April 17, 2012 - Annual Judges Forum

About Us2012 Past MeetingsApril 17, 2012 - Annual Judges Forum

Court room procedures, sentencing, judges' parameters and who are all those people in the court room.... What if you have to be a witness. Become familiar with the court room. It's good to be an observer in court cases.

Speakers were the Honorable Judges Ariadne Symons and Paul Marigonda. We set up the community room as a court room. It was a great opportunity to have a conversation and really try to understand how they serve the Court System. Near the end of the meeting after questions both Judges brought a story of - "How would you sentence this person?" This is a popular interaction of information.

Items that were discussed:
California Code of Judicial Ethics - Link to pdf overview
The book that Judge Symons brought was about 3 inches thick!
Canon 1. A judge shall uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
Canon 2. A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge’s activities.
Canon 3. A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially and diligently.
Canon 4. A judge shall so conduct the judge’s quasi-judicial and extrajudicial activities as to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial obligations.
Canon 5. A judge or judicial candidate shall refrain from inappropriate political activity.
Canon 6. Compliance with the code of judicial ethics.

Questions that were submitted previously to the meeting and were discussed:

Why does it take so long, in Santa Cruz, for a case to be heard and adjudicated?
How does our number of prosecutions compare with other counties in California?
Is our crime rate high for a community our size?
Can the court calendar, for the upcoming week, be posted online for the public?
Can the court put online the outcome of each case?
Is there anyway the major "players" in the court can have microphones clipped to their clothing? It is very difficult to hear a lot of the time. Especially when lawyers have their backs to the court.
How can every citizen help you do your job?
How come in sentencing when fines need to be paid – there are months before the first payment is ever made? How come it doesn’t start the next month?
How has the the role and work of judges changed in consideration of the Public Safety Realignment program where nonviolent offenders are not sent to state prison?
Judge Marigonda - AB109 topic brought up discussed where we stand in Santa Cruz, how this has affected sentencing and who can fall under this sentencing
Do they have any suggestions on how community members can be more involved and aware of cases? Have they had any experience with court watch programs? We did not get to the Court Watch subject

Felony Court Process Mapped Out

Misdemeanor Court Process Mapped Out

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