On March 19, 2020, California Governor, Gavin Newsom declared a “Stay at Home” Order due to the rapid outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, or COVID-19, which was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. With California being a densely populated state, this order was issued to prevent the rapid spread of the virus and pressure it may create on our healthcare system.
What is the “Stay at Home” Order in California?
The “Stay at Home” Order, which went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and is in place until further notice in California, states that only essential services will remain open.
The order states: “All individuals living in the State of California [must] stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of…critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction.”
Essential services include:
- State and local government functions, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services, including courthouses
- Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
- Gas stations
- Laundromats/laundry service
How does the “Stay at Home” Order Affect the Filing of Legal Services?
The Courts: “essential” services:
Although COVID-19 has caused a wave of closures in many industries, the “Stay at Home” Order does not directly affect the court system or other governing agencies in California, as the courts and government are considered essential services, as noted above by the State of California.
Telephonic hearings and chambers work:
Courts are currently still operating, but mostly telephonically and offering in-person hearings on a designated basis at the Judge’s discretion. In addition, some forms of expungement or post-conviction relief can be decided in what is known as “chambers work.” Chambers work occurs when the judge reviews your petition, motion, and other case documents in their office. While some forms of relief do require hearings, most judges given the current health situation, and the fact that many of them are typically older and high risk individuals, have the option to review your case within this context.
The CA Department of Justice (DOJ) and other governing bodies are also in operation.
Since these agencies are open and functioning, though admittedly in limited capacity, we are still able to take on your casework and get the results you deserve.
Our Law Office: Attorney Prep Work: Case Review, Drafting, and More
In addition, most cases will require some prep work by an attorney. For example, for services such as gun rights restoration, FDIC waivers, and CBP appeals such as Global Entry, SENTRI, and others, typically require the need to have your record examined by an experienced and licensed attorney through a case analysis. This entails reviewing court records, CA DOJ Reports, FBI Reports, and any other supplementary documentation to confirm your case details and eligibility.
Upon moving forward on your eligible case work, there is also the drafting of your affidavit and motion (if required). While the vast majority of courts are still accepting case filings, this additional prep work means that, for those courts that have stricter restrictions, our office can still do much of this leg work and file promptly as soon as court services resume in full swing, thus ensuring that your case is filed as soon as these courts with stricter restrictions are willing to take them. Choosing to wait will mean your case may have further delays since this prep work will still be required.
Filing Your Case and Court Follow-Up:
Once your case is filed, our team will continue monitoring the status of the case – business as usual.This means we will be contacting the court, which still have clerks operating telephonically, to check for any updates and work with them to ensure a hearing date is set in as timely a manner as possible. You will be notified via the messaging platform through our secure, user-friendly online client portal with direct access to Founding Attorney Mr. Randall.
Resources to Help You During the Filing of Your Case:
As the courts operate on a first come, first serve basis, we will have to wait on the District Attorney and Judge to make a decision. In the interim of waiting on these agents, we offer resources to help you maintain your employment and/or secure employment such as the following:
- Letter of Progress
If you are currently applying for jobs or if an employer is inquiring about the status of clearing your background check, we offer a Complimentary Letter of Progress. The letter essentially states that our firm is in the process of clearing your record and to consider you a candidate for the position as we work with the court system to clear the record as soon as possible.
Letters of Progress have proven to be very useful for our Clients, as it gives them a chance to be transparent, forthcoming, and potentially secure some leverage to show the employer they are being proactive and taking responsibility for the matter.
If an employer of yours, with your authorization, would like to communicate with us directly to check on the status of the casework, we will gladly do so at no additional charge.
- Open Line of Communication
If you are concerned about the status of your case, our team is here to help and relay any updates we obtain from the court. Your online account will be updated periodically throughout the process and, should you have additional questions, our team is prepared.
Reach Out to Our Team for More Solutions to Your Problems
Again, since this is a developing situation: time is of the essence and we suggest beginning right away. The Law Firm of Shea M. Randall is a trusted California Law and Lifeback Legal, our employment law division, helps individuals get their life back with California criminal record expungements and federal licensing services.
Our team can be reached by filing out the contact form below or by calling our office at (949) 471-0136.
* By clicking ‘submit’ you understand that this does not create an Attorney-Client relationship. While we do our best to respond to you quickly, we are under no obligation to take your case or provide any sort of response. We do not sell or share your information. Providing your basic information simply gives our law firm the opportunity to follow-up and engage in a conversation to best assist you.