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.

Judiciary's Jones Day Team Denies Retired Judges' Age-Bias Claims

June 25, 2019 | The Recorder
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.
New Option For Paying Traffic Fines In Alameda County: PayNearMe

New Option For Paying Traffic Fines In Alameda County: PayNearMe

June 25, 2019 | Dublin Patch
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.

Appeal justice denies new charges, claiming unfair influence

June 26, 2019 | Daily Journal
(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.

California trails in regulating short-term lenders. This bill could finally rein them in.

June 25, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
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.

Sacramento's independent contractor bill carves out exemptions

June 25, 2019 | The Business Journal
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.

Why Guy: Why do we serve jury duty? And why can't I just skip my summons?

June 26, 2019 | ABC10
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."

Judicial Profile: Los Angeles County Judge Robert Chu

June 26, 2019 | Daily Journal
(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.”

Amended bill would raise court reporter transcript fees by January

June 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(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.
Santa Cruz attorneys confirm Superior Court judge's misconduct

Santa Cruz attorneys confirm Superior Court judge's misconduct

June 24, 2019 | Santa Cruz Sentinel
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.

California's high court walks high wire on initiatives, 2 ex-justices say

June 23, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
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.”
Commentary: Lessons from the Old Courthouse in El Centro

Commentary: Lessons from the Old Courthouse in El Centro

June 23, 2019 | Napa Valley Register
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.
Doing Justice: An Interview With Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe (Part 1)

Doing Justice: An Interview With Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe (Part 1)

June 21, 2019 | Lost Coast Outpost (Humboldt)
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.

ICE Set to Begin Immigration Raids in 10 Cities Sunday

June 21, 2019 | Courthouse News Service
“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.
California judge rules police transparency law doesn't cover old records

California judge rules police transparency law doesn't cover old records

June 21, 2019 | The Mercury News
“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.

Opinion: Jurors Are Working—They Should be Paid More

June 21, 2019 | Fox & Hounds
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.

Calif. cities can collect 25% tax on public university parking fees

June 20, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
“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.”

Measure Barring Trial of 14-, 15-Year-Olds as Adults Is Valid

June 20, 2019 | Metropolitan News-Enterprise
“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. "
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