a case to trial.
Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s order allowed any California Superior Court to create its own rules to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Burbank has done this, and each rule takes effect immediately, without the normal forty-five day comment period. There was a twenty day window during which a defendant’s substantive rights could not be affected by new rule. But that time has passed, and new rules may have a permanent effect on a Burbank Criminal Case.
There have now been multiple California statewide and Supreme Court Orders since the pandemic began, each changing the way Burbank Courtrooms operate.
If you or a loved one have a Burbank criminal case during this pandemic, it is critical that you speak with a Burbank Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Burbank Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is highly capable of representing you in these volatile times. Mr. Kraut works each day to not only understand the latest orders, but to talk to policymakers about upcoming schedules and anticipated changes.
For more information about COVID-19 Criminal Procedures, contact Burbank Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.