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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Court Commissioner
(This job is no longer available)
Grad Date

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Job Description

DEFINITION: Under general direction of the Presiding Judge of the Court, Court Commissioners are subordinate judicial officers whose duties are provided by law. If the Presiding Judge determines that because of a shortage of judges it is necessary for the effective administration of justice, the Presiding judge may, where lawful, assign a subordinate judicial officer to sit as a temporary judge. The Presiding Judge shall assign Court Commissioners to perform subordinate judicial officer duties based on the best interest of the Court. Court Commissioner assignments are interchangeable. Court Commissioners shall comply with the directions of the Presiding Judge. This position shall maintain the independence of the judiciary and possess the utmost dignity, character and demeanor that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Conduct of Court Commissioners must comply with the code of Judicial Ethics. EMPLOYMENT AT-WILL: The Court Commissioner classification is established as an "at-will" position and, as such, the incumbent serves at the direction of the Presiding Judge. Court commissioners serve at the pleasure of the Court and may be terminated at any time with or without cause. DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS This professional level class works independently under the general direction of the Presiding Judge as a temporary judge, in accordance with state law. Commissioners have the responsibility of interpreting, enforcing, and carrying out current laws. The Court Commissioner performs judicial functions for the courts, assists the courts in disposing of business connected with the administration of justice, which includes acting as a temporary judge. This position is distinguished from the position of judge in that it is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Presiding Judge and acts only as a temporary judge, presiding over cases as directed, at the stipulation of the parties. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned. 1.Conducts arraignments, including the issuance and signing of bench warrants for failure to appear or violation of any other court order; 2.Presides over proceedings in one or more of the following: civil and small claims actions, criminal and traffic arraignments; unlawful detainer; hearings and trials of infractions; misdemeanors; felonies; probate, family law and juvenile court; 3.Takes pleas, grants continuances; sets cases for trial; hears criminal court and jury trials; and hears preliminary hearings in felony cases; 4.Imposes sentences; 5.Receives case petitions from various justice partners including, but not limited to, the Department of Human Services, District Attorney's Office, and Probation Department; 6.Reviews court files, documents and related materials to assess cases prior to and following hearings; prepares court documents, records, reports, correspondence and other written materials pertaining to case findings; 7.Accepts petitions for modification of order and hears same; reviews petitions, certifications, and other documents for legality of form; 8.Speak before groups; 9.May solemnize marriages; 10.Keeps current on current laws and answers inquiries in person and writing; 11.Handles a large number of cases effectively and efficiently; 12.Research legal issues; 13.Attend training as offered and/or directed including continuing judicial education policies; 14.Travel to off-site courts, as needed; 15.Must, at all times, demonstrate cooperative behavior with co-workers and management; 16.Other duties as assigned. Supervisory Duties: None MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS Necessary Employment Standards Knowledge of: -Comprehensive knowledge of all applicable state and federal law. -California court system -Hearing rules and processes -Principles and practices of court procedures -State and Local Rules, legal principles, case precedents, rules of evidence and trial procedures -Community resources which may aid the court Skill/Ability to: -Objectively analyze and interpret legal issues and arguments, weigh evidence, draw inferences, and reach logical and legal conclusions -Work under various time constraints and exacting professional standards -Exercise appropriate judicial temperament and demeanor -Direct and control courtroom proceedings in a decisive, orderly and equitable manner -Present statements of fact and law -Communicate clearly and logically in written and oral form -Define issues, perform legal research, objectively analyze problems, evaluate alternatives, and make appropriate findings and recommendations -Prepare clear and concise decisions and summaries of factual legal issues EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED Education/Experience: -Must be an active member of the State Bar of California in good standing for at least ten (10) years continuously prior to appointment. -Experience in civil, criminal, family, juvenile, probate and/or law and motion litigation. -Must have knowledge of legal principles and precedents as applied to judicial procedures. OR -Was a judge of a court of record in California within the last five years, or is currently eligible for the Assigned Judge Program. OR -Was a commissioner, magistrate, referee, or hearing officer authorized to perform the duties of a subordinate judicial officer of a court of record of California within the last five years. AND -Citizen of the United States. -Resident of the State of California. License, Certification and/or Special Requirements: -A valid class C California driver's license may be required. The requirement will be reviewed on a position basis in accordance with ADA regulations. -While serving the Court, a commissioner is prohibited from engaging in active practice of law. ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DEMANDS Performance Aptitudes Data Utilization: Requires the ability to review, classify, categorize, prioritize, and/or analyze data; includes exercising discretion in determining data classification, and in referencing such analysis to established standards for the purpose of recognizing actual or probable interactive effects and relationships. Human Interaction: Requires the ability to apply principles of persuasion and/or influence over others in coordinating activities of a project, program, or designated area of responsibility. Equipment, Machinery, Tools, and Materials Utilization: Requires the ability to operate, maneuver, and/or control the actions of equipment, machinery, tools, and/or materials used in performing essential functions. Verbal Aptitude: Requires the ability to utilize a wide variety of reference, descriptive, and/or advisory data, and information. Mathematical Aptitude: Requires the ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; the ability to calculate decimals and percentages; the ability to utilize principles of fractions; and the ability to interpret graphs. Functional Reasoning: Requires the ability to apply principles of influence systems, such as motivation, incentive, and leadership, and to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to resolve problