Sylmar Courthouse Closed After Public Defender Tests Positive for Coronavirus

All affected judges and staff will self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with federal guidelines.

File photo of a gavel

The Los Angeles Superior Court's Sylmar courthouse, which handles juvenile cases in two courtrooms, was ordered shut down for three days Sunday after a public defender assigned to the courthouse tested positive for COVID-19.

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile ordered the closure. He said he was notified Saturday that a deputy public defender contracted the virus while caring for a relative who also tested positive.

"Both courtrooms have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines and will be cleaned again on Monday. Cases on calendar for the next three days in Sylmar will be moved temporarily to the Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse in Lancaster," Brazile wrote.

All affected judges and staff will self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with federal guidelines, he said.

Brazile said the courthouse would re-open on Thursday.

Last Tuesday, Brazile ordered a three-day closure of all courts and a separate closure through April 16 with the exception of 31 "time-sensitive, essential functions," including civil and family court restraining orders; arraignments; search warrants; criminal preliminary hearings; bail review
hearings; mental competency hearings; criminal sentencings; grand jury
indictments; juvenile restraining orders; emergency conservatorship hearings;
emergency orders "relating to the health and safety of a child"; and
emergency guardianship hearings.

"We will continue to operate our court and reorganize our responsibilities based upon balancing public health directives and meeting our statutory and constitutional due process requirements," Brazile said.


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"I do not make these decisions lightly. In this national public health crisis, we must prioritize emergency services and access to justice for the most vulnerable people in our communities while implementing social distancing measures in our courthouses."

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