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Calling in the Cavalry

Amid these lockdowns, help is on the way for all stakeholders in California’s criminal-justice system. Are you a defendant whose life sits in limbo while you wait for trial or your next hearing? Are you a victim who’s desperate for closure or restitution?

The California Supreme Court has expanded a program that sends retired judges to the state’s trial courts on a temporary basis. Ordinarily, the program exists to help counties in a pinch when caseloads overwhelm them. This would be one of those times.

The goal is to plow through the backlog of criminal cases that has accrued during the pandemic. At any county’s request, the Court will send temporary judges to support the county’s sitting judges and help settle the cases that should settle. And it will take other steps to make the temporary program easier to use.

For more information, here is a memorandum from the Chief Justice to the trial courts, and here is a fact sheet on the temporary-judges program generally.

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