A "court-appointed temporary judge" is an attorney who has satisfied the requirements for appointment listed in California Rules of Court 2.812, and has been appointed by the court to serve as a temporary judge in a courtroom.
Parties might encounter a temporary judge if:
- The court has appointed a temporary judge to hear their case on the date they have their court appearance.
- Parties have decided they want to have a temporary judge hear just their case (NOTE: This is a local court program, and it is only available in limited and unlimited jurisdiction civil cases.)
- Joining the Temporary Judge Panel
- Minimum Requirements
- Training Requirements
- Extra Requirements by Calendar Type
- Online Training Courses
Joining Contra Costa's Temporary Judge Panel
Effective January 1, 2007, California Rules of Court, Rule 2.810 established new and more rigorous training and qualification requirements for attorneys wishing to serve as temporary judges.
To qualify, attorneys must have been active members of the California State Bar, in good standing, for at least 10 years before appointment. There cannot be any pending disciplinary actions, and the individual must not have pled guilty or no contest to a felony, or have a felony conviction that has not been reversed. He or she must satisfy all education and training requirements established by the state, as well as any other conditions that the individual court may require. Mandated training elements include a 3-hour in-person course on judicial demeanor (provided by a court) together with an online training course in related judicial demeanor and ethical issues.
Attorneys must also take one or more online training courses provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts, depending on the substantive areas of law they wish to hear.
Depending on case type, there may also be additional training, education, or experience requirements to serve in Contra Costa county.
The presiding judge may not appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge unless the attorney has been admitted to practice as a member of the State Bar of California for at least 10 years before the appointment and meets the following conditions:
- Is an active member in good standing of the State Bar and has no disciplinary action pending;
- Has not pled guilty or no contest to a felony, or has not been convicted of a felony that has not been reversed;
- Has satisfied the education and training requirements;
- Has satisfied all other general conditions that the court may establish for appointment of an attorney as a temporary judge in that court; and
- Has satisfied any additional conditions that the court may require for an attorney to be appointed as a temporary judge for a particular assignment or type of case in that court.
- Review the online Fairness, Demeanor, and Self-Represented litigants materials
- Attend a 3-hour in-person training session on judicial demeanor
- Take the online course on judicial ethics
- Take local and online classes as required for the case type(s) you wish to hear
|Judicial Demeanor||Tuesday, 12/27||5:30-8:30 pm|
|Traffic||Wednesday, 12/28||1:30-4:30 pm|
|Civil Harassment/Elder Abuse||Wednesday, 12/28||5:30-8:30 pm|
|Small Claims||Thursday, 12/29||1:30-4:30 pm|
|Unlawful Detainers||Thursday, 12/29||5:30-8:30 pm|
|To sign-up for any of the training classes, please email Education and Training at: email@example.com|
Please complete the application for the Temporary Judge Program.
Extra Requirements by Calendar Type
Small Claims Calendars
- Take all relevant online training courses and review online benchguides
- Attend the local in-person class on hearing small claims calendars
- Take online training course and review online benchguides
- Attend the local in-person class on hearing traffic calendars
Unlawful Detainer Calendars
- Take online training course and review online benchguides
- Attend the local in-person class on hearing unlawful detainer calendars
Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency Calendars
- Have a minimum of 5 years practice experience handling juvenile dependency and/or delinquency cases (must have practice experience in requested case type)
- Take online training courses and review online benchguides
Civil Discovery Calendars
- Certify you have taken at least 3 CLE units in civil procedure in past 24 months
- Review two online civil benchguides: Disqualification of Judge; Courtroom Control: Contempt and Sanctions
- Review Chapter 9 of Proceedings Before Trial by the Rutter Group
- Certify you have taken at least 3 CLE units in probate in past 24 months
- Attend the local in-person class on hearing probate calendars
Domestic Violence Calendars
- Certify you have taken at least 3 CLE units in domestic violence in past 24 months
- Attend the local in-person class on hearing domestic violence calendars
Civil Harassment Calendars
- Certify you have taken at least 3 CLE units in civil harassment in past 24 months
- Review the online benchguide available on the Judicial Council's website
- Attend the local in-person class on hearing civil harassment calendars
The following rules of the California Rules of Court - external link apply to Temporary Judges:
- Rule 2.810 Temporary judges appointed by the trial courts - external link
- Rule 2.811 Court appointment of temporary judges - external link
- Rule 2.812 Requirements for court appointment of an attorney to serve as a temporary judge - external link
- Rule 2.813 Contents of training programs - external link
- Rule 2.814 Appointment of temporary judge - external link
- Rule 2.815 Continuing education - external link
- Rule 2.816 Stipulation to court-appointed temporary judge - external link
- Rule 2.817 Disclosure to the parties - external link
- Rule 2.818 Disqualifications and limitations - external link
Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1-710 - external link.
The following sections of the Canons of Judicial Ethics relating to fairness are applicable to Temporary Judges: Canons 2A, 2C, 3B(5), 3B(6), 3B(8), 3C(1), 3C(2), 3C(4), 3E, 5B, and 6D(3)(a).