Riverside County Courts Update: May 7, 2020

If you have not seen it already, Riverside Superior Court has essentially floated their proposal out to litigants for public comment, setting forth a timeline for re-opening.  Give it a look if you’re interested.

Link: https://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/PublicNotices/Master_Plan-Restoring_Services_For_Comment_05-06-20.pdf

The timelines, systems, etc are whatever.  Some people might be freaked out at the prospect of going back to court soon, others relieved, and others a strange combination of both.  There are a few items glossed over that have potential constitutional ramifications that I think are interesting (eg, closed to the public for prelim, videoconferencing for witnesses, masks being allowed on live witnesses faces, etc) and very much worth objecting to.  Everyone has their own lawyering to do and their own positions to take but just throwing out my personal questions about the plan and its potential implementation.

If you wish to present any comments to the court you may do so by sending a e-mail to courtexecutiveoffice@riverside.courts.ca.gov 5:00 PM on May 13, 2020.

Just a quick reminder, you can now do a video visit with your clients in custody for whatever reason, just go to the link, fill out a request and it will get set up.  Ten minute limitation unfortunately for now but no longer just for getting 977 authority.

Link: http://rccdba.org/jail-video-visits-request-form

We can do 977 pleas at this point on misdemeanors, and felony out and in-custody pleas.  I posted about this last week, but the forms are all finished and we can now file the requests. 

Court’s Instructions for 977 Pleas

Felony Forms:
Felony Plea Form (CR004)
Sentencing Memorandum – Probation (CR002)
Sentencing Memorandum – Mandatory Supervision (CR003)
Program Reinstatement or Re-Enrollment (CR029)

Misdemeanor Forms:
Misdemeanor Plea Form (CR005)
Sentencing Memorandum – Probation (CR002)
Program Reinstatement or Re-Enrollment (CR029)
Community Service – Direct Referral From Court (CR088)
Proof of Community Service – (RI-CR072)
Instructions to Defendant – English (CR010)
Instructions to Defendant – Spanish (CR010S)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  Interesting point that you can sentence an out of custody defendant who is going into custody, with just a future surrender date, per Michelle Paradise, rather than a Cruz waiver.  I encouraged the DA’s office to encourage their DDAs to reach out to everyone with their sweetheart deals but I don’t have a sense for whether that occurred or their DDAs are mostly enjoying the time somewhat off.   So maybe reach out, if you’re looking for that thing to break the gridlock in negotiations, this could be it!

Hope everyone’s staying healthy!

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

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