San Joaquin County Superior Court Seeking Applicants to Serve on the 2024-2025 Civil Grand Jury

Stockton, CA — The San Joaquin County Superior Court is seeking applicants to serve on the fiscal year 2024-2025 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury.  The deadline for application submission is March 22, 2024.

Applications can be obtained by calling (209) 992-5695.   Applications can also be found on the court’s website at:  http://www.sjcourts.org/general-info/civil-grand-jury

Members of the 2024-2025 Civil Grand Jury will begin serving July 1, 2024. 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.

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PUBLIC NOTICE: MANTECA BRANCH COURT CLOSED ON MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 2024

Due to an unforeseen facility emergency, the Manteca Branch Court was closed for business today, January 5, 2024 and will remain closed through Monday, January 8, 2024.  No in person service will be provided at the Manteca Branch Court during this temporary closure.

If you have a scheduled hearing for Monday, January 8, 2024, please call the Clerk’s Office for additional information. 

(209) 239-1316 Criminal and Traffic
(209) 239-9188 Civil Harassment
(209) 239-9188 Unlawful Detainer (Landlord-Tenant)

All filings are to be filed at the Stockton courthouse during this period. 

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HON. GUS C. BARRERA II-PRESIDING JUDGE and HON. LANCE JACOT-ASSISTING PRESIDING JUDGE for 2024 and 2025

Stockton, CA — Judge Gus C. Barrera, II is the new Presiding Judge and Judge Lance Jacot is the new Assistant Presiding Judge. Their terms commenced January 1, 2024 and run through December 31, 2025.

Judge Barrera served as the former Assistant Presiding Judge in 2022 – 2023 and replace outgoing Presiding Judge Michael D. Coughlan. Judge Barrera earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Brigham Young University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a partner and attorney at the Law Offices of Allan Jose and Gus Barrera II from 2005 to 2010. Judge Barrera served as a deputy district attorney at the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2005 and was an associate at David Allen and Associates from 1997 to 1998. He had been a sole practitioner since 2011 when he was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in December 2016.

Judge Jacot is currently assigned as a criminal trial judge.  Judge Jacot was appointed to the bench by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2019. He was a sole practitioner from 2010 to 2019 and served as a deputy public  defender at the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office from 1999 to 2010. Judge Jacot earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings). 

The Presiding Judge, with the assistance of the Court Executive Officer, is responsible for leading the court, establishing policies, and allocating resources in a manner that promotes equal access to justice, maximizes the use of judicial and other resources, increases efficiency in court operations, and enhances service to the public. The Assistant Presiding Judge shall act in the absence of the Presiding Judge and will then assume the role of the Presiding Judge when the two-year term as Assistant expires.

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT FISCAL YEAR 2023-2024 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 2023-24.

The Court will accept written comments on the Proposed Baseline Budget Plan(below) through 5 p.m. on Monday, December 4, 2023. 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 eochoa@sjcourts.org by mail to:

Erica A Ochoa
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.

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NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY – November 18, 2023

Stockton, CA — On Saturday, November 18, 2023 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, Aspiranet, Wayfinder Family Services, Family Extension, Parents by Choice, Share Homes FFA, and ICPC. This year’s event will celebrate and finalize adoptions for 23 families and 33 children.

This event will be presided over by Judges Michael D. Coughlan, Anthony P. Lucaccini, Erin Guy-Castillo, and Michael J. Mulvihill Jr. Judge Erin Guy-Castillo will begin with a brief welcome and introduction. 

Upon reflection of this eventful day, Judge Erin Guy-Castillo said, “The San Joaquin Superior Court is honored and thrilled to participate again in National Adoption Day. We have an opportunity to not only formalize forever families for so many children, but are continuing to raise awareness about the children in our community who are in need of foster care or are eligible and waiting for adoptions.  We want this meaningful event to honor and celebrate those who have come forward to transform the lives of children through adoption. We are grateful as a court to participate in this joyous event that makes a difference in the lives of so many children.” Judge Michael J. Mulvihill Jr. adds, “It is truly an honor as a member of the San Joaquin Superior Court and a resident of San Joaquin County to participate in National Adoption Day.  We are so blessed as a community to have so many parents come to court and enlarge their family by adopting these children in need.  While these families may not share the same blood, the love they share is what truly makes them a family.  It is more than an honor to be part of their day and we wish them noting but love and happiness.”

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 24 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: Judge 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 mediarequest@sjcourts.org.

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GOVERNOR APPOINTS TWO JUDGES TO SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT BENCH

Stockton, CA —  On October 5, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed two new San Joaquin Superior Court Judges: Allan F. Jose and Sabrina Schneweis-Coe.  

Judge Allan F. Jose had been a Sole Practitioner since 2005. He was a Partner and Attorney at the law firm of Jose & Barrera APC from 2005 to 2016. Judge Jose served as a Deputy District Attorney at the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2005 and was an Associate at Cook Brown LLP from 2001 to 2002. He was an Associate at Murphy Pearson Bradley and Feeney from 2000 to 2001. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Linda Lofthus effective October 6, 2023. “I am both privileged and excited by this Appointment. I look forward to serving San Joaquin County and earning the trust placed in me by the Governor,” said Judge Jose.

Prior to her appointment, Judge Sabrina Schneweis-Coe served as Supervising Probate  Attorney at the San Joaquin County Superior Court since 2019. She was a Partner at Schneweis-Coe & Bakken LLP from 2014 to 2019 and Counsel at Downey Brand LLP from 2010 to 2014. She was a Partner and Owner at Schneweis-Coe & Bakken, Attorneys at Law from 2002 to 2010 and an Associate at Drobny Law Offices Inc. from 2000 to 2002. Jude Schneweis-Coe earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Anthony Lucaccini in August 2023.   “I am truly honored and humbled to have been appointed by Governor Newsom. I look forward to serving the community of San Joaquin County,” said Judge Schneweis-Coe.

