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Current News Releases

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Bob Niccum Selected as Grand Jury Foreperson
June 26, 2017
Santa Ana, Calif. – Bob Niccum has been selected to be foreperson of the 2017-2018 Orange County Grand Jury, announced Orange County Superior Court Presiding Judge Charles Margines. “Mr. Niccum’s career as a senior administrator for the Los Angeles Unified School District, leading staff from diverse backgrounds toward a common goal, provides him with outstanding, relevant skills to be foreperson of the 19-member Grand Jury,” said Judge Margines.
Orange County Grand Jury Selected
May 24, 2017
Santa Ana, CA – Nineteen Orange County residents were selected today to serve on the Grand Jury for a one-year term that begins when the jurors take the oath of office on June 30. Hon. Kirk H. Nakamura, Assistant Presiding Judge of the Orange County Superior Court, presided over the proceeding with David Yamasaki, Court Executive Officer and Jury Commissioner, randomly drawing cards printed with the names of the candidates. The Grand Jury panel is comprised of 12 men and 7 women who range in age from 55 to 86 years old.
Court Receives Innovation Grants
April 25, 2017
At its public meeting on March 24, the Judicial Council of California approved 53 grants state-wide totaling $23.5 million to support programs to make local courts more efficient, accessible, and easier to use. The Orange County Superior Court participated in the competitive process and received five grants totaling more than $2.2 million to implement the following new and enhanced services to better serve the public:
Superior Court Releases 2016 Annual Report of the Collaborative Courts
March 27, 2017
Santa Ana, CA – The Orange County Superior Court has released and posted to its website the 2016 Annual Report of the Collaborative Courts, which describes each of these cost-effective treatment alternatives to incarceration and recounts the outstanding results and benefits they achieved during the past calendar year.
Public Notice of Intention To Transfer Court Personal Property Pursuant To California Rule Of Court, Rule 10.830
February 16, 2017
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. The Court intends to transfer (1) Rapiscan Cabinet X-Ray machine to surplus after one week of this posted notice.
Court Reinstates Call Center to Assist the Public with Criminal and Traffic Cases
February 1, 2017
Westminster, CA – The Superior Court of Orange County has opened a new call center to assist the public with services and information regarding criminal and traffic cases. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese by calling 657-622-8459. An automated phone system is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and customer service representatives are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Court holidays. Since the center’s “soft launch” on January 11, representatives have assisted an average of 145 customers per day.
Court Extends Grand Jury Application Deadline to February 1
January 4, 2017
Santa Ana, CA – Hon. Kirk Nakamura, Assistant Presiding Judge of the Orange County Superior Court and chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment and Selection Committee, announced today that the Court has extended the deadline to apply to serve on the next Grand Jury to February 1, 2017 due to a shortage of applicants.
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.”

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