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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.

Apr 30 California parents, educators, convene for PTA convention in Sacramento
Sacramento Bee
Thousands of educators and parents from around California began gathering Thursday at the Sacramento Convention Center to hear the latest on education, health and community issues at the annual California State PTA Convention.
Related: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye
May 1 Justices Unanimously Uphold Death Sentence for Insurance-Motivated Familicide
Met News
The California Supreme Court yesterday unanimously upheld the death sentence for a former Riverside resident convicted of the strangulation murders of his wife and 3-year-old daughter.
Related: California Supreme Court
May 1 S.C. to Decide Constitutionality of Trying Pro Per in Absentia
Met News
The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the state and federal constitutions permit a defendant who absconded while representing himself to be tried in absentia and without counsel.
May 1 State Supreme Court will revisit rest break payment issue
Daily Journal
It's back to the future for the state Supreme Court, which agreed to hear a 9-year-old case brought by security guards demanding pay for their rest breaks.
Apr 30 Guard can sue state over injuries at home on San Quentin grounds
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for a former San Quentin guard to sue the state for injuries he suffered when he fell on a staircase at his home on the prison grounds.
May 1 Complex courts face funding shift
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Any trial court that chooses to take on complex cases will receive additional funding starting in July, but the six counties with complex courts will be exposed to the chronic underfunding that has plagued the judiciary in recent years.
May 1 Editorial: Time to rein in California's traffic ticket surcharges
Los Angeles Times
One reason you pay so much when you are ticketed for, say, driving with a broken taillight is that there's a surcharge added to your ticket to help victims of violent crimes.
Apr 30 ACLU: Mendocino County charging for traffic court dates is unconstitutional
Ukiah Daily Journal
Mendocino County is one of at least eight Superior Courts in California that requires traffic citation fees to be paid-in-full before people can stand in front of a judge and dispute the allegations of a violation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which says the alleged practice is unconstitutional.
May 1 Judicial Profile: Richard O. Keller
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Alameda County Judge Richard Keller wants to affect the lives of defendants in his courtroom.
Related: Superior Court of Alameda County
Apr 30 Judge's swearing in sealed with a kiss
Bay Area Reporter
Adorned in their black judicial robes, James M. Humes , the presiding justice of the First District Court of Appeal's Division One, administered the oath of office to San Francisco Superior Court Judge Joseph M. Quinn during his ceremonial investiture held on the mayor's balcony inside San Francisco's City Hall.
Apr 30 8th graders score low on history, civics
UT San Diego
A visit to a courtroom will demonstrate that a lack of civic education can be as detrimental to a citizen as can be the lack of literacy or math skills, said Judith McConnell, presiding justice in the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal.
Related: Civic Learning Initiative
Apr 30 Ex-State Bar executive blames state Supreme Court aide for firing
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In an amended complaint, Dunn added Beth Jay, the longtime principal attorney to the California Chief Justice, as a defendant for allegedly pushing to get him fired.
Related: The Recorder
Apr 29 State's high court paves way for new trial in Harb case
Bakersfield Californian
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday left the door open to a new civil trial for the family of a Bakersfield doctor who was handcuffed by police and made to wait more than an hour for treatment after suffering a massive stroke in 2007.
Related: California Supreme Court
Apr 29 State high court rejects S.F. landlord’s bid to raise rent
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a San Francisco landlord’s attempt to raise the rents on a tenant who moved into a rent-controlled apartment with his family as a youngster and stayed there after his parents moved out.
Apr 29 Nearly half of young Americans lack confidence in justice system: survey
Nearly half of young Americans believe the U.S. justice system has racial and ethnic biases and they strongly believe the use of police body cameras will make law enforcement fairer, a Harvard University study showed on Wednesday.
Apr 29 Sacramento mental health court celebrates graduates, gets $592,000 grant
Sacramento Bee
 “The court clerk brought cupcakes. The judge brought well wishes and a guest – California’s chief justice. Tuesday was graduation day in Sacramento Superior Court’s Mental Health Court – a fresh start for the nonviolent mentally ill offenders who successfully made their way through the program.”
Related: Mental Health Courts, Capital Public Radio
Apr 29 States can ban elected judges from asking for campaign money, Supreme Court says
Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld state laws that bar elected judges from asking for money to support their campaigns.
