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News & Press: COVID-19: Santa Clara County Superior Court

COVID-19 Related Information from the Santa Clara and San Mateo Superior Courts

Tuesday, March 24, 2020  
Posted by: Wendy Ikebe
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In an effort to keep our members informed, we will post COVID-19 related updates received from the Courts in this special news section.

From the Santa Clara County Superior Court

We have clarified with the Probate Court about how members should approach efiling during the current disruptions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Practitioners may continue to submit efilings, but due to limited personnel, the filings will not be processed until the Probate Court returns to its normal operations.  Do not put a hearing date on your documents in new filings.  Instead, leave the filing date blank, and in the comments section of your submission, you can ask for the hearing to be set at the next available date and you can indicate dates that are not convenient as well.  The efilings will be added to a queue and will be processed in the order received, as time and staffing permit.

  • March 16, 2020: Ex Parte Matters and E-Filing

    Source: Jonathan Kahn, Probate Staff Attorney, Santa Clara County Superior Court

    During this time of a public health crisis, the Court is having to adjust usual workflows to accommodate a minimal staff presence in Court. Therefore, ex parte matters should now be emailed directly to me at jkahn@scscourt.org I will review the documents, contact you if any supplemental declarations or consents are needed, then notify you once the judge has reviewed the request.  If the request is granted, you will be notified to e-file the ex parte petition and supporting documents. We will then process filing of the petition and order. This may take longer than the usual e-filing turnaround due to limited staff.

    Even with the necessary limited availability for hearings, we are attempting to keep urgent and ex parte matters moving to the extent possible.  This ex parte process is offered to accommodate urgent matters only. Petitions to modify trust, Heggstad petitions, and the like will be reviewed once the court returns to normal hours and functionality. A declaration as to the urgency of any ex parte petition would be helpful.

    Please pass this email along to any probate attorneys who may not be SVBA members and please stay well in these challenging times.

  • March 16, 2020: Information from Judge Emede
    Source: Jeannie Tran, SVBA Judicial Liaison

In keeping with the Order of the Health Officer of Santa Clara County, we are taking significant measures at the entire Santa Clara County Superior Court.  For our Probate calendars, the following will be in place, effective immediately:

1.     All matters on the Monday morning, Wednesday morning, Thursday morning, and Friday morning regular calendars (9:00am and 9:01am) set for the period March 17th through April 6th will be continued.  For matters set this week, probate examiners will attempt to reach the parties to notify them of the new dates.  For matters set next week and after, notices will be sent with the continuance dates.  All continuance dates (once entered) will also be available on the Public Portal at https://portal.scscourt.org/.

2.     The Conservatorship calendars on Tuesday afternoons at 1:30pm will continue to be heard, but only urgent or emergency conservatorship matters will be heard.  All other matters will be continued.  For the matters that will be heard, any parties appearing should appear by telephone, and the appearance of conservators and conservatees will be waived.  If at any hearings that do go forward, it is determined the conservator and/or Conservatee need to be personally present, that matter will be continued to a date when personal appearance can be accommodated.   

3.     At this time, we expect to still be able to process ex parte requests.  We will be setting up an email process for submitting those requests.  More information will be forthcoming on that issue shortly.

I recognize that this will cause a hardship for many of you and your clients.  Please know we do not take this action lightly.  We will continue to work hard to prepare for the resumption of regular activity and for a return for the hard-fought gains we had been making on reducing the wait time for hearings. 

I will continue to update all of you as things evolve.  Please be safe and I look forward to seeing you all in person again in court soon.

Julie A. Emede
Santa Clara County Superior Court, Probate Judge, Dept. 13
191 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

From the San Mateo County Superior Court

  • March 17, 2020: Estate Planning/Probate Court
    Source: Jennifer M. Stier, SVBA Judicial Liaison

    The Courts are unable to take e-file ex parte matters. However, the mail may still be used as a means by which to file uncontested ex partes. With respect to conservatorship actions, the court will be willing to waive appearance in light of the current crisis.

  • March 17, 2020: Emergency Order re: COVID-19
  • March 16, 2020: Note from the San Mateo Co. Superior Court Probate Department
    Source: Jennifer M. Stier, SVBA Judicial Liaison

    For tomorrow (March 17), hearings on the morning calendar will be held and it will be business as usual excepting the fact that we are now requesting that parties appear telephonically to the extent possible.  No more than 10 people will be allowed in the courtroom at any given time.  Any parties appearing are requested to stay at least 6' apart from all other persons in the courtroom. With respect to conservatorship actions, the court will be willing to waive appearance in light of the current crisis.


    Going forward, all actions will be dropped from the calendar excepting conservatorship appointments (and exigent conservatorship issues), LPS hearings, and elder abuse TROs. All other matters will be dropped from the calendar and may be re-noticed after May 1. 

    We will continue to hear exigent LPS, non-appearance Conservatorship, Conservatorship appointments, and Elder Abuse TRO matters at regular hearings and ex parte, until we are precluded from doing so.  With respect to regular ex parte matters, as long as filings are made electronically, they will be reviewed and granted or denied in the order received. Ex parte orders will be filed by the court with the clerk and can be accessed online on Odyssey.  If there are questions regarding the documents, counsel will be called for additional information. Issues which are not normally heard ex parte or which are not exigent will be refused and may be filed for a noticed hearing after May 1. 

    For Writs and Receivers:  All matters will be dropped and may be re-noticed for after May 1. Exigent matters will continue to be heard on an ex parte basis and we ask that all filings be made electronically whenever possible.

    We appreciate everyone's patience during this time and will make every effort possible to ensure the safety and well-being of the parties involved as well as court staff. All of these procedures are unfortunately subject to change as health concerns permit.

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