FDAP 2020 Pandemic Information and Resources

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the First District Appellate Project (FDAP) extends our best wishes to those stricken by the virus and all those impacted in other ways, including financial losses and job insecurity. These are the most challenging of times.

On this page, we will share information about FDAP operations, Court operations, and try our best to answer any questions. Be sure to view the additional FAQ pages (links at the very top of this page).

FDAP Operations

At FDAP, we have transitioned to remote work. Our staff attorneys have full access to the system and files, and remain available to assist clients and panel attorneys with any issues that arise. We are continuing to process appointment orders and claims. FDAP's physical office in Oakland is closed. However, on designated days each week, a staff member will be in the office to process mailing and shipments, client correspondence, transcripts and records, etc.

We are committed to keeping cases and claims moving along, but anticipate that delays will be inevitable. Some counties are operating with reduced staffs and court hearings are being postponed. If sentencing and dispositional hearings are postponed in large numbers, this will result in a reduction in cases appealed, followed by a likely upsurge when courts resume consistent operations. In addition, for cases already final in the superior court, there may be delays in the processing of new notices of appeal and in the preparation of records. We understand these delays will have an impact on work flow (and cash flow) and we will do our best to work with the courts to ensure that new appointments and records are processed efficiently.

For more information about our operations, please see the FDAP Pandemic FAQs.

First District Court of Appeal Operations

The First District Court of Appeal is still open and receiving filings, but the Court is operating with a reduced staff. On March 18, the Court issued an emergency order tolling the deadlines proscribed in the Rules of Court by 30 days for any filing that would otherwise be due between March 18, 2020 and April 17, 2020. No request for an extension of time will be required for any motion, brief or other filing with a due date that falls during this time period.

Pursuant to Misc. Order 2020-1, all in-person oral arguments are suspended. Counsel wishing to present oral argument must do so telephonically.

For more information about Court operations, please see the Court of Appeal FAQs.

Supreme Court of California Operations

Deadlines Extended: The California Supreme Court has issued an order extending deadlines for any action permitted under the Rules of Court an additional 30 days. No application for an extension is required. Note that although it's not entirely clear that the filing of a petition for review would be considered a "Supreme Court proceeding" under the order, we believe it's likely that the time to file a PFR (a deadline set by the California Rules of Court) would be automatically extended.

Electronic Filing Expanded: Effective March 18, 2020, the Supreme Court expanded its electronic filing rules. "Previously, documents in cases accepted for review by the court were excluded from electronic filing." Under the amended rule, all documents must be filed electronically through TrueFiling and no paper copies will be accepted. Self-represented parties and trial courts are exempted and any party may request to be exempted from mandatory e-filing.

Oral Arguments: The Court is continuing to hear oral arguments, but pursuant to an order dated March 16, 2020, all arguments will be electronic, by video, conference, telephone conference, or other electronic means.

United States Supreme Court Operations

On March 19, SCOTUS issued an order extending the deadline on certiorari petitions to 150 days from "the order denying discretionary review" (or other cert-able disposition) in lieu of the usual 90 days. The order "will remain in effect until further order of the Court."