RSSArchive for 2017

Exciting Times

Exciting Times

What a difference a year makes. Last year my only aspirations were to oversee sweetening the paychecks of the Court’s hard working employees and to improve services, including moving towards a new case management system. We made progress on those goals and saw many other developments as well. One of the most gratifying events was […]

Civil Division Update

Civil Division Update

As most of you probably know, one of our Civil Division judges, Hon. George Spanos, retired earlier this year, and we were fortunate to have Hon. Charles “Steve” Treat join us. Before his appointment to the Bench, Judge Treat clerked on the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice William Brennan. He, thereafter, […]

A Year of Changes in Juvenile

A Year of Changes in Juvenile

The big news for the juvenile bench and its justice partners in 2017 is the move from the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse in Martinez to the Walnut Creek Courthouse. On August 14, 2017, the juvenile bench (other than Judge Fenstermacher) was officially relocated. Now, all child welfare cases brought under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC), Section […]

Keeping the Court Safe and Orderly

Keeping the Court Safe and Orderly

Court Security staff are responsible for the safety and protection of the judges, attorneys, court employees, and the public. Security staff works in a variety of assignments that range from weapons screening, courtroom bailiffs, court attendants, inmate supervision, and escort duties.

Hon. John Sugiyama

2017 Review – Probate Division

If it were staffed by mere mortals, the Probate Department would have collapsed 2,271 days ago. Fortunately for us all, Courtroom Clerk Shannon Perry, Probate Examiners Linda Suppanich and Erica Gillies, Bailiff Melissa O’Reilley, Probate Facilitator Nicholas Vaca, and former Research Attorney Janet Li are not constrained by the kinds of limitations that the rest […]

Due to the Efforts of So Many

Due to the Efforts of So Many

Welcome to the Bench/Bar edition of the Contra Costa Lawyer for 2017. Consistent with tradition, included are updates from our court’s supervising judges regarding developments in the areas of court that they manage. Also, as in prior editions, we feature conversations introducing the court’s two newest judges. Beyond these typical articles, in this edition we […]

Hon. Mary Ann O'Malley

Pittsburg Court 2017

Borrowing a phrase from my favorite Irish blessing, “May there always be work for your hands to do” doesn’t seem to be a problem in the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center. As usual, our filings have increased and we are adding yet another daily calendar to our already heavy workload. Starting in January, the in-custody […]

Criminal Courts 2017

Criminal Courts 2017

During calendar year 2016, the District Attorney filed 2,610 felony cases and 7,773 misdemeanor cases, down slightly from last year’s count of 2,732 felonies and up from 1,021 misdemeanors.

Richmond Court Update

Richmond Court Update

Cases are moving smoothly through the George D. Carroll Courthouse, where we are honored to serve in a building named for a man who was the first African American Mayor of Richmond, the first African American lawyer and the first African American judge in Contra Costa County. Judge Benjamin T. Reyes, II, was appointed by […]

Traffic Division 2017

Traffic Division 2017

Throughout 2016 and into 2017, there was a spotlight on the processing of traffic citations in all courts across the state. The state’s Amnesty Program for traffic citations, which began in 2015 and ended in March 2017, resulted in many hundreds of defendants using the program. Our court’s financial and collections programs continue working approved […]

Specializing in Our Veterans

Specializing in Our Veterans

In June 2017, Contra Costa Superior Court was awarded a three-year grant of $368,000 through the Judicial Council’s Innovations Grant Program to implement a specialty Veterans Treatment Court in Contra Costa County.In June 2017, Contra Costa Superior Court was awarded a three-year grant of $368,000 through the Judicial Council’s Innovations Grant Program to implement a […]

With a Little Help from Our Community

The Contra Costa Superior Court has been fortunate to have supportive community members, especially local bar members, who participate in programs that provide important services to local residents. One key program we highlighted in an article in the November 2016 issue of Contra Costa Lawyer is our Temporary Judge Program. In this issue, we identify […]

Family Law Perspective

Family Law Perspective

With six of our seven bench officers having served in the Family Law Division in prior consecutive years, 2017 has been a year of continuity. We welcomed one additional Family Law judge in January, the Honorable Brian Haynes, whose courtroom is in Pittsburg. Judge Haynes plunged right in and quickly became adept at managing short-cause […]

Practicing Law as a Court Employee

Practicing Law as a Court Employee

For those of you who may have wondered what it would be like to work for the courts, we thought we’d give you some insights from legal research attorneys, who work exclusively behind the scenes, and facilitators, who work in the courtroom and at public service points in various courthouses. We asked each of them some general questions.

The Call to Service - Interview with Hon. Benjamin T. Reyes II

The Call to Service – Interview with Hon. Benjamin T. Reyes II

Judge Reyes is one of the newest additions to our bench. In a recent conversation, he discussed some of the factors and events that preceded his joining the bench in Contra Costa. Early Life I was born at the United States Naval Station Subic Bay, Olongapo City in the Philippines. My family emigrated to the […]