Apr 29 Despite push for diverse bench, nonwhite judicial applicants still lagging
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Despite Gov. Jerry Brown's renewed commitment to build a judiciary that reflects California's diverse communities, California's 1,655 sitting judges remain 70 percent white as of the end of 2014 - nearly unchanged since 2007, when the state began tracking the demographic data.
Apr 29 State high court readies answer for ‘rule of reason’ question
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Is antitrust law's "rule of reason" doctrine so unruly it's about to be reined in? The state Supreme Court is set to supply an answer by the end of May.
Related: California Supreme Court
Apr 28 Q&A: Justice Cuéllar describes rise to California Supreme Court
The Sacramento Bee
California’s newest Supreme Court justice, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, will visit Sacramento on Wednesday to participate in an evening forum with 250 prominent Latinos in the auditorium of the secretary of state’s building, 1500 11th St. The event is already full.
Related: Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar
Apr 28 ‘Millennia’ of Marriage Being Between Man and Woman Weigh on Justices
New York Times
For thousands of years, in societies around the globe, marriage has meant the union of a man and a woman. “And suddenly,” said Justice Stephen G. Breyer, “you want nine people outside the ballot box” to change that by judicial fiat.
Related: New York Times, The National Law Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Associated Press, Fresno Bee, CBS News, Chicago Tribune, NPR, Huffington Post, The News Tribune, Reuters, Forbes, Woodland Daily Democrat
Apr 28 After 13 years on death row, Redding man’s sentence overturned; guilty verdict stays
Sacramento Bee
After nearly 13 years on death row, a Redding man’s sentence was overturned Monday by the California Supreme Court, which ruled that he was improperly barred from calling an expert witness.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal, Met News, Associated Press, Record Searchlight, At the Lectern
Apr 28 Judicial Profile: L. Brooks Anderholt
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) During 26 years of practice, L. Brooks Anderholt found it aggravating to appear before a judge who hadn't prepared, especially if he lost. Now, as a judge on the Imperial County Superior Court, he'll use his lunch hour or evenings to read cases and papers, winning high praise from attorneys, even those who have lost.
Related: Superior Court of Imperial County
Apr 27 State to fund Nevada County Courthouse feasibility study
The Grass Valley Union
Officials with the state Judicial Council, a policy-making board for the California court system, confirmed Monday that a contract has been signed with Ross Drulis Cusenberry Architecture to fund and conduct a feasibility study on Nevada County’s Superior Courthouse building.
Related: New Nevada County Courthouse, Yuba Net
Apr 27 Beleaguered Internet cafes take case to state Supreme Court
Bakersfield Californian
The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at 9 a.m. May 6 in an appeal of two appellate court rulings that illegalized Internet cafes last year.
Apr 27 Criminal justice, sentencing reforms gain traction
Capitol Weekly
For decades, Californians and their representatives in the state Capitol had a “lock-‘em-up-and-throw-away-the-key” approach to lawbreakers. But that view is changing.
Apr 27 Chief: Recession spurred court innovations
California Bar Journal
The state’s judicial branch has been innovative in the face of drastic budget cuts brought on by the recession and continues to look for ways to improve its operations, California’s chief justice told legislators last month.
Related: State of the Judiciary
Apr 26 Evergreen Wins Top State Civic Learning Award
Evergreen Elementary Eagles
Evergreen Elementary is the recipient of the 2015 Civic Learning Award of Excellence.
Related: Civic Learning Awards
Apr 26 Construction on Main Street continues
Woodland Daily Democrat
The construction on Main Street is continuing along as workers inch closer and closer to their completion date.
Related: New Woodland Courthouse
Apr 26 New California Supreme Court surprises analysts early on
Los Angeles Times
When Gov. Jerry Brown's two latest nominees joined the California Supreme Court in January, legal analysts foresaw the creation of a more liberal majority.
Related: California Supreme Court
Apr 26 California high court to consider limits on regulators’ access to prescription database
Los Angeles News
The case against Dr. Alwin Lewis started with a patient’s complaint about his unorthodox diet plan. But it landed at the California Supreme Court with a much broader issue at stake: Whether regulators should have unrestricted access to a state database detailing doctors’ prescribing practices.
Apr 24 Pat Brown Institute at Cal State L.A. celebrates social justice at annual awards gala
The Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State L.A held its 34th annual awards dinner Thursday night to celebrate social justice and recognize five honorees for their civic engagement efforts.
