Judge Sherrill A. Ellsworth

portrait judge ellsworthHon. Sherrill A. Ellsworth
Judge, Superior Court of Riverside County

Sept 2012–Mar 2014 (Retired; term completed by Judge Gary Nadler)
Membership: Voting member, appointed by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye



Judge Ellsworth began serving as a court commissioner in 1996 and was appointed to the bench in 2005. In 1999, she was named the American Business Women’s Association Woman of the Year for Judicial Leadership. Judge Ellsworth was appointed vice-chair of the California Court Case Management System Justice Partner Advisory Committee in 2010. She was a member of the Strategic Evaluation Committee appointed by the Chief Justice and of the council’s Trial Court Budget Working Group, Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, and Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants. 


As part of the Judicial Council’s efforts to increase communication and transparency and promote accountability, council members serve as liaisons to the 58 trial courts and to the major service units of the Judicial Council staff. Members with updates present their reports at Judicial Council meetings, bringing fresh perspectives on the issues and challenges facing the judicial branch.

Liaison Report on San Luis Obispo, Apr  2016
Judge Buckley reports on his visit to San Luis Obispo Superior Court. San Luis Obispo is located on the coast, north of Santa Barbara and south of Monterey. It has a population of just over 275,000 and covers 3600 sq. miles. The judicial allocation is 13 judges and two commissioners. They currently have 3 judicial vacancies and they are all being covered by assigned judges, a program critical to the court. The court was second on the list for a new courthouse in the early 2000, they are now 50. Proposition 47 has had a tremendous impact on the court, and has put a strain on the court’s limited resources. Judge Buckley reports that the court is happy with their new case management system.

Orange Count Superior Court liaison report
Dec 13, 2013
Budget cutbacks in the court have led to service closures. The have judicial vacancies and many of the judges now serving—up to 50 percent of the bench—have five years or less experience. The court has been a good steward of public funds--using its resources to advance its technology—but when the state swept their reserves, the court leaders felt as if they were being punished for being good stewards. Presiding Judge Thomas Borris has provided stellar leadership, not only to the bench, but to the county and state. He was one of the key players in reformulating the allocation methodology for the courts.

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