Assistant Presiding Judge Gus Barrera said “I am extremely pleased with the additions of Judges  Allan F. Jose and Sabrina Schneweis-Coe to our bench.  Each of them brings a vast amount of experience and specialized knowledge that will be an asset in their future assignments.  They each have a strong work ethic and great judicial temperament.  The Court has every confidence they will excel in their new positions.”

The appointments of Judge Jose and Judge Schneweis-Coe will greatly assist the Court’s goal in continuing to provide access to justice for court litigants.  After these appointments, the Court has three judicial vacancies that need to be filled. In addition, a state Judicial Needs Assessment has found that the San Joaquin County Superior Court is in need of additional judgeships.

Both judges’ formal and public swearing in ceremonies have yet to be scheduled.

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PUBLIC NOTICE: RESTORATION OF CLERK’S OFFICE HOURS DURING THE LUNCH HOUR

Effective Monday, October 2, 2023, the Superior Court of  California, County San Joaquin, will restore counter and phone service during the lunch hour. The restoration of services during the lunch hour will provide court users the opportunity to complete their business during the 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. hour across all branch locations in Stockton, Manteca, and French Camp.

Court service will be available to the public from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays.

Clerk’s Offices can also be contacted as follows:

• Support Online: Questions can be submitted via the support link on the Court’s website at https://www.sjcourts.org/online-services/support/.

There are drop boxes located within each court facility. E-filing is available for Civil,    Family Law, Criminal, and Probate filings. For the most current information on the Efiling guidelines and Efiling information visit https://appfile.sjcourts.org/

David E. French Selected as Next Court Commissioner

Stockton, CA — The Superior Court of California, County San Joaquin, is pleased to announce the selection of David E. French as its newest Court Commissioner. Mr. French will begin his new role with the Court on October 16, 2023. His appointment fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Tameem Mardini.

Mr. French comes to the bench with extensive criminal law experience. Mr. French has worked for the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office since 2001, most recently as Supervising Deputy District Attorney. Prior to working in the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. French worked with the San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project.

Assisting Presiding Judge Gus C. Barrera, II stated, “The court is excited about having David join our bench as our newest commissioner. David brings a wealth of experience, integrity, and knowledge to this important position. His roots to our community are very deep. He understands the tremendous responsibility that comes with this position. The bench has every confidence that he will serve those that appear before him in an ethical and professional manner.”

Mr. French was admitted to the California State Bar in June 2004. He received his Juris Doctor from Humphrey’s College School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University.

Mr. French said “I’m honored to be selected as San Joaquin County’s newest Superior Court Commissioner. After advocating for the safety of the citizens of San Joaquin County for over 20 years, I now look forward to serving my community in this new role.”

A commissioner is an attorney selected by the judges of the court and given power to hear and make decisions concerning certain legal matters, including family and juvenile court cases, as well as criminal, traffic, small claims and unlawful detainer cases. Mr. French’s formal and public swearing in ceremony is scheduled for October 19, 2023.

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San Joaquin County Superior Court Appointment of Assistant Court Executive Officer – Deputy Jury Commissioner, Erica A. Ochoa

Stockton, CA —  Court Executive Officer Stephanie Bohrer is pleased to announce the appointment of Erica A. Ochoa to the position of Assistant Court Executive Officer –  Deputy Jury Commissioner.   Ms. Ochoa will oversee court operations, including the clerk’s offices, courtroom operations, interpreter and jury services.  She will also serve as the Court’s Public Information Officer.  

Ms. Ochoa has served the San Joaquin Superior Court for 26 years, most recently as the Court Records Manager where she was responsible for records management activities,   including the maintenance, processing, distribution, and security of the Court’s records and exhibits and acting as deputy custodian of records.  Prior to her role as the Court Records Manager, Ms. Ochoa held positions as a file clerk and deputy clerk in the Municipal Court before trial court consolidation and Legal Process Clerk, Courtroom Clerk, and was assigned to work in Traffic, Criminal, Family Law, Family Support, Civil, and Small Claims departments.

In addition to Ms. Ochoa’s wealth of court operations experience, she comes into her new role with significant experience successfully managing large court-wide projects, including  coordinating the closure of the Court’s records facility and managing the Court’s digitization project where she ensures that court case documents and files are converted into electronic format accurately and efficiently.  This project has allowed the Court to provide increased access to case information for internal and external court users.  

Ms. Ochoa holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Language and Literature with a minor in Business Management from the University of the Pacific.  She also earned a certificate in Judicial Administration from California State University, Sacramento.   

Ms. Ochoa had this to say about her appointment, “I am honored and grateful to be selected as the next Assistant Court Executive Officer. We have great judges and court staff and I look forward to working with all of them in this new capacity.  Together we will continue to improve our court for the benefit of the community we serve.”  

Ms. Bohrer said “With Ms. Ochoa’s broad court experience and proven leadership, I am confident she will do exceedingly well in her new role and will help the Court to deliver improved services to the public.”

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Receipt of Annual Allocation of the Trial Court Budget After Enactment of the Budget Act of 2023

Stockton, CA —  The Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin is in receipt of the annual allocation of the 2023-2024 trial court budget from the Judicial Council of California following the enactment of the Budget Act of 2023.

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 2023-24

· Trial Court Budget | Fiscal Year 2023-24 Allocation of Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act Funding

· Trial Court Budget | State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund Allocations for 2023-24

· Trial Court Budget | Fiscal Year 2023-24 Allocation of Court-Appointed Juvenile Dependency Counsel Funding

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