Apr 24 Judges can't defend colleague under attack over ruling
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) An Orange County judge's decision three weeks ago to reduce the sentence of a convicted child molester provoked outrage in the county and the nation, including demands in social media, the press and the halls of government for the judge to resign or be recalled.
Apr 24 Judicial Profile: Harvey Silberman
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Harvey Silberman is passionate about family law, especially his opportunity to impact the lives of children. That's the reason he's had no desire to change assignments in his 11 years on the bench.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Apr 23 The state's top judicial official honored El Camino Creek Elementary on Thursday
UT San Diego
When El Camino Creek Elementary School in Encinitas was honored by the state Thursday it wasn’t with a simple computer-printed certificate — those dime-a-dozen awards are passed out for accomplishments like perfect attendance or good citizenship.
Related: Civic Learning Award, Daily Journal
Apr 23 Changes ahead for juvenile sentencing
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Allen G. Weinberg, who represents prisoners sentenced as juveniles in two cases, hopes the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court — barring mandatory sentences of life without parole for minors — will be retroactively applied to other matters.
Apr 23 Judicial Profile: Bruce A. Young
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Ventura County Judge Bruce A. Young is relaxed, calm and controlled in the courtroom, even makes a joke once in a while. And yet, some cases keep him awake at night.
Related: Superior Court of Ventura County
Apr 22 State high court passes up chance to go easier on sex offenders
San Francisco Chronicle
A divided state Supreme Court voted Wednesday to leave intact a ruling requiring lifetime registration for certain non-forcible sex offenders, an issue that split Gov. Jerry Brown’s two most recent appointees.
Related: California Supreme Court, Daily Journal, Associated Press
Apr 22 Old Judge, New Bench
The Chronicle of Social Change
It’s late March, and it’s only Nash’s fourth week as a sitting judge in the Juvenile Court. But in this court system, Nash is a vet. He was the presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s juvenile court system for almost 30 years before retiring on January 15.
Apr 22 Why Are We Teaching Democracy Like a Game Show?
Education Week
Suppose a legislature passed a law that made it a graduation requirement to know the name of the town in which Shakespeare was born.
Related: Civic Learning Initiative
Apr 22 Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Fund New Judgeships
Met News
A bill that would fund 10 new superior court judgeships, including one in Los Angeles County, as well as a Fourth District Court of Appeal post, was unanimously approved yesterday by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.
Apr 21 Bills move forward to curb overuse of psychiatric medications in California foster care
San Jose Mercury News
Following powerful testimony by former foster youth, a package of reform bills designed to rein in the excessive use of psychiatric drugs in California's child welfare system met unanimous approval in the state Senate on Tuesday -- the first step in a series of legislative moves ahead.
Apr 21 Synchronizing Youth Programs in California Shows Signs of Success
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
At 8 years old, Marco had spent most of his life in the child welfare system. When an uncle took him in, to the first stable family environment he’d ever known, the boy finally began to thrive.
Apr 21 Judicial Profile: John C. Gastelum
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As a former lead research attorney for many years with the 4th District Court of Appeal in Orange County, John C. Gastelum understands how important it is to make a good record now that he is an Orange County Superior Court judge.
Related: Superior Court of Orange County
Apr 20 Appeals court rejects higher water rates for big users
San Francisco Chronicle
A state appeals court dealt a potentially serious blow Monday to local governments’ attempts to encourage water conservation in drought-parched California, ruling that they cannot charge higher rates to big users simply because those customers guzzle more water.
Related: Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Los Angeles Times, UT San Diego, Daily Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Met News, Sacramento Bee, Associated Press, San Jose Mercury NewsKQED, KPCC, Capital Public Radio, Reuters, Associated Press
Apr 20 Painful budget choices for state judiciary
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Difficult financial decisions confronting the state judiciary came into sharp relief Friday at the Judicial Council's meeting in San Francisco as evidenced by moves to cut a court improvement fund and significantly alter dependency court funding models.
Related: News Release
Apr 20 Panel reverses murder conviction, cites judicial misconduct
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A state appellate court has reversed a mother's 50 year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder in the death of her newborn after finding that the trial court judge improperly withheld evidence, disparaged the defense's expert witness and bolstered the prosecution in the jury's presence.
Related: Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District
Apr 20 Judicial Profile: Tari L. Cody
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) When Judge Tari L. Cody was in private practice she would hit the road for hearings in Los Angeles an hour early to be sure she wasn't late. "I got a flat tire one time. I had to change it. I still got there on time," she said.
Related: Superior Court of Ventura County
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