California may lift emergency restrictions on evictions and bail

The Judicial Council of California announced Monday that it will be voting on whether to lift emergency measures adopted to limit the spread of the coronavirus.In April, the Judicial Council, a statewide policy-making body, imposed a moratorium on most evictions and set bail at $0 for nearly all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, with an exception for looting.The Judicial Council said that, with California beginning to reopen, it should be left to counties and the state legislature to decide what measures are appropriate.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

California authorities could soon do away with emergency measures intended to limit evictions and prevent the spread of the coronavirus behind bars, it was announced Monday.When the COVID-19 pandemic hit California, the Judicial Council — a policy-making body chaired by the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court — announced a moratorium on most evictions, a move that was denounced by the California Apartment Association, a trade group for landlords. Many local jurisdictions have imposed imposed their own, separate moratoriums on commercial and residential evictions.Alarmed by the prospect of widespread infection among the incarcerated, Judicial Council also set bail at $0 for misdemeanors and most non-violent felonies, with an exception for alleged “looting,” in an effort to reduce jail populations.In a statement issued Monday evening, the council said it may now end both policies following the recommendation of its internal working groups. If it does, bail could return June 20 and evictions could restart Aug. 3.

According to John’s Hopkins University, there have been more than 133,000 cases in California, with more than 4,600 deaths.”The Judicial Council acted quickly to safely reduce jail populations and halt evictions and foreclosures during an unprecedented global health crisis,” Martin Hoshino, administrative director of the Judicial Council, said in the June 8 news release. “These rules achieved their goals — to reduce harm, save lives, and help ‘flatten the curve’ of the pandemic.”More than 20,000 people have been spared pre-trial detention thus far, the release noted. And, “Despite being in uncharted territory, crime rates stayed at historic lows, and the vast majority of people released on the COVID-19 bail schedule did not reoffend,” Justice Marsha Slough said.Nonetheless, council members will be voting by June 10 on a measure that would reinstate the pre-crisis approach to bail, leaving it up to local jurisdictions to decide when pre-trial detention is safe or necessary. As for evictions: the council says that’s a policy decision.

While counties are cautiously reopening, there is no guarantee that progress will be linear.In the nation’s most populous county, Los Angeles, “health officials are detecting an uptick in disease transmission,” the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, following the reopening of hair salons and in-person dining last month.Meanwhile, over 2,500 people in the Los Angeles jail system have COVID-19, according to the county Sheriff’s Department, or roughly a third of those who have been tested.Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.comLoadingSomething is loading.

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