Starting November 1, 2022, Municipal Services Bureau (MSB) will no longer be accepting payments for court ordered debt.  Payments are to be made directly to the Court.  During this transition, the Court is providing MSB clients a one-time 60-day grace period to make their current payment. No late fees will be charged to MSB clients during November and December 2022.  

MSB clients need to continue making their agreed upon monthly payments. Checks, money orders or cashier’s checks should be made payable to San Joaquin County Superior Court.  

If submitting payment by mail, please send check, cashier check or money order (NO CASH) to:

San Joaquin County Superior Court, 180 E. Weber Ave, Suite 203, Stockton, CA  95202

If making a payment in person, you can pay with cash, credit, debit, check, cashier check or money order.  


San Joaquin County Superior Court Now Offers Online Ability to Pay Tool for Infractions

Stockton, CA —  As part of the San Joaquin County Superior Court’s ongoing effort to increase access to justice, the court became the newest California court to begin using MyCitations: an online option for people struggling to pay fines related to infractions.

In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice “Price of Justice Initiative” grant, was awarded to the Judicial Council of California. Grant funds were used for development and implementation of the MyCitations: Ability to Pay Tool to be used by all courts in California.

The tool is currently available in 14 counties with additional courts offering the tool in the coming months. The tool allows court users to look up citations online, answer a series of simple questions and submit a request to the court for a possible reduction in the amount owed based on their financial situation. Users can also request a payment plan, more time to pay, or community service.

This new option saves both time and resources, and allows the public to make requests without the need to appear in court. A link to the MyCitations tool can be found on the court’s website or reached directly at


Danielle Dunham-Ramirez Appointed to San Joaquin County Superior Court Bench

Stockton, CA — The Judges of the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin are pleased to announce the appointment of Danielle Dunham-Ramirez to the position of Superior Court Judge.

Ms. Dunham-Ramirez was appointed to the to the bench by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roger Ross. Ms. Dunham-Ramirez has served as served as a Deputy County Counsel since 2000. Since 2016, Ms. Dunham-Ramirez has served as the Supervising Child Protective Services Counsel at the Office of the San Joaquin County Counsel. In addition to her duties as a Supervising Attorney, Ms. Dunham-Ramirez was also responsible for advising employees of the San Joaquin County Human Services Agency on issues involving the abuse, neglect, and abandonment
of children.

Prior to her employment at the County Counsels Office, Ms. Dunham-Ramirez served as a Deputy Public Defender at the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office where she was appointed by the Court to represent indigent adults and appointed to represent children who were charged with crimes.
Ms. Dunham-Ramirez was admitted to the California State Bar in 1997. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Lincoln Law School of Sacramento.

Ms. Dunham-Ramirez commented on her appointment, “I am humbled and truly grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve the people of San Joaquin County as a Superior Court Judge. Thank you Governor Newsom and Secretary Cespedes for this opportunity.

In 24 years of working in this legal community, I am keenly aware of how uniquely dedicated and passionate its members are at ensuring that San Joaquin County maintains a reputation of one the state’s most exemplary legal communities. I look forward to the awesome responsibility of being a Superior Court Judge and promise I will dedicate myself to ensuring just and fair consideration of issues and cases that come before me.”

Ms. Dunham-Ramirez’s formal and public swearing in ceremony has yet to be scheduled.


Veterans Treatment Court Graduation

1St Graduation under Collaborative Court

August 12, 2022 – 10 a.m.

180 E. Weber Ave., Dept. 3D, Stockton, California

Stockton, CA —  The San Joaquin County Superior Court will hold its Veterans Treatment Court graduation on Friday, August 12, 2022 at 10 a.m. in Department 3D at the Stockton Courthouse, 180 E. Weber Avenue. Court Executive Officer Brandon E. Riley, will preside over the ceremony. A mission of the Veterans Treatment Court is to identify eligible veterans in the criminal justice system and place them into treatment and court   supervision as an alternative to incarceration. This is the 10th ceremony since the Veterans Court was founded in 2015, and first under Collaborative Courts. 

