Saturday, August 30, 2014

Temporary Judge Program

Contact Information

For more information on the program, e-mail the Temporary Judge Program Administrator or contact by phone at 916-874-6867.

Judicial Council Mandatory Training

Online training courses through the Administrative Office of the Courts are required to be completed in order to serve as a Temporary Judge.

Eligibility to serve as a Temporary Judge requires submission of an Application Packet which shall include the following:

  1. Application (renewal or initial)
  2. Certificate of Completion for bench conduct and demeanor training
  3. Certificate of Completion for online ethics training
  4. Certificate of Completion for substantive matter training

Please refer to the application process or renewal process for further information.

CANCELLATION

Due to low registration, the Temporary Judge Program bench conduct and demeanor training scheduled for Friday, August 1 has been cancelled. The next training will be scheduled for November.

Judicial Faculty

Meet the Judicial Faculty of the Temporary Judge Program.

Renewal Process

Eligibility period for serving as a Temporary Judge for the Sacramento Superior Court, pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 2.812, is valid for a three-year period. At the conclusion of the three-year period a renewal application must be submitted in order to continue serving as a Temporary Judge.

Attorneys renewing their status as a Temporary Judge are also required to demonstrate proof of eligibility, which includes completion of the following training:

  • Bench Conduct and Demeanor (see Upcoming Training section)
  • Ethics (online)
  • Substantive Matter

Please see the Resources section below for further information on training.

Contact the Temporary Judge Program Administrator temjudadm@saccourt.ca.gov with any questions.

Overview

Welcome to the Sacramento Superior Court's Temporary Judge Program web pages. Through this program the court maintains a panel of trained, qualified, and experienced attorneys who may serve as temporary judges in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Traffic, and Small Claims. These pages will provide up-to-date information regarding the application process, enrollment dates, and resource links about the Temporary Judge Program.

Program Description

The information below explains how temporary judges are used in four areas of the court.

Family Law

The court uses temporary judges to preside over the Family Law Settlement Conference Program at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse. This program provides facilitated settlement conferences for those cases scheduled for a contested family law trial. Each Settlement Conference uses two temporary judges, working in tandem, to help parties resolve their issues short of trial. The Sacramento County Bar Association's Family Law Section oversees the partnering of temporary judges and works closely with the court to ensure that temporary judges are available for each conference. With 70% of cases reaching settlement, the Family Law Settlement Conference Program is one of the most valuable forms of alternative dispute resolution in the Sacramento Superior Court.

Probate

Similar to the Family Law Settlement Conference Program is the Probate Settlement Conference Program. Temporary judges preside over settlement conferences, helping parties reach agreement on many, if not all, issues prior to a contested probate trial. Each temporary judge presides singly over a conference, and their efforts are coordinated through the Probate & Estate Planning Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association.

Traffic

Temporary judges volunteering their services in the Traffic division of the court will serve at the Carol Miller Justice Center on Bicentennial Circle in Sacramento. With approximately 200,000 infraction cases filed each year in Sacramento, the Traffic division is one of the busiest areas in the court. Temporary judges serve by presiding as a trial judge, hearing law and motion matters only as they pertain to the trial before them.

Small Claims

The Sacramento Superior Court files approximately 9,000 new small claims cases each year, and it is in this venue that most citizens resolve their civil disputes. Temporary judges serving in the Small Claims division preside over trials, hearing only such law and motion matters as may pertain to the trial before them.

New Application Process

Please see the Resources section below for further information on training.

For questions or more information on the court's program, please contact the Temporary Judge Program Administrator or call 916-874-6867.

Requirements

Experience Required for Appointment and Service

The presiding judge may not appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge unless the attorney has been admitted to practice as a member of the State Bar of California for at least 10 years before the appointment. However, for good cause, the presiding judge may permit an attorney who has been admitted to practice for at least 5 years to serve as a temporary judge.

