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California court leaders consider cutting bail to $0

The courts have been operating with a greatly reduced work force since Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California judicial leaders are expected to adopt a statewide emergency order setting bail at zero for lower-level offenses and suspending evictions and foreclosures to deal with the COVID-19 crisis that has crippled the state's court system. 

The Judicial Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to vote on nearly a dozen temporary rules, including a proposal to hold criminal and juvenile proceedings by video or phone in order to ensure that defendants are not held in custody without timely hearings.  

The courts have been operating with a greatly reduced work force since Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

"Courts are currently operating with greatly reduced numbers of staff and judicial officers. The courts’ workforce continues to diminish weekly as staff and judicial officers are overtaxed and risking their health," a report prepared for the meeting said.

To read the full report to the Judicial Council, click HERE

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