The Veterans Court Graduation will honor 57 military veterans who have successfully completed an intensive program and have pledged to keep marching towards recovery. The program is a combination of judicial supervision, justice partner collaborative efforts and appropriate treatment and support.

A growing number of veterans suffer from trauma (such as traumatic brain injury), mental health conditions (such as PTSD) and substance abuse disorders. Veterans Treatment Court connects these men and women to the benefits and treatment they have earned. There are now more than 350 of these courts in the United States.

“This event allows us to recognize these men and women who worked hard to reach all court mandates. We are proud to fulfill our obligation to bring services, treatment, and  support to our veterans in their fight against the effects of trauma,” said Kelly Placeres, Director of Collaborative Courts.


Public Notice: Receipt of Annual Allocation of the Trial Court Budget After Enactment of the Budget Act of 2022

Stockton, CA —  The Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin is in receipt of the annual allocation of the 2022-2023 trial court budget from the Judicial Council of California following the enactment of the Budget Act of 2022.

California Rule of Court 10.620(f) requires trial courts to provide notice no later than 15 court days after “receipt of the annual allocation of the trial court budget from the Judicial Council after enactment of the Budget Act.” The Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee’s reports to the council provide helpful discussion and detail behind the allocations and can be viewed by following the links below on the California Courts website:

· Trial Court Budget: Allocations from the Trial Court Trust Fund and Trial Court Allocations for 2022-23

· Trial Court Budget | 2022-23 Civil Assessment Backfill Allocation Methodology

· Trial Court Budget: State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund Allocations for 2022-23  

· Trial Court Budget: Fiscal Year 2022-23 Allocation of Court-Appointed Juvenile Dependency Counsel Funding



Stockton, CA — Today, June 30, 2022, the 2021-2022 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury released its final consolidated report. The final consolidated report contains investigative reports, findings and recommendations developed in the 2021-2022 term. Civil grand jurors examine and investigate local governmental activities within San Joaquin County. The responsibilities of the civil grand jury encompass the examination of all aspects of county government, including school and special assessment districts, to ensure that the county is being governed lawfully, efficiently and that public monies are being handled appropriately. The grand jury may conduct investigations of public agencies and the administration and affairs of any city within the county.

Hon. George J. Abdallah, Jr., Supervising Judge of the San Joaquin County Grand Juries commented on the 2021-2022 Civil Grand Jury’s work, saying, “The Judges of the Superior Court of California and the citizens of the County of San Joaquin thank and commend the 2021-2022 Grand Jurors for their conscientious efforts on behalf of all San Joaquin County citizens. The Grand Jurors undertook and completed their duties with great industry, intelligence and care in keeping with the long tradition of San Joaquin County Grand Juries.”

Today, also marks the day the members of the 2022-2023 Civil Grand Jury will be selected and sworn in. The selection and swearing in will take place in Department 3D at 3:00 p.m. The Civil Grand Jury is comprised of 19 citizens who are impaneled annually for a one-year term. The 2022-2023 term begins July 1, 2022.

The public is encouraged to read the final consolidated report by visiting the Grand Jury’s website.


2021-2022 San Joaquin Civil Grand Jury Release Report on Lathrop-Manteca Fire District

Stockton, CA — On June 23, 2022, the 2021-2022 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury released its report investigating the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District (LMFD) in San Joaquin County. The Civil Grand Jury’s duty is to address citizens’ concerns regarding the operation of local government entities.

The LMFD became the focus of public scrutiny following media reports alleging misconduct at a training retreat held in Napa in February of 2021. These media reports detailed instances of inappropriate behavior and the improper use of the district’s credit card for personal services and items prohibited under the district’s credit card policy. When the LMFD Board of Directors learned of these issues, a third party was employed to investigate complaints and personnel issues related to the off-site retreat. The Fire Chief, as Chief Executive Officer of the LMFD, retired from the district at the conclusion of the third party’s investigation and an interim Fire Chief was appointed. The Grand Jury decided to open an investigation after receiving a written complaint and reviewing subsequent media reports of questionable expenditures by LMFD management.

