Court Operations During COVID-19 Outbreak

(updated May 28, 2020)

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California continues to closely monitor the national and local responses to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The court will follow guidance provided by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), available at www.cdc.gov .   

Temporary Court Closures (updated 5/28/2020):  As of March 30, 2020, the Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Salinas, and Eureka/McKinleyville Courthouses are closed entirely to the public through September 30, 2020.  See Third Amended General Order 38.  All employees are working remotely.

           

How to file a document:  The court will continue accepting filings through ECF.  For filings by pro se parties (individuals without an attorney) or individuals not registered for ECF, the court will accept documents for filing by email, mail, or court drop-box.  See Third Amended General Order 38.

 

            Filing by Email:   Pleadings to be filed by email should be sent to CANB-EMERGENCY-FILINGS@canb.uscourts.gov.  Any document to be filed by email should be in PDF format and include the case name, case number, title of pleading, statement of relief requested, and signed.  Please note if you email a document that requires a filing fee, you must submit the payment by mail or drop-box as explained below.

 

Registered ECF filers should not submit filings by email. 

 

            Filing by Mail:  Pleadings and filing fee payments may be sent by U.S. Mail to:  United States Bankruptcy Court, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, Mail Box 36099, San Francisco, CA 94102.  Any document to be filed by mail should include the case name, case number, title of pleading, statement of relief requested, and be signed.

 

            Filing by Drop-Box (updated 5/28/2020):  Pleadings and filing fee payments may be deposited into a drop-box available in two locations:  1) at the San Francisco Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco.  Access to the building is available through the Turk St. entrance from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Individuals need valid government-issued identification to enter the building.  A date stamp machine is provided with the drop-box.  Documents will be retrieved and processed up twice a week; 2) at the San Jose Federal Courthouse, which is located at 280 South First Street, San Jose, CA.   Access to the building and the drop-box is between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Friday (excluding federal holidays).  Individuals must present valid government issued identification to enter the building.  A date stamp machine is provided next to the drop-box, and documents will be retrieved and processed twice a week.

 

Orders Processing:  Counsel and litigants should expect orders to be reviewed and processed promptly, as usual.  No chambers copies are required during this period.

 

Court Hearings (updated 5/28/2020):  Through September 30, 2020, all court hearings in all locations will be held by video or teleconference or will be decided on the pleadings.  Please note: Unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge, all notices of any motion or application filed with the court and served on any party which sets a hearing date for the motion or application must state that the hearing will not be conducted in the presiding judge’s courtroom but instead will be conducted by telephone or video. See specific language in the Third Amended General Order 38.

 

Temporary Suspension of Requirement to Obtain Original Signatures:  In recognition that the Shelter in Place orders applicable to the Bay Area may prevent attorneys from timely obtaining original signatures, the Court issued Amended General Order 39.  It provides that until further notice, the ECF Procedure requirement that a Registered Participant possess the signatory’s original, physical signature before electronically filing a pleading or document is suspended.  This suspension is expressly conditioned on:

(1) the Registered Participant having prior to filing either:

(a)  A digital signature from the signatory obtained by any commercially available digital signature software that provides signature authentication; or

(b)  Obtains express written permission from the signatory to file the document or pleading in question; and

(2)  the Registered Participant maintaining a copy of the digitally signed document or express written permission in their case filed.    

Meetings of Creditors (updated 5/4/20):  Since this court issued its Amended General Order 40, the United States Trustee, its panel Chapter 7 trustees, and the acting Chapter 12 and 13 trustees have established procedures to conduct their meeting of creditors by telephone or video.  Given this development, the court has issued a Second Amended General Order 40, which now includes a sunset provision for some of the time extensions provided for in Amended General Order 40.

"CARES Act" Loan Forbearance Notices (added 5/1/2020): The recently enacted CARES Act allows borrowers to obtain loan forbearances on certain federally insured loans.  To avoid any confusion or disagreement regarding how Chapter 13 debtors, their lenders, and Chapter 13 trustees should treat the forbearances received under the Act, the court has issued General Order 41.

How to contact the court:  If you have questions, please call (888) 821-7606 or use the LIVE CHAT feature on the court’s website. 

 

Future updates:  Any future updates will be posted on the Court's website and communicated as appropriate. It is important to note that changes may vary between divisions and these changes may depend on the guidance provided by local public health agencies.