Restricted Operations At Governmental Institutions Due To Covid-19 May Have Limited Impact On Legal Services

Hopkins & Carley continues to work to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our clients and to deliver the timely and excellent service you are accustomed to from our firm. During this time, we want our clients to be aware of closures and/or restricted operations at various governmental institutions that may temporarily impact our usual practices and strategies.

Throughout California, most Federal and State Courts have temporarily closed to the public, and have restricted their operations in various ways. The restrictions vary by location, and appear to change daily. For example, some courts are still accepting new electronic filings (such as complaints) for general civil matters, while other courts have ceased accepting civil filings until further notice. In addition, most courts have postponed all court hearings for civil matters, with limited exceptions for emergency family law and criminal matters. Bankruptcy courts remain open to accept electronic filings, some will continue to conduct hearings telephonically, and some have postponed all hearings until further notice.

Likewise, numerous county clerk-recorder’s offices have temporarily closed to the public and have also restricted their operations. Many of the offices currently prohibit “walk-in” recording of documents, such as deeds of trust, grant deeds, abstracts of judgment, and other documents affecting title to real property. Thankfully, many clerk-recorder’s offices are still accepting documents electronically for recording, which can be accomplished through the use of a title company.

In addition, the California Secretary of State’s office currently remains open for the filing of notices of liens against personal property collateral, such as UCC-1s. However, the office has temporarily closed its public service counters and will not provide file-stamped copies of documents on a “walk-in” basis. Instead, filers may drop off their documents, and expect to receive file stamped copies in the mail thereafter. The resulting delay in the receipt of file stamped copies may be as long as week or more. Electronic filings are also being accepted by the California Secretary of State’s office.

We will provide further updates as available while we navigate these uncertain times together. We hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Ross Adler
Andrew Ditlevsen
Erika Gasaway
Sepi Ghiasvand
Marie Gribble
Monique Jewett-Brewster
Steve Kottmeier
Breck Milde
Liam O'Connor
Chuck Reed
Jay Ross

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