22nd Annual Adoption Saturday ~ November 20, 2021

Contact: Sonya Farnsworth                                                                                                                                                   

Telephone: (209) 992-5333                                                                                                                                                             

Email: sfarnsworth@sjcourts.org

On Saturday, November 20, 2021 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, Parents by Choice, Family Connections Christian Adoptions, AspiraNet, Alternative Family Services, and Family Extension. This year’s event will celebrate and finalize adoptions for 21 families and 29 foster care children.

This event will be presided over by Judges Barbara A. Kronlund, Seth R. Hoyt, Jr., Anthony P. Lucaccini, 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 Kronlund said, “This is truly a most heart-warming experience for everyone involved. Children, who through no fault of their own need families, find their forever homes. Families, missing something that only a beautiful child can bring to them, see their dreams fulfilled. Instant families are created; and families grow before our eyes.  And these children can all rest assured, they are truly wanted and loved because they were picked to join these select families.”

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 22 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 Room 12th floor

– Court opens to families at 8:15 a.m.

– Welcome/Introduction: Judges Barbara A. Kronlund, Seth R. Hoyt, Jr., Anthony P. Lucaccini, 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.

Court Seeks Public Comment on FY 2021-2022 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 2021-2022.

The Court will accept written comments on the Proposed Baseline Budget Plan (attached) through 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 23, 2021. 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 sbohrer@sjcourts.org or by mail to:

Stephanie Bohrer
Asst. 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 business days following the posting of this notice.


STOCKTON – Over 500 participants of the Collaborative Courts have successfully completed one of the court rehabilitation programs at the Superior Court of California, Count of San Joaquin County over the past two years. On Thursday, August 26, 2021, we celebrate this achievement with a commencement ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Stockton Arena, 248 W. Fremont St., Stockton, CA.

Collaborative Courts is a division of the Superior Court, which combines judicial supervision with monitoring and rehabilitation to reduce recidivism by addressing issues that contribute to criminal behavior. With the goal of improving public safety and client outcomes, these courts also are known as problem-solving courts. Collaborative Courts focuses on utilizing data-driven, evidence-based practices, comprehensive evaluation and assessment plans to improve the quality of the lives of the people we serve.

“Collaborative Courts and Programs would like to congratulate our graduating clients! This graduation is not only a time to celebrate, however, to reflect on the strength, perseverance and determination to succeed,” said Kelly Placeres, Director of Collaborative Courts and Programs. “This graduation would not have taken place had it not been for the support of the clients, staff members, outside agencies, and community services support. Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, the Collaborative Courts enhanced the support of their clients and the community. These challenges were met with modifications and innovative methods. The priority to continue to provide critical services and support is paramount to the success of the clients and the community.”

The graduation program will feature:

Key Note Speaker – Kevin J. Lincoln II, Mayor of Stockton. Mayor Kevin J. Lincoln was elected to office in November 2020. Born in Stockton, Mayor Lincoln was raised in an Army family and was inspired to serve others. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 2001 and began his training at the military police academy. Mayor Lincoln was later recruited by the White House Military Office and assigned to Marine One, where he would serve President George W. Bush. Following his service in the military, he worked for one of the nation’s top private security companies for eight years in the Silicon Valley.

In 2013, Mayor Lincoln felt the desire to resign his corporate position to serve the community of Stockton through full-time ministry at a local church. His decision to run for mayor stemmed from this love of people, and desire to serve the City of Stockton. He will focus on the fundamental needs of the community and build bridges of trust to address and resolve issues including homelessness, public safety, civic engagement, and economic development, among others. Mayor Lincoln has an Associates of Arts in Business, Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and a Master’s Degree in Executive Leadership. The Mayor and his wife Bonnie have been married for 19 years and have two wonderful children.

Graduate Speaker: Mark Castaneda. Mr. Castaneda came to our Drug Court in custody, homeless with nowhere to go. Since his graduation in Aug 2020, he enrolled at Delta College to major in Mathematics, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and a spot on the Dean’s List. He volunteers his time to be a part of SJDC Rising Scholars (supporting housing insecure students), Phoenix Project (supporting formerly incarcerated students), MESA (supporting the science/tech/engineering/math students) and is the Treasurer of the club SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers). He was recently accepted into the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars. He is set to transfer to UOP in the Spring of 2022 where he has changed his major and is pursuing a BS in Engineering Physics.

Collaborative Courts, a division fully supported by grants, includes Drug Court (Track 1 and 2); Dependency Drug Court (PROP 1 and 2); DUI Court (Track 1 and 2); Parole Reentry Court; Veterans Court, three AB109 reentry court – Compliance Court, Monitoring Court, Mandatory Supervision Court; and the “Choices and Consequences” prevention program, which are school presentations that aim to deter middle school and high school students from using drugs and alcohol.

For more information, please contact Kelly Placeres at 992-5225.

Receipt of Annual Allocation of the Trial Court Budget After Enactment of the Budget Act of 2021

Receipt of Annual Allocation of the Trial Court Budget After Enactment of the Budget Act of 2021

The Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin is in receipt of the annual allocation of the 2021-2022 trial court budget from the Judicial Council of California following the enactment of the Budget Act of 2021.

