Interim Court Executive Officer Appointment

Presiding Judge Michael D. Coughlan, with the concurrence of the executive committee of Judges, appointed Mrs. Stephanie Bohrer as interim Court Executive Officer for the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin.  This appointment is effective on Monday, May 15, 2023.

Mrs. Bohrer’s appointment is to replace Brandon E. Riley, who is leaving to become the Court Executive Officer of the San Francisco Superior Court.

Mrs. Bohrer has been the Assistant Court Executive Officer (ACEO) for three years. She directs court operations, including the clerk’s offices, courtroom operations, interpreter and jury services, and self-help. She is also the Court’s chief labor negotiator and the public information officer.

Bohrer has served the San Joaquin Superior Court for 18 years. Before becoming ACEO, she was the Human Resources Manager, responsible for the human resource needs of 340 employees and subordinate judicial officers. Her work resulted in technological innovations, policy development, successive collective bargaining agreements, and various court services.

From 2005 to 2015, Ms. Bohrer worked as a Management Analyst for the Court. She served as the Court’s Public Information Officer, supervised jury operations, managed the civil mediation program, and was the case coordinator for the Unified Family Court.

Mrs. Bohrer holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Davis. She also earned a certificate in Judicial Administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Presiding Judge Coughlan had this to say, “Brandon was an outstanding CEO.  I wish him continued success in his new role as CEO of the San Francisco Superior Court. There is no one more capable or qualified than Stephanie, and I am confident she will do an excellent job.”

The outgoing CEO, Mr. Riley, said “I am confident in Ms. Bohrer’s abilities. She is revered positively among her peers and subordinates, and I’m sure she will continue to be a valued resource to the Court.” 


2022-2023 San Joaquin Civil Grand Jury Releases report on San Joaquin County Custodial Facilities: Failing to Comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003

Stockton, CA —  Today, the 2022-2023 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury released its report investigating San Joaquin County custodial facilities’ compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA).  PREA helps to create a safe and secure detention system by addressing the issue of sexual abuse in detention facilities and protecting the rights and safety of individuals. Failure to meet standards under PREA can result in serious consequences for detainees, inmates, and residents, and an inability to protect vulnerable individuals housed at the County custodial facilities.

The Grand Jury cited multiple media reports of sexual abuse in San Joaquin County custodial facilities and review of complaints stemming from allegations of sexual and physical abuse occurring in those facilities as the reason for their investigation.  The Grand Jury investigated the policies, procedures, and standards established and applicable to San Joaquin County custodial facilities to combat sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and     physical abuse against and by those in custody. The Grand Jury toured the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Detention Facility, the Juvenile Detention Facility, and the Lodi Police Department Jail to determine if federally mandated standards are being met. They reviewed numerous documents, video files, and regulations. They also conducted five separate interviews.

In its investigation, the Grand Jury’s found the custodial facilities in the County did not have comprehensive knowledge of all PREA provisions and were not in compliance. Based on its findings, the Grand Jury recommended several corrective actions:

· audit reports for the County Jail and Juvenile Detention Facility be completed by a Certified PREA Auditor and submitted to the Department of Justice every three years as required by PREA Standards;

· all County custodial facilities provide detainees, inmates, and juvenile residents with access to better written and comprehensive PREA materials;

· detainees, inmates, and juvenile residents at County custodial facilities be provided with all of the required PREA information during the screening and intake process and then again during subsequent PREA training;

· detainees, inmates, and juvenile residents be given information on how to file a confidential report in private with an outside agency or entity;

· complete the installation of video monitoring equipment to enable video coverage for all interactions between staff and inmates, eliminate blind spots, and add video capabilities in interrogation rooms at the County Jail; and

· provide a written policy and procedure describing how juvenile residents (under the age of 18) and older residents (who are 18-25 years of age) housed at the County Juvenile Detention Facility maintain separation when required.

