The Supreme Court today ordered hearings in the Los Angeles Superior Court “as soon as practicable” on a writ petition filed one week ago that seeks to “substantially reduce and safeguard youth populations in [Los Angeles County] juvenile halls and camps” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Supreme Court had quickly asked for urgent preliminary briefing.

In All Youth Detained in Juvenile Halls and Camps in Los Angeles County v. Superior Court, the unanimous court has transferred the petition to the Second District Court of Appeal with directions to issue an order to show cause in the superior court “addressing whether juveniles detained in Los Angeles County juvenile facilities are being denied due process under the Fourteenth Amendment by being held in conditions that could subject them to contracting the COVID-19 virus and, if so, what remedies can be lawfully ordered.”

Because of the urgency of the petition, I had thought this would be one of the very rare cases that the Supreme Court decides itself without any lower court rulings.  However, there are apparently enough factual issues to resolve that a trial court handling is necessary first.

[May 14 update:  See “Judge Rules Against Release Of Low-Risk Juvenile Facility Detainees As COVID-19 Cases Rise.”]


See Meghann Cuniff’s report in yesterday’s Daily Journal:  “State high court considers release request from ‘all youth’ in Los Angeles County custody.”