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Current News Releases

Our current news releases are available here.


Defendant Injures Self in Courtroom this Morning
October 19, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – This morning in Department C28 on the eighth floor of the Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive West in Santa Ana, Jeffrey Scott Jones, an out-of-custody defendant was convicted on charges of sexual assault of a child. Just before deputies took him into custody, he attempted to harm himself using a razor blade.
Apply Now to Be a Grand Juror!
October 3, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – The Superior Court of Orange County seeks qualified individuals to serve on the next Orange County Grand Jury. Assistant Presiding Judge Kirk Nakamura, who chairs the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee, said, “I encourage Orange County residents to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to work behind-the-scenes to improve Orange County.” He added, “I especially encourage residents of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Habra, Placentia, Santa Ana, and Westminster to apply as these cities, located in Orange County Supervisorial Districts One and Four, historically provide fewer applicants.”
David H. Yamasaki Selected as Court Executive Officer
September 29, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – David H. Yamasaki, a statewide leader in court administration, has been selected as Court Executive Officer of the Superior Court of Orange County. “Mr. Yamasaki’s exceptional experience with court administration in California will be an asset for his leadership role in our Court,” said Presiding Judge Charles Margines. Mr. Yamasaki’s appointment will be effective December 2, 2016.
Former Court Employee Faces Federal Charges
September 7, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – A former Orange County Superior Court employee faces federal criminal charges for altering case records, as announced today by the United States Attorney’s Office. This matter was discovered on March 20, 2015 by an Orange County Superior Court employee who noticed irregular entries while she was reviewing the court minutes in preparation for an upcoming hearing in a criminal case. She immediately reported the inaccuracies to her supervisor, and the Court immediately began an investigation to determine if other cases were affected. The Court employee, Jose Lopez, was quickly identified as the source of the questionable minutes and before the end of the day his system access was terminated. He was then placed on administrative leave pending further investigation, and shortly thereafter his employment with the Court terminated.
Judge Maria D. Hernandez and Alan Carlson to Receive Distinguished Service Awards
July 29, 2016
The Judicial Council of California is honoring Superior Court of Orange County Juvenile Presiding Judge Maria D. Hernandez and Chief Executive Officer Alan Carlson with its 2016 Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Carlson and Robert Oyung, Chief Information Officer of the Superior Court of Santa Clara, are being honored jointly. This is the highest award presented by the Judicial Council of California.
Judges Select Kate Lewis as Commissioner
July 5, 2016
Santa Ana, Calif. – The Judges of the Orange County Superior Court selected Kate Lewis as Commissioner, announced Presiding Judge Charles Margines. Commissioners serve as subordinate judicial officers of the Court. They may be assigned to hear cases such as family, juvenile, traffic, small claims, and landlord/tenant matters.
Carrie Carmody, Ph.D., Selected as Grand Jury Foreperson
June 20, 2016
Santa Ana, Calif. – Carrie Carmody, Ph.D., has been selected to be the foreperson of the 2016-2017 Orange County Grand Jury, announced Orange County Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge Kirk Nakamura. “Dr. Carmody has extensive experience motivating individuals to work together toward a common goal, which is an asset as she prepares to join the 19- member Grand Jury on July 1 as its leader,” said Judge Nakamura.
Salvador Reynoso Honored by Legal Aid Association of California
June 15, 2016
The Legal Aid Association of California presented Salvador “Sal” Reynoso with a Family Law Award for his work as lead attorney with the Orange County Superior Court’s Self-Help Centers. The award, presented on June 14 at the Family Law and Self-Help Conference in San Francisco, recognized his outstanding dedication and commitment to provide legal services for low-income Californians to ensure equal access to justice.
Superior Court Service Center in Mission Viejo Public Payment Windows Now Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
June 1, 2016
Mission Viejo, CA – Orange County Superior Court now accepts payments for criminal, traffic, and collection cases at its Mission Viejo facility on Mondays, as well as Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome at the public service windows; appointments are not necessary.
Judges Elect Two New Commissioners
May 25, 2016
Santa Ana, CA –The Judges of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, have elected Sheila Recio and Paul Minerich as Commissioners, announced Presiding Judge Charles Margines. Commissioners serve as subordinate judicial officers of the Court. They may be assigned to hear cases such as family, juvenile, traffic, small claims, and landlord/tenant matters.
2016/2017 Orange County Grand Jury Selected
May 19, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – Nineteen Orange County residents were selected to serve on the Orange County Grand Jury for the term that begins July 1. Hon. Charles Margines, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Orange County, presided over the May 18 court hearing with Alan Carlson, Chief Executive Officer and Jury Commissioner, randomly pulling cards printed with candidate names from the grand jury box, as required by statute. The new Grand Jury panel is comprised of 13 men and 6 women who range in age from 54 to 78 years old.
