I appeared at the Alameda County, Hayward Hall of Justice today. There was a huge line to get through security. Three different "out of town" lawyers asked me what the deal was? Here is the answer.
Licensed attorneys can only bypass the metal detectors at Alameda County Courthouses if they have an "attorney security pass" issued by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. Issuance of a pass requires an application to the Sheriff, successful completion of a background check, payment of a fee to the Sheriff, and a personal appearance at the San Leandro substation so your mugshot can be taken, and printed to your security pass.
Unlike many other counties, presentation of your driver's license and bar card will not get you through security.
More information for those unfamiliar with Alameda County: Because of the budget crisis in California the Alameda County Superior Court has elected to close the family law department at the Pleasanton Courthouse. All further court hearings in matters previously venued in Pleasanton will be conducted in Department 503 at the Hayward Hall of Justice located 24405 Amador Street, Hayward, California.
All litigants living in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, and Sunol will now file their family law cases at the Hayward Hall of Justice.
The Hayward Hall of Justice now becomes one of only two Alameda County courthouses hearing family law cases (the other is in Alameda). Many other cases (including all general civil cases from the Pleasanton and Fremont courthouses) have been transferred to the Hayward Hall of Justice. Unfortunately there is no additional money for the extra security required, so the building will continue to operate with just one metal detector. The line to get through security can stretch around the block. It is suggested that you get in line no later than 8:30 a.m. to have any hope of being in the actual courtroom by 9:00 a.m. If you want to play it safe, getting in line by 8 or 8:15 would be even better.