E.P. v. Superior CourtAnnotate this Case
E.P., a minor in a juvenile delinquency proceeding, challenged a July 2020, decision by respondent Yolo County Superior Court, which denied his motion to physically appear in juvenile court in the presence of the judge at court hearings. Petitioner claimed the court’s decision, as well as certain temporary local rules (Super. Ct. Yolo County, Temporary COVID-19 Local Rules) issued by the court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicted with Welfare and Institutions Code section 679 and the emergency rules related to COVID-19 adopted by the Judicial Council and contained in appendix I of the California Rules of Court. The Court of Appeal concluded that, consistent with section 679 and the case law interpreting it, the emergency rules required a court obtain a minor’s consent before conducting a hearing in a juvenile delinquency proceeding remotely. Accordingly, the respondent superior court erred in denying petitioner’s motion to physically appear in court at his juvenile hearings. To the extent the court’s temporary local rules required all hearings in juvenile delinquency proceedings be conducted remotely absent a finding of good cause, the rules were in conflict with both section 679 and the emergency rules.