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:

2020-2021 San Joaquin County Grand Jury Releases Report on SUSD Board of Trustees

On July 21, 2021, the San Joaquin County 2020-2021 Civil Grand Jury released its report investigating the Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees (SUSD). The most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees is to recruit, hire, and retain a superintendent to lead the district with a long-range vision for district programs and activities that focus on the achievement and well-being of all students.

The 2020-2021 Grand Jury received numerous complaints concerning the dysfunction of the SUSD Board of Trustees. Additionally, there have been media accounts describing conflicts within the district, especially among board members. After reviewing these complaints and media reports, the Grand Jury opened an investigation into the SUSD Board of Trustees.

In its investigation, the Grand Jury conducted 37 interviews, performed on-site visits, and reviewed relevant materials to ascertain the underlying causes of the dysfunction within the administration. Over the past 15 years, SUSD has had a revolving door of superintendents that made it difficult, if not impossible, for changes that lead to increased student achievement to take effect. The Grand Jury found the Trustees misunderstood and disregarded their roles and responsibilities, ignored best hiring practices, violated governance norms, and lacked transparency and public accessibility. Trustees abused their leadership roles to pursue personal disagreements between members and the frequent turnover of superintendents made it easier for board members to act inappropriately and, at times, exceed the limits of their authority.

The Grand Jury recommends the Board of Trustees publicly and officially affirm their commitment to change, adhere to their own standards of governance, and provide transparency and accountability to the public.

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

2020-2021 San Joaquin County Grand Jury Report on the City of Manteca: A City Government in Turmoil

On July 15, 2021, the San Joaquin County 2020-2021 Civil Grand Jury released its report investigating the City of Manteca. The Civil Grand Jury’s duty is to address citizens’ concerns regarding the operation of local government entities. The city government of Manteca is led by a Mayor, City Council, and a City Manager who, collectively, manage the City’s finance, fire, police, public works, and parks and recreation departments.

The 2019-2020 Grand Jury opened an investigation into the City of Manteca after receiving several complaints but was unable to complete it during its term. Since then, the City of Manteca has been the subject of numerous media reports about the loss of several key employees in a noticeably short period of time, and more recently, reports in reference to serious financial issues. The 2020-2021 Grand Jury received additional complaints from concerned residents and decided to open an investigation. In its investigation, the Grand Jury conducted more than 20 interviews with city management, staff, and members of the city council. The Grand Jury also reviewed documents, media accounts, and relevant internet websites.

The Grand Jury found an overall lack of leadership, due to the promotions of unqualified individuals into executive-level positions, created a dysfunctional administration that failed to effectively manage city operations and fostered a hostile working environment leaving staff overworked and fearful for their jobs. The mayor was elected in November 2018 by Manteca voters and followed through on campaign promises to rid the city of department heads that were perceived to be slowing down progress. The newly appointed executives lacked the experience, qualifications, and financial acumen necessary for effective management of city operations resulting in inconsistent employment practices, insufficient training and development, and an uninformed reorganization plan that more experienced managers could have avoided.

The Grand Jury recommends the City of Manteca develop, implement, and adhere to a transparent set of personnel policies and procedures that will ensure institutional knowledge is maintained during periods of transition and employees are properly trained. Additionally, the City of Manteca should strengthen its auditing activities, internal and external, with better oversight by elected and appointed officials to avoid future financial blunders.
The public is encouraged to read the complete report by visiting the Grand Jury’s website.

California Judicial Mentor Program


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.


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.

San Joaquin County Bar Association Launches Unity Bar In Honor of Justice William J. Murray, Jr.

San Joaquin County Bar Association Launches Unity Bar In Honor of Justice William J. Murray, Jr. The San Joaquin County Bar Association has launched a new section of the Bar named The Justice William J. Murray, Jr. Unity Bar Section of the San Joaquin County Bar Association. The new section of the Bar will strive to bring together members of various affinity groups along with those who are not identified with any particular group, in the pursuit of promoting unity and diversity in the legal profession. This section will provide a united front for Bar members to stand collectively in solidarity against all forms of racism and discrimination of any type, and
promote unity and solidarity with one another.

The Unity Bar is named in honor of Justice William J. Murray, Jr. because he is a visionary, who tried to start a Unity Bar in San Joaquin County 15 years ago, but he was told there wasn’t a need for one. The Bar believes Justice Murray is deserving of recognition and honor for his tireless leadership to our bench and bar, as well as for his positive efforts throughout the entire state’s judicial system, and extensive contributions to legal and judicial education, as well as impactful and extensive community outreach. He is a jurist of great distinction who has made significant contributions to our profession and has consistently promoted unity, fairness, access, and justice.

Justice Murray served on San Joaquin County Superior Court’s bench for fifteen years until he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California’s Third District Court of Appeal. Prior to his appointment as a judge, he served nearly ten years with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. Known for his community outreach activities, he was a cocreator of the court’s innovative and award winning Court-Community Leadership & Liaison
Program and Jury Compliance and Education Program.

The first session of the Unit Bar will be held on May 18, 2021, from 12:30 to 1:30PM Judge Connie Callahan, Justice William J. Murray, Jr., Judicial Appointments Secretary Luis Cespedes, and other charismatic speakers are scheduled for the introductory Zoom meeting. The event is limited to bench and Bar members.