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


Esmeralda Zendejas 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 Esmeralda Zendejas to the position of Superior Court
Judge. Ms. Zendejas was appointed to the bench on February 17, 2023, by Governor
Newsom to fill a new position created on July 1, 2022.

Ms. Zendejas has served as an Attorney at the Department of Industrial Relations since 2022.
She served as a Deputy Attorney General at the California Attorney General’s Office from
2020 to 2022. She was Agricultural Worker Program Director at California Rural Legal
Assistance Inc. in 2020 and held several positions there from 2006 to 2020, including Staff
Attorney and Agricultural Worker Program Regional Director.

Ms. Zendejas is an active member of the legal committee. She has been a member of the
Executive Committee for the Labor and Employment Law Section of the California Lawyers
Association since 2019 and a member of the Cruz Reynoso Bar Association since 2021. At
the local level, she has been a Mock Trial volunteer since 2019 and served in a number or
roles with the San Joaquin County Bar Association, including on the Executive Committee of
the Women’s Lawyers Section and a First Impressions volunteer.

Ms. Zendejas was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2008. She earned a Juris
Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Political Science and Spanish from University of California, Davis.
“I am privileged to have been appointed to serve on the bench in the County of San Joaquin
and, as a native of Stockton, I commit to help carry forward justice on behalf of all members
of this community,” said Ms. Zendejas.

A state Judicial Needs Assessment has found that the San Joaquin Superior Court is in need
of additional judgeships. The appointment of Ms. Zendejas will greatly assist the Court’s goal
in continuing to provide access to justice for court litigants.

Ms. Zendejas’s formal and public swearing in ceremony has yet to be scheduled.


San Joaquin County Superior Court Seeking Applicants to Serve on the 2023-2024 Civil Grand Jury

Stockton, CA — The San Joaquin County Superior Court is seeking applicants to serve on the fiscal year 2023-2024 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury.  The deadline for application submission is March 17, 2023.

Applications can be obtained by calling (209) 992-5695.   Applications can also be found on the court’s website at:

Members of the 2023-2024 Civil Grand Jury will begin serving July 1, 2023. The Grand Jury is comprised of nineteen citizens whose names are randomly selected from  applicants nominated by the Judges of the Superior Court.  The Civil Grand Jury inquires into and investigates the functions and operations of governmental bodies, agencies and public    officials within San Joaquin County, as well as investigates complaints received from the public.  Past reports have focused on juvenile group homes, community college and school districts, jail operations, special districts and housing authorities.

Positive comments from recent past grand jurors regarding their involvement and their  experiences include, “A strong desire to serve our citizens and making sure all  governmental agencies are doing their job.”  “I love the fact that jurors have vast knowledge in the field they have worked in, which give first-hand experience to topics   discussed . . .” and, “Meeting a wide variety of community members and working together.”

Applicants must be able to work in-person and have the ability to work remotely via telephonic or video appearance (a smart phone and internet access are required). 

A Grand Juror must be at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen who has resided in San Joaquin County for at least one year, possess sufficient knowledge of the English language, and is not now serving as a trial juror or elected public official. Qualified applicants may be interviewed by a Superior Court Judge.  The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office will conduct background investigations, which includes a record check from law enforcement agencies.

Public Notice: Lodi Branch Court to Close Effective March 1, 2023

Effective Wednesday, March 1, 2023, Department L-1 and the Clerk’s Office at the Lodi Branch Court will close.  Department L-1 is located at 217 W. Elm Street, Lodi, CA 95240.  Department L-2 and adjoining Clerk’s Office located at 315 W. Elm Street closed earlier this year in April.

Criminal matters currently scheduled in Department L-1 on or after March 1, 2023 will be heard in Stockton.  Parties to cases will receive notice of their new court date and  department at the Stockton courthouse.  All related filings are to be filed at the Stockton courthouse. 