Orange County Superior Court Celebrates Juror Appreciation Week May 9–13
May 05, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – The Orange County Superior Court will celebrate Juror Appreciation Week, May 9–13, to recognize the service and participation of jurors from our community. Recognition for jurors during the second week in May was established by a special resolution passed by the California Legislature in 1998 to acknowledge the important contributions of citizens who devote their time and effort in “making the cherished right of trial by jury a reality.” Jurors in Orange County who report for service during the week of May 9–13 will receive a small memento from the court.
Special Delivery at Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange
March 24, 2016
Orange, CA – Twelve-year-old Evin Whitfield made a special delivery of stuffed animals to Orange County Superior Court’s Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange. Evin was honored at a special ceremony emceed by Judge Clay M. Smith and attended by Family Law Judges and Commissioners, court staff, and Evin’s family. Judge Smith (center, back row) presented Evin with a certificate of appreciation and thanked him for taking the initiative to “make things happen.”
Judges Elect Hon. Kirk Nakamura as Assistant Presiding Judge
January 22, 2016
Santa Ana, Calif. – The judges of the Orange County Superior Court have elected Hon.Kirk Nakamura as Assistant Presiding Judge, announced the Court’s Presiding Judge, Hon.Charles Margines. Judge Nakamura begins serving immediately as he is filling a vacant position for the term that ends December 31, 2017.
Court Extends Deadline to Apply to Serve on the Next Grand Jury
January 7, 2016
Santa Ana, CA – Hon. Charles Margines, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California,County of Orange, has extended the deadline to apply to be on the next Grand Jury to January 29, 2016. Judge Margines said, “The Court empanels a new 19-member Grand Jury each year to serve a one-year term that begins July 1. We are hopeful that by extending the application deadline, additional qualified individuals will apply, especially residents from the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, Santa Ana and Westminster.”
New Case Management System for Family and Juvenile Cases – Revised
December 11, 2015
Santa Ana, Calif. – This week the Orange County Superior Court successfully launched the use of a new case management system to manage family and juvenile cases. It is the latest step in the ongoing effort of the Superior Court to move to an all-electronic court record that provides better service to litigants and the public at reduced public cost. All-electronic court records are already in use for traffic, criminal, civil, probate, and mental health cases and, as a result, the Court has reaped vast rewards in organizational strengths and efficiencies.
Orange County Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge-Elect Withdraws
December 4, 2015
Santa Ana, Calif. – Today Judge Douglas J. Hatchimonji announced he is withdrawing from the position as the next Assistant Presiding Judge of the Orange County Superior Court for the term that begins January 1, 2016. A new election for Assistant Presiding Judge will be called at the beginning of January when the position officially becomes vacant. The Assistant Presiding Judge is elected by a majority of the sitting judges of the Superior Court.
Inspiring Hope: Orange County Juvenile Justice Summit 2015
November 24, 2015
Tustin, Calif. – The Chief Justice of California, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, addressed hundreds of participants from some 20 collaborative agencies at the Orange County Juvenile Justice Summit in Tustin on Friday, November 20. The Summit provided a forum for participants to hear presentations about the Juvenile Justice System in Orange County and opportunities for leaders to exchange ideas regarding its impact. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye commended the County of Orange for its commitment to keeping children in school and out of the juvenile justice system.
Superior Court Facility Open in Mission Viejo for Payments and Self-Help Services
November 4, 2015
Mission Viejo, CA – Orange County Superior Court now accepts payments for criminal, traffic,and collection cases at its Mission Viejo facility. Payments can be made at the public windows only on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments are not necessary and walk-ins are welcome. Drop box payments and mail are not accepted at this facility.
American Red Cross Presents Court with Excellence in Disaster Preparedness Award
November 2, 2015
Santa Ana, CA – The American Red Cross presented the Orange County Superior Court with an award for “Excellence in Disaster Preparedness” for the Court’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. The American Red Cross established the award to recognize companies, organizations, and community groups for their superior emergency preparedness plans and to share model plans with other groups.
Judges Elect Hon. Charles Margines as Presiding Judge and Hon. Douglas J. Hatchimonji as Assistant Presiding Judge
October 9, 2015
Santa Ana – The judges of the Orange County Superior Court elected Hon. Charles Margines as Presiding Judge, and Hon. Douglas J. Hatchimonji as Assistant Presiding Judge, announced the Court’s current Presiding Judge, Hon. Glenda Sanders. Presiding Judge-Elect Margines and Assistant Presiding Judge-Elect Hatchimonji will begin their two-year terms on January 1, 2016.
