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Honorable Mark D. Houle

REVISED TEMPORARY PROCEDURES FOR COURT APPEARANCES DUE TO COVID-19
FOR THE HON. MARK D. HOULE

Effective July 17, 2020 until removed by the court

  1. In response to COVID-19, as of March 12, 2020 and until further notice, telephonic appearances are mandatory in all matters except trials and evidentiary hearings, or as otherwise ordered by the Court.
  2. Any party wishing to request permission to appear in-person must obtain authorization from the Court at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled hearing.

Judge Tabs

Address/Contact

United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California
3420 Twelfth Street, Suite 325 / Courtroom 301
Riverside, CA 92501-3819

Chambers
(951) 774-1021

Courtroom Deputy
(951) 774-1085

Court Recorder Contact
(951) 774-1085

Emergency Motion Contacts
(951) 774-1021
(951) 774-1023

 

Self-Calendaring
Instructions/Procedures
Telephonic Instructions

PROCEDURES REGARDING TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES
Revised 04/05/21

 

IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19, AS OF MARCH 12, 2020 AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES ARE ALLOWED IN ALL MATTERS EXCEPT TRIALS AND EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS
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Telephonic appearances are allowed in matters before Judge Mark D. Houle in Courtroom 301, except the following:

  1. Trials and evidentiary hearings (all counsel and all witnesses must appear in person). 
  2. Chapter 11 status conferences (debtor’s counsel must appear in person; other parties in interest may appear telephonically).
  3. Adversary proceeding initial status conferences and pretrial conferences (all trial counsel must appear in person).
  4. Chapter 11 and 13 confirmation hearings and Chapter 13 miscellaneous matters (debtor and debtor’s counsel must appear in person; and objecting parties and other parties in interest may appear telephonically).
  5. Reaffirmation hearings (debtor and debtor’s counsel must appear in person; other parties in interest may appear telephonically).
  6. Hearings on matters in which a timely opposition has been filed. 
  7. Any other matter designated by the court as requiring a personal appearance. 

In order to appear telephonically counsel must adhere to the following procedure:

TELEPHONIC PROCEDURES FOR HEARINGS ON OR AFTER APRIL 12, 2021:

HOW TO ARRANGE A TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE
Individuals should arrange telephonic appearances by emailing chambers at Chambers_MHoule@cacb.uscourts.gov, no later than 12:00 noon the day prior to the hearing. Failure to register before the deadline adversely impacts the Courtroom Deputy and the court’s ability to conduct hearings. Repeated violation of this rule may result in sanctions.

The subject line of the email should be “Registration – Telephonic Appearance” and the email should contain:

  1. Appearing counsel’s full name, phone number, client’s full name, and client’s relationship to the case (i.e. debtor, movant, secured creditor, plaintiff, etc.). (If a party is not represented by counsel, include your full name, phone number, and relationship to the case).
  2. Hearing date, time, and calendar number (which can be found on the tentative ruling/posted calendar on the court’s website).
  3. Debtor’s name and case number and, if applicable, adversary case name and number.

The email should be sent from an email address that is monitored because the court may have questions or directions regarding the appearance. The court will not confirm the registration by email or telephone. Counsel’s name and telephone number will instead be listed on the tentative ruling page, which will be updated periodically. Please only contact the court regarding a registration if it is not listed on the tentative ruling page after the deadline to register.

PROCEDURE FOR TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE

Join the hearing 10 minutes before the hearing time by calling the toll-free conference line at (877) 873-8018 and using the passcode: 5655967

Keep your phone on mute until your hearing matter is called by Judge Houle.

It is the individual’s responsibility to dial into the call prior to the scheduled hearing.  The court does not place a call to those appearing. 

Telephonic appearances are connected directly with the courtroom’s public address system and electronic recording equipment.  To ensure the quality of the telephonic appearance, the use of cellular phones is strongly discouraged.  If an individual's poor cellular phone connection does not allow the Court to hear or understand the individual, or for the Court to accurately record the audio for transcription, the court may ask that individual to disconnect from the hearing and the individual will otherwise be deemed to have waived his or her appearance in the matter.  Similarly, if a cellular phone disconnects during a hearing, the party appearing by cellular phone will be deemed to have waived his or her appearance.  As the AT&T line is "open" without an operator to mute individual parties, Judge Houle requests that all parties appearing observe professional telephone etiquette, including keeping the phone on mute other than when their matter is called, and keeping a quiet ambient background, to ensure that the process works smoothly and effectively for all parties.  

After you have placed your call you will be able to hear the matters before yours just as if you were in the courtroom.  Judge Houle will call the case, request appearances, and direct the manner in which the hearing proceeds. Generally, appearances in the courtroom will be taken first. Please wait for the courtroom appearances to be completed before speaking or making your own appearance.  Each time you speak, you should identify yourself for the record. The court’s teleconferencing system allows more than one speaker to be heard, so the judge can interrupt a speaker to ask a question or redirect the discussion.  When the judge informs the participants that the hearing is completed, you may disconnect and the next case will be called.

 

Effective April 12, 2021

Printable version of Judge Houle's Telephonic Appearance Procedures

About the Judge

Appointment:

 
Education:

  • Salem State College, 1993, B.S. (summa cum laude) 
  • Boston College Law School, 1996, J.D.

 
Military Service:

  • United States Air Force, 1985 -1989
  • Massachusetts Air National Guard, 1989 - 1993

 
Career Record: 

  • 2000 - 2011, Associate, Senior Associate and Counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
  • 1998 - 2000, Associate, Winthrop Couchot, PC
  • 1996 - 1998, Rotating Law Clerk, U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Santa Ana Division
Tentative Rulings
Judge Location: