California Judicial Mentor Program

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT LAUNCHES FIRST CALIFORNIA JUDICIAL MENTOR PROGRAM IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA IN COLLABORATION WITH THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM.

Together with Stanislaus, Calaveras, and Tuolumne Counties, San Joaquin County is pleased to announce the launch of the California Judicial Mentor Program which all four counties will operate as a regional collaboration.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Presiding Judge Xapuri B. Villapudua and Assistant Presiding Judge Michael D. Coughlan announced the first of its kind California Judicial Mentor Program in Northern California in collaboration with the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.  The program is modeled after a similar recently-launched program in Los Angeles and will connect mentor judges with local attorneys to increase the applicant pool for new judges.  The program’s intent is to bring the state closer to Governor Newsom’s goal of appointing highly capable judges reflective of the rich diversity of the state.   “We look forward to working with Governor Newsom’s Judicial Appointments Secretary Luis Cespedes in his efforts to encourage and support qualified applicants seeking judicial appointments.  Our Court supports a highly qualified, diverse, and inclusive judiciary,” Presiding Judge Villapudua said.  Secretary Cespedes said the program “IS A CRITICAL STEP TO ENSURING EQUAL ACCESS TO JUDICIAL MENTORSHIP FOR ATTORNEYS CONSIDERING APPLYING TO THE BENCH.”

The program pairs local attorneys committed to public service with judges who will help demystify the judicial appointment process, answer questions about the application and vetting process, and suggest new skills and experiences to improve suitability for appointment.

The program will work with local bar associations, nonprofit legal organizations, government lawyers, law firms, and solo practitioners to identify and encourage promising judicial candidates to apply for appointments.  The goal will be to mentor them in their development, thus creating a pipeline of highly qualified applicants eligible for appointment.

To learn more about the program, visit the San Joaquin County Superior Court’s website.

Court Operations Update

The Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin (Court), with this, provides public notice, according to Government Code section 68106, of changes in court operations, in response to the Governor’s executive order and California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA)’s revised COVID-10 regulations with guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). These changes will be in effect until further notice.

Beginning Tuesday, July 6, 2021, all courthouses and courtrooms are open; however, the Court will continue to take reasonable safety precautions to keep the public, court staff, judicial officers and others safe.

All persons entering court facilities must self-attest to being fully vaccinated or unvaccinated. Individuals who are NOT fully vaccinated, or decline to state, must wear a face covering to enter the courthouse and at all times while inside. According to the most recent COVID-19 guidelines from the California Department of Public Health, fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a face covering/mask or practice physical distancing in state and local government buildings.

CLERKS OFFICES: The Clerk’s offices at all locations are open 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Clerk’s windows for Civil, Family Law and Lodi and Manteca locations will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for the limited purpose of picking up Restraining Orders; no other in-person business will be conducted. Clerk’s Offices can also be contacted as follows:

• By Telephone: To contact the Court by telephone, please visit the Court’s website at www.sjcourts.org for current hours and contact information.
• Support On-line: Questions can be submitted via the support link on the Court’s website at /online-services/support/.
There are drop boxes outside of the Stockton and Lodi Courthouse. For the Manteca Branch and the Juvenile Justice Center, a drop box is located within the buildings. eFiling is available for Civil, Family Law, Criminal Motions, and Probate. Please visit https://appfile.sjcourts.org/ for information.

ALL COURTROOMS ARE OPEN. SEE BELOW FOR DIVISION AND COURTROOM SPECIFIC INFORMATION.

CIVIL: Documents for the Civil, Small Claims and Appeals Divisions may be submitted by drop box, mail or eFiling; eFiling is strongly encouraged for Civil and Small Claims cases. Courtesy copies must be submitted as outlined in Local Rule 3-117. Courtesy copies (only) may be placed in the drop boxes located on the 10th and 11th floor.

Departments 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D and 11B – All Hearings are to be held remotely unless otherwise directed by the Judge/Department. Refer to the Court’s website at /divisions/civil/ for instructions on remote attendance at hearings and each Judge/Department’s requirements for attendance at Mandatory Settlement Conferences. The Court has resumed Civil Jury Trials.

COLLABORATIVE COURTS: Collaborative Courts are open and remote hearings are available upon request.

JURY SERVICES: Our Jury Department has resumed full operations and jurors are being called in for jury service. All jurors required to report for jury service will be asked to self-attest upon entry into the courthouse that they are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated. Fully vaccinated jurors are not required to wear a face covering. Jurors who are NOT fully vaccinated, or decline to state, must wear a face covering to enter the courthouse and at all times while inside. The Court will continue to provide face coverings upon entry into the courthouse. For information regarding jury service, please visit the Court’s website. /divisions/jury-service/ or call (209) 992-5500 for a Jury services staff member.

FAMILY LAW: Family law documents may be submitted in person at the clerk’s windows on the 4th floor of the courthouse from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., by dropbox, mail, or eFiling. For telephonic assistance, please call (209) 992-5690. Questions may be submitted via the support link on the Court’s website at /online-services/support/. Remote hearings are available upon request and subject to judicial officer’s approval. Mediations will be conducted in person with the parties and mediator only. The parties’ attorneys may appear telephonically for mediations only.