Apply Now to Serve on the Next Orange County Grand Jury
October 1, 2015
Santa Ana – The Orange County Superior Court encourages Orange County residents to apply to serve on the next Grand Jury. A new 19-member Grand Jury will be empaneled for a one year term that begins July 1, 2016. Hon. Charles Margines, Assistant Presiding Judge and chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee said, “I am hopeful that residents take advantage of this opportunity to work behind the scenes to improve Orange County. I would especially like to make a plea to individuals living in the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, Santa Ana, and Westminster to apply for service to represent these areas of Orange County.”
Temporary Judge Applications Are Now Available Online
August 14, 2015
Santa Ana – The Orange County Superior Court is pleased to announce the opening of the recruitment and application process for Temporary Judges. If you are an attorney who is interested in becoming a Temporary Judge, please read the Application Letter and complete the Temporary Judge Application. The Application Letter describes the minimum qualifications and selection criteria which will be used in the application process.
Presiding Judge Glenda Sanders Appoints Peter Hersh as Grand Jury Foreperson
June 23, 2015
Santa Ana – The Honorable Glenda Sanders, presiding judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, has appointed Peter Hersh as foreperson of the 2015-2016 Orange County Grand Jury. “Mr. Hersh’s leadership skills, education, and management experience in both private and public sector careers provide a strong background to lead the Grand Jury,” said Judge Sanders.
Courtroom at the Jail to Include West Justice Center Cases
June 19, 2015
Effective July 1, 2015, all in-custody misdemeanor and felony complaint arraignments from the Orange County Superior Court’s West Justice Center will be heard in Department CJ1 at the Orange County Central Jail Complex in Santa Ana. This expansion mirrors the model currently in place for cases from the Central, Harbor, and North Justice Centers.
Case File Irregularities
June 18, 2015
Santa Ana, Calif. – During the ordinary course of performing her work in March 2015 a court clerk noticed irregularities in a particular case that was scheduled for hearing. She reported the irregularities to her supervisor, who further researched the matter. Within a day or two a report was run and we became aware of a pattern where it appeared that a large number of cases had irregular minutes, all of which appeared to be entered by a lone employee. We are still in the process of completing our own internal investigation to determine the scope of the problem, but it appears that this behavior began in 2010.
2015-2016 Orange County Grand Jury Selected - Women Constitute a Majority
May 20, 2015
Santa Ana, CA –The citizens who will serve on the Orange County Grand Jury for the term that begins July 1, 2015, were selected yesterday. The Superior Court of Orange County Assistant Presiding Judge and Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee, Hon. Charles Margines, presided at the court proceeding with the Chief Executive Officer and Jury Commissioner, Alan Carlson, randomly pulling names of the candidates from the Grand Jury Box, as required by statute.
Superior Court Service Center Now Open in Mission Viejo
April 16, 2015
What is the Superior Court Service Center (SCSC)?
Since the closure of the courthouse in Laguna Hills in 2013, Orange County Superior Court has had a significant need to provide public access to court services to the over 600,000 residents living in south Orange County. The SCSC is a service location where court users can obtain self-help services. In the future, the SCSC will offer expanded services by opening filing windows for various case types and traffic services for the public.
Public Notice of Intention to Transfer Court Personal Property Pursuant to California Rule of Court, Rule 10.830
February 26, 2015
Pursuant to California Rule of Court 10.830, the Superior Court of California, County of Orange is providing at least one week notice of its intention to transfer court personal property.
Collaborative Courts News
January 28, 2015
Santa Ana, Calif. – The hardcore alcoholic who got her third DUI for drunk driving at ten in the morning – what transformed her into a clear-eyed advocate of sobriety? The meth addict who committed burglaries for years to support his habit – what changed him from a repeat offender into a clean and sober, responsible taxpayer? The combat veteran who tried unsuccessfully to quell his nightmares with drugs and always kept a weapon close at hand – what helped him to overcome his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and re-integrate into society? Not a few months in an overcrowded jail.
Deadline to Apply for Grand Jury Service Extended to January 30, 2015
January 13, 2015
Santa Ana, CA – Hon. Charles Margines, assistant presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County and chair of Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee, has extended the deadline to apply for Grand Jury service to January 30, 2015. Judge Margines said, “The Court is required to empanel a new 19-member Grand Jury to serve a one-year term that begins July 1. We are hopeful that by extending the application deadline, a sufficient number of qualified individuals will apply, especially from the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, and Santa Ana.”
The Court Wins National Award for Implementing Electronic Criminal Case Files
January 6, 2015
Santa Ana, CA – The national Court Information Technology Officers Consortium (CITOC) and the Conference of State Court Administrators honored the Superior Court of Orange County with a 2014 CITOC Innovation Award. The award for Court Business Processes recognized our Court for “notable contributions to the judiciary” for the creation and implementation of a completely electronic environment for criminal cases.

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