In its investigation, the Grand Jury conducted interviews with key district leadership figures, reviewed the district’s governing rules and regulations, and analyzed staff complaints to determine the depth and accuracy of the allegations against the LMFD. The Grand Jury found the Board of Directors lacked training in government oversight and district polices, inadvertently, granting the former Fire Chief near autonomous authority over the district without including a system of checks and balances or an oversight function by the Board. This lack of Board oversight contributed to a hostile work environment and exposed the LMFD to potential liability including financial penalties.

The Grand Jury’s report details the complete findings of the investigation into allegations of misconduct in the LMFD under the former Fire Chief and provides the Board of Director’s with the framework to conduct the search and screening process for hiring the permanent Fire Chief. The LMFD improvement process is a work in progress but, with a committed Board of Director’s, an opportunity exists to restore trust following the turmoil and upheaval created under previous management.
The public is encouraged to read the complete report by visiting the Grand Jury’s website.


2021-2022 San Joaquin Civil Grand Jury Releases Report on Cyber Security in San Joaquin County

Stockton, CA —  On June 20, 2022, the San Joaquin County 2021-2022 Civil Grand Jury released its report investigating cybersecurity in San Joaquin County.  Cities and local  governments store sensitive information digitally making them vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches that can be disruptive to essential service systems.

In its investigation, the Grand Jury sought to understand the cybersecurity landscape and local governments’ management of their cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities. Through research of relevant materials and guidance from information system experts, the Grand Jury was able to provide a framework for evaluating the current state of security and disaster preparedness of the Information Technology systems of San Joaquin County and the seven incorporated cities within the county.

The Grand Jury surveyed San Joaquin County IT department heads and the City Manager or City Administrator of each of the seven cities in the county, and interviewed several  other recognized IT experts, to develop nine defined expectations for adequate cybersecurity ranging from organizational charts to cyber event insurance and ransomware policies. Each agency was then evaluated and the results were tabulated to indicate whether an agency met, did not meet, or was in the process of meeting the nine defined expectations.

In this investigation, the Grand Jury found San Joaquin County to be a model agency in the realm of information technology and maintenance of cybersecurity and learned from cybersecurity experts that three key elements lead to maximum agency cybersecurity:

•    A dedicated information security position within each organization.

•    A “seat at the table” with other agency department heads in regular meetings.

•    A rigorous employee education and training program in cybersecurity matters.

The public is encouraged to read the complete report by visiting the Grand Jury’s website.


2021-2022 San Joaquin Civil Grand Jury Releases Report on SUSD: A Failing Grade in Public Trust

Stockton, CA — The 2021-2022 Grand Jury received complaints alleging the Stockton Unified School District’s (SUSD) management and Board of Trustees were not adhering to policies and procedures regarding financial transactions and funds were not being used in the best interest of students, families, staff, and district. An investigation into these allegations was opened and the Grand Jury’s report was released on June 17, 2022.

The Grand Jury focused the scope of its investigation on SUSD’s financial management, Board transparency, and Board duty of care. To gain an understanding of the issues presented in the allegations against SUSD, the Grand Jury conducted more than 30 interviews, attended virtual Board meetings, and reviewed relevant documents, websites, and newspaper articles.

Stockton Unified School District has served students and families since 1852 and is the 15th largest school district in California. The Business Services Department (BSD) is directly responsible for all financial management of the district including accounting, budgeting, investments, and compliance with State and Federal reporting requirements. Due to the retirement and separation of numerous long-term employees in the past year, the BSD was not staffed to operational levels necessary to insure proper fiscal management. Deficiencies in training, experience, and knowledge of the requirements for financial reporting resulted in missed opportunities to secure grant funding, inconsistent implementation of the district’s financial policies and procedures, and a projected budget deficit by fiscal year 2024-25, if not sooner.

The Board of Trustees often made crucial decisions with minimal data, knowledge, and consideration and showed consistent disregard for Board Bylaws. The Grand Jury found a lack of transparency and apparent conflicts of interest exist that undermine the Board’s credibility, thereby, reducing public trust and confidence in the district. These failures by senior leadership and the Board of Trustees in SUSD has put the district’s future solvency at risk and drastic changes will need to be implemented to avoid financial catastrophe.

The public is encouraged to read the complete report by visiting the Grand Jury’s website.