Conditions for Appointment by the Court

The presiding judge may appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge only if the attorney:

  • is a member in good standing of the State Bar and has no disciplinary action pending;
  • has not pled guilty or no contest to a felony, or has not be convicted of a felony that has not been reversed;
  • has satisfied the education and training requirements;
  • has satisfied all other general conditions that the court may establish for appointment of an attorney as a temporary judge in that court; and
  • has satisfied any additional conditions that the court may require for an attorney to be appointed as a temporary judge for a particular assignment or type of case in that court.

Education and Training Requirements

The presiding judge may appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge only if the following minimum training requirements are satisfied:

  1. Mandatory training on bench conduct and demeanor

    Before appointment, the attorney must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(a) - external link approved by the court in which the attorney will serve. This course must be taken in person and be taught by a qualified judicial officer or other person approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

  2. Mandatory training in ethics

    Before appointment, the attorney must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(b) - external link approved by the court in which the attorney will serve. This course may be taken by any means approved by the court, including in-person, by broadcast with participation, or online.

  3. Substantive training

    Before appointment, the attorney must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course on the substantive law in each subject area in which the attorney will serve as a temporary judge. These courses may be taken by any means approved by the court, including in person, by broadcast with participation, or online. The substantive courses have the following minimum requirements:

    1. Small Claims

      An attorney serving as a temporary judge in small claims cases must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(c) - external link approved by the court in which the attorney will serve.

    2. Traffic

      An attorney serving as a temporary judge in traffic cases must have attended and completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(d) - external link approved by the court in which the attorney will serve.

    3. Other subject areas (amended effective January 1, 2007)

      If the court assigns attorneys to serve as temporary judges in other substantive areas such as civil law, family law, juvenile law, unlawful detainers, or case management, the court must determine what additional training is required and what additional courses are required before an attorney may serve as a temporary judge in each of those subject areas. The court may also require that an attorney possess additional years of practical experience in each substantive area before being assigned to serve as a temporary judge in that subject area.

      Court Policy: A policy decision by the Presiding Judge requires attorneys who serve as temporary judges for Family Law to submit copies of certificates of completion for 10 hours of MCLE approved training in the area of Family Law to meet the substantive matter training requirements set forth in California Rules of Court, Rule 2.812(c)(3). Attorney Certification Form may be used as a substitute for submitting certificates of completion for MCLE training in the Family Law area.

    4. Settlement

      An attorney need not be a temporary judge to assist the court in settlement conferences. However, an attorney assisting the court with settlement conferences who performs any judicial function, such as entering a settlement on the record under Code of Civil Procedure - external link section 664.6, must be a qualified temporary judge who has satisfied the training requirements under (c)1 and (c)2 of this rule.

Exceptions to the Requirements

A presiding judge may appoint an attorney who is qualified under rule 2.812(a) - external link, but who has not satisfied the other requirements of that rule, only in case of extraordinary circumstances. Any appointment under this subdivision based on extraordinary circumstances must be made before the attorney serves as temporary judge, must be recorded for reporting purposes under rule 10.742(c)(3) - external link, and must not last more than 10 court days in a three-year period.

Continuing Education Requirements

Each attorney appointed as a temporary judge must attend and successfully complete every three years a course on bench conduct and demeanor, an ethics course, and a course in each substantive area in which the attorney will serve as a temporary judge. The courses must cover the same subjects and be of the same duration as the courses prescribed in rule 2.812(c). These courses must be approved by the court that appoints the attorney.

Feedback

Suggestions/comments should be directed via e-mail to the Temporary Judge Program Administrator.

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 10.746, if you wish to lodge a complaint:

  • Print and complete the complaint. Handwritten and typed complaints are accepted.
  • Upon completion, you may submit your complaint in one of the following ways:
    • Mail to:

      Temporary Judge Program
      Sacramento Superior Court
      720 9th Street, Room 611
      Sacramento, CA 95814

    • E-mail to: temjudadm@saccourt.ca.gov
    • Fax to: 916-874-8229.

For more information on the court's program, please e-mail the Temporary Judge Program Administrator or call 916-874-6867.