The Court is facing a shortage in judges due to recent and upcoming retirements.  These retirements significantly decrease judicial officer resources and necessitate the closure of the Lodi Branch Court.  Judicial officer vacancies are filled through appointment by the Governor and it is unknown when appointments will be made.  Although the closure is meant to be a temporary measure, there is no  estimate on when the Lodi Branch Court will reopen.


Public Notice: San Joaquin County Superior Court Seeks Public Comment re FY 2022-2023 Proposed Budget

Pursuant to Government Code section 68511.7, the Superior Court of California, County of
San Joaquin is providing the public with notice and opportunity for comment prior to
adoption of the trial court’s Proposed Baseline Budget Plan for Fiscal Year 2022-2023.

The Court will accept written comments on the Proposed Baseline Budget Plan (attached)
through 5 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 2022. Per Government Code section 68511.7(d), the
Court is not obligated to provide responses to the comments received. Please submit your
comments electronically to or by mail to:

Stephanie Bohrer
Assistant Court Executive Officer
180 E. Weber Ave., Ste. 1306E
Stockton, CA 95202

The proposed budget will be adopted by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court five (5)
business days following the posting of this notice.


National Adoption Day

NOVEMBER 19, 2022, 9 a.m.

Stockton Courthouse – Jury Assembly Room

180 E. Weber Ave., Stockton, CA

Stockton, CA — On Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 9 a.m., the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin, will host National Adoption Day with San Joaquin County Human Services Agency,  Wayfinder Family Services Lilliput, Triad Family Services, Sierra Vista Child & Family Services, and Project Linus. This year’s event will celebrate and finalize adoptions for 27 families and 36 children.

This event will be presided over by Judges Barbara A. Kronlund, Anthony P. Lucaccini, Michael D. Coughlan and Erin Guy-Castillo and will begin with a brief welcome and introduction. Also, a couple adoptive families will share their own personal story.

Upon reflection of this eventful day, Judge Erin Guy-Castillo said, “The Court is honored to again host this special event filled with love, warmth, and gratitude.  Our County is better because of the people who step up and help children in their time of need.”

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 113,000 children and youth in foster care waiting to find a permanent and loving family. Over the past 23 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 75,000 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 9:00 a.m., Jury Assembly Room 12th floor
– Court opens to families at 8:15 a.m.
– Welcome/Introduction: Judges Barbara A. Kronlund, Anthony P. Lucaccini, Michael D. Coughlan and Erin Guy-Castillo
– Stockton Courthouse – 180 E. Weber Ave., Stockton, CA
– Members of the public and press are invited to attend court in person. Press interested in recording court proceedings via TV camera and recorder, still camera, and/or audio must complete required paperwork. Please send requests to


Jonathan W. Fattarsi Appointed to San Joaquin County Superior Court Bench

Judge Jonathan W. Fattarsi

Stockton, CA — The San Joaquin County Superior Court is pleased to announce Governor Newsom’s interim appointment of judge-elect Jonathan W. Fattarsi as a Judge. Judge Fattarsi was elected to the bench by the voters of San Joaquin County during the primary election this past June. The Governor’s appointment allows him to immediately assume the position he was otherwise elected to begin in January 2023.

Judge Fattarsi served as a Commissioner at the San Joaquin County Superior Court since 2019 before his appointment as Judge. Judge Fattarsi came to the bench with extensive criminal law experience. He began his work for the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office in 2005, including as a deputy public defender and a supervisor. In thirteen years of practice, he has handled a wide variety of cases from misdemeanors to complex criminal cases.

Judge. Fattarsi was admitted to the California State Bar in June 2004. He received his Juris Doctorate from Santa Barbara College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from California State University, Stanislaus.

“I am truly honored to have been elected by the people of this community and to have this appointment from Governor Newsom. I look forward to serving San Joaquin County as a Superior Court Judge,” said Judge Fattarsi.

Judge Fattarsi fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard Giuliani.



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.