PROBATE/DEPARTMENT 11A: Parties may appear by teleconference rather than appear in person. Instructions and notice for the teleconference line can be found on local form Notice of Teleconferencing Appearance and Requirements (SJPR-001), located on our website under local forms at /forms-filing/local-forms/. Notice of Teleconferencing Appearance and Requirements must be served with any Notice of Hearing or on its own in all matters.

Settlement conferences and trials are heard in person in the courtroom, teleconferencing is NOT allowed for settlement conferences or trials. In limited circumstances, teleconference appearances may be allowed for settlement conferences with specific court approval at least 72 hours before the settlement conference.

eFiling of probate documents is encouraged, but they may also be submitted in person at the clerk’s windows on the 4th floor of the courthouse from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., by drop box, or mail. Faxed documents are no longer accepted.

Questions and inquiries can be submitted online at /divisions/probate/probate-inquiries/ or by email to sjprobate@sjcourts.org.

MENTAL HEALTH: Continues to be heard remotely.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT: Requests for copies are accepted by mail and through the online request at /online-services/records-request/. Researchers are able to request an appointment to use a public kiosk for research. The general public can request an appointment to complete research. For more information on requesting copies or appointments see the Records Management Division web page at /divisions/records management/.

TRAFFIC: Traffic payments are accepted online, in person, by mail or using the drop box located at the Stockton Court entrance. Walk-in calendars are suspended.

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for traffic infraction citations provides a way for you to possibly resolve your traffic case without having to personally appear in Court. ODR is available to you 24 hours a day from your phone, tablet, or computer. Please visit the About and FAQ pages for detailed information on the ODR system at cii2.courtinnovations.com/CASCSJ/.

Prior to their court date, the public is encouraged to verify their hearing date, time, and location by visiting cms.sjcourts.org/fullcourtweb/start.do.

SELF HELP: The Self-Help Center is now open to the public for in-person assistance from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and by appointment only in the afternoons. Online assistance is available at www.sjcourts.org/self-help/ (response time is three to five days) or telephonic assistance by calling (209) 992-5283 between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. For updates about hours of operation and other available self-help online services, visit the Court’s website at www.sjcourts.org.

Masking and Social Distancing Changes

As the state commences its reopening, certain masking and social distancing requirements have been relaxed pursuant to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as implemented by Governor Newsom, the California Department of Public Health, and CalOSHA. In line with these changes, effective July 6, 2021, the Court will no longer require social distancing in its facilities. Additionally, and also effective July 6, 2021, the Court’s masking requirements will change:

• Members of the public will not be required to wear facemasks if they are fullyvaccinated. An individual is “fully-vaccinated” two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
• Members of the public who are not fully-vaccinated must continue to wear a compliant facemask. Compliant facemasks must completely cover the nose and mouth, and do not include neck gaiters (regardless of double-layering), masks with valves or other holes, bandanas, or face shields.
• Jurors will not be required to wear a facemask if they are fully-vaccinated and attest to this in writing on an attestation form provided by the Court. Jurors who are not fullyvaccinated, or who are fully-vaccinated but choose not to execute the form, must wear a compliant facemask.
• The Court will provide compliant facemasks upon request.

National Adoption Day

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 9:00AM, the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin, will host National Adoption Day with San Joaquin County Human Services Agency, Lilliput Children Services, Aspiranet, Parents by Choice, and Family Connections Christian Adoptions. This year’s event will celebrate and finalize adoptions for 8 families and 14 foster care children.

This event will be presided over by Judges Barbara A. Kronlund and Michael D. Coughlan and will begin with a brief welcome and introduction. Judge Kronlund stated “This is truly a win-win opportunity. New families are created before noon; deserving children are given forever homes knowing they are truly wanted and truly loved. These children can start to live the lives they deserve and so desperately want – as the beautiful children they are, with family they can depend on and with whom they can create loving memories.”

Volunteers from the court and agencies participate in this special day by working together to celebrate the joys of adoption and encourage more families and individuals to give children permanent families through adoption.

National Adoption Day has been celebrated across the nation on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and to raise awareness of the more than 120,000 children and youth in foster care waiting to find a permanent and loving family. Over the past 21 years, the nationwide collective effort of judges, lawyers, court staff, foster professionals, child advocates, sheriff personnel, and many others has made the dreams of over 7,500 children and youth come true by working on this one special day to finalize adoptions for children and youth in foster care.

For your convenience, here is information regarding the event:

  • Begins at 9:00AM, Dept. 3D
  • Court opens to families at 8:15AM
  • Welcome/Introduction: Judges Barbara A. Kronlund and Michael D. Coughlan
  • Stockton Courthouse – 180 E. Weber Ave., Stockton, CA 95202
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only invited guests and members of the press are invited to attend court in person. The adoption finalization proceedings will be live-streamed on the Superior Court’s YouTube Channel so that the public can watch this uplifting event.