Riverside County Courts Update: April 15, 2020

Good afternoon everyone!   A few updates for you…

1) Court temporary closures have been extended now officially until May 1st.  I know some people were asking about that, but that came down today.

2) BAIL STIPULATIONS.  The DA’s office is taking the position that the Riverside Emergency Bail Schedule does not reflect the intent of the CJ’s emergency bail schedule.  We obviously disagree and they are obviously wrong…..  BUT….if you have a case that you think should be OR/zero bail and the DA doesn’t agree because your client has an out on bail, a strike prior, or some other enhancement.  The issue is going to be litigated I believe on Friday.

The process for all the courts remains the same as our previous discussion, but instead of the HOJ proposed initial stips going to Michelle Paradise, they now want those to go to Brandon Smith ( BRSmith@rivcoda.org )  

So in review….here is the process:

Fill out your proposed stipulation form (has been updated) with your requested OR or reduced bail amount per the bail schedule change.

Email this form to the DA’s office as follows:
For Indio, please send your form to: Victoria Weiss (vlweiss@rivcoda.org) AND Rodney Tethal (rtethal@rivcoda.org)
For Southwest, please send your form to Michael Cabral (mjcabral@rivcoda.org)
For HOJ and Banning, please send your form to Brandon Smith (brsmith@rivcoda.org)

One of two things will happen.  Either (a) they agree and stipulate, or (b) they do not agree.

If they agree, the DA reviewing and approving the stip will sign and send the stip to the court the same day.

If they do not agree, they will let you know.  If that is the case, then your next step is to contact the ASSIGNED DA to your case, and request an informal hearing from the court. 

To request the informal hearing, you are to email the Judge with the defendant’s name, case number, the DA’s name, and everyone’s phone numbers.  I would title the email with “[case number] OR/Bail informal conference request.”  The court does NOT want extraneous information coming through other than Judge Benjamini, who said he wouldn’t mind a sentence explaining why you weren’t able to agree.  The Judge will guide you to the next step, which is getting your case on calendar for hearing if you can’t come to some agreement on the conference call.

For HOJ and Banning, email Judge Molloy (John.Molloy@riverside.courts.ca.gov)
For Indio, email Judge Benjamini (Dean.Benjamini@riverside.courts.ca.gov)
For Southwest, email Judge Hansen (Kelly.Hansen@riverside.courts.ca.gov)

Stay safe!

Graham D. Donath, President
Riverside County Criminal Defense Bar Association

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