Kern County needs more judges

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Recent assessments of Kern County show it’s in need of 19 judges with already having 43 active judicial positions.

The Judicial Council of California and the Workload Assessment Advisory Committee are working on finalizing the need for judges throughout California counties. The need for judges is based on the amount of court filings and complexity of the caseloads being distributing to judges.

Judge Charles Brehmer, a member of WAAC, attended a meeting in San Francisco yesterday. The meeting agenda had items to address these needs of judges.

“Some calendars in the Kern County Superior Court can often involve 100 or more cases per day. Some divisions, such as Family Law, are hugely impacted by this need for more judges. Parties must often wait for months in order to obtain a hearing date for a long cause matter,” said Judge Judith K. Dulcich.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for 2019-2020 includes funding for 25 new judgeships to be distributed to California’s counties, said Dulcich. The Superior Court of Kern County is hoping that because of the high demand for judges the county will get at least two of the 25 new positions.

This is Judge Judith K. Dulcich’s official statement on the matter:

“The Judicial Council of California and the Workload Assessment Advisory Committee (“WAAC”) are currently in the process of finalizing the latest statistics involving each county’s California Superior Court’s need for additional judges based upon court filings and complexity of caseloads. The WAAC is actually meeting today, May 29, 2019. The agenda and directions for listening in can be found at: https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/waac-20190529-materials.pdf. These meeting materials contain the information about Kern’s assessed need for more judges. Kern County Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge Charles R. Brehmer is a member of the WAAC and is participating in today’s meeting.

Kern County currently has 43 authorized and funded Judicial Positions. A previous assessment demonstrated that Kern needed 10 additional judges. The current Draft Assessed Judgeship need validates that Kern County, based upon workload, is actually in need of an additional 19 judges. This places Kern County fourth in terms of demonstrated need behind San Bernardino, Riverside, and Sacramento Counties. Kern County has historically been one of the top four counties in need of additional judges.

Some calendars in the Kern County Superior Court can often involve 100 or more cases per day. Some divisions, such as Family Law, are hugely impacted by this need for more judges. Parties must often wait for months in order to obtain a hearing date for a long cause matter.

Governor Newsom’s May Revised Budget for 2019-2020 includes funding for 25 new judgeships to be allocated throughout California’s 58 counties in a much appreciated effort to partially address the large number of judicial positions needed. The Superior Court of Kern County is very hopeful that based upon need we could receive two or more of those twenty five newly funded positions.”

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