NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.
At issue is a long-standing judiciary program that assigns retired judges to courts with temporary vacancies due to vacations, judicial training, illnesses and other reasons. Judiciary officials last spring instituted new rules for the program. Retired judges are now restricted to 120 days of assigned work a year and a retroactive, lifetime cap of 1,320 total days in the program.
Under the agreement between the court and the firm, people will be able to make cash payments at PayNearMe stations located at stores like CVS without incurring a transaction fee. People will still be able to pay fines online with debit or credit cards, or by sending checks.
(Subscription required) Justice Jeffrey W. Johnson denied new sexual misconduct allegations issued last week, saying he did not recall the incidents and believed the accusers may have been influenced by others seeking to discredit him.
Nevada County Chief Probation Officer Michael Ertola said he is not content with the situation, and has been working to change it. The probation officer has been trying to mitigate costs, shifting the focus to rehabilitation, and ultimately hopes to change the program, converting it to a youth center with a small portion used for detentions.
Advocates say the new dynamics helped push some lenders to come to the table and negotiate on the terms of the proposal this year. Rumblings over a potential ballot measure — a strategy that has been successful in other states — and a recent California Supreme Court opinion that courts may declare high rates “unconscionable” and unenforceable also aided discussions.
AB 5 creates exemptions for certain workers to remain independent contractors, including doctors, dentists, lawyers, architects, accountants, engineers, insurance agents, investment advisers, direct sellers, real estate agents, hairstylists and barbers who rent booths at salons, as well as marketers and human-resources professionals with advanced degrees.
If you have a valid excuse, tell them. If you just ignore your summons, a judge can fine you $250 for the first offense, $750 for a second and $1,500 for a third or more offenses. "These consequences are rare," Corren said, "as courts prefer to work with individuals on ensuring that they appear for jury service by finding agreeable dates for them to appear or by excusing them from service when their specific circumstances warrant."
(Subscription required) “I wanted to make sure that everybody who’s coming into court, no matter what their background is, I want to make sure that they know what’s going on, that they’re comfortable, and they see that our process is fair,” Chu said. “That was my philosophy as a public defender, and as a judge it’s the same.”
(Subscription required) A bill to raise court reporter transcript fees by about a third was amended on Friday to go into effect all at once, rather than phase in over three years. If successful, AB 1385 would institute the first increase in these rates since 1990.
(Subscription required) The State Bar has not been successful in advancing a plan to force the state’s 19 unaccredited law schools to either secure accreditation or gradually shut down, due to what the agency says is legislative resistance.
In a unanimous decision, the state’s highest court overturned the attempted murder convictions involving the person who was not targeted and cautioned trial judges to allow the theory sparingly in the future.
Challenges are rising for an embattled Santa Cruz judge reassigned to dependency court after she disrupted a homicide trial with an emotional confession of misconduct as a slew of attorneys revealed their years-long boycott of her courtroom.
Retired Judge Ron Cuillard stepped back into the courtroom to perform one final judicial duty: swear in his daughter, Judge Kerri Lopez, to the bench. She keeps a framed picture of the moment near her chambers desk.
A new analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California found that between 2011 and 2015, the felony re-conviction rate across 12 counties that represent nearly two-thirds of the state population fell by 27%. The re-conviction rate for all crimes fell by 15%.
The last word, as Werdegar told her Berkeley audience, is usually spoken quietly. “Direct democracy through the initiative is here to stay,” she said. “The responsibility of the courts is to temper the will of the people — the fourth branch (of government) — when necessary to honor our fundamental constitutional principles, but only so much and no more.”
In 2014, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye launched the Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative. The goal is to leverage the convening power of the courts to bring together people across a range of fields—from judges and mental health professionals to probation officers and teachers—and tackle the issues that have a profound impact on our state.
President Trump on Saturday delayed plans for nationwide raids to deport undocumented families, but he threatened to unleash Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in two weeks if Democrats do not submit to changes in asylum law they have long opposed.
Abby Abinanti, the first native woman member of the California State Bar, recounts her life, from her youth in Humboldt County, her career as a lawyer and court commissioner in San Francisco and her role as chief judge for the Yurok Tribe. She was interviewed on February 21, 2019, in Klamath by Mary Louise Frampton, director of the Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies at the University of California, Davis Law School.
“For more than two years I have requested that courthouses be designated ‘sensitive locations,’ along with schools, churches, and hospitals. I am repeating this request once again, so that victims or witnesses to crimes can safely come to our courts to seek justice,” said Cantil-Sakauye in a statement.
In the run-up to expected arrests by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye repeated her two-year-old plea that federal immigration officers refrain from making arrests in and around the state's courthouses.
“This is contrary to every trial court decision in the state, a denial of review by the Second District Court of Appeal, a published opinion by the First District Court of Appeal, and two denials of review by the California Supreme Court,” attorney Kelly Avila wrote in an emailed response to Walsh’s ruling.
(Subscription required) One of her last efforts as the presiding juvenile judge was working to found a vocational center for troubled minors that links them with apprenticeships and training, a major opportunity for some youths who feel their only other option is to join a gang.
The California judiciary – including California Supreme Court Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye – embedded this video at its official jury duty webpage. That video co-starred a Los Angeles County judge, and it clearly defines jury duty as a job.
“The law does not forbid a (local) government from imposing a tax on private third parties who happen to do business with another government,” Justice Leondra Kruger said in the 7-0 ruling. She said charter cities like San Francisco “may require state agencies to assist in the collection and remittance of local taxes.”
“Taken as a whole, and in the context of juvenile offenders, it appears the intent of Proposition 57 was to reduce the number of youths who would be prosecuted as adults. This appears to be an intent that will further other broader purposes of Proposition 57 to reduce the number of offenders incarcerated in state prisons, and to increase the opportunities for rehabilitation, particularly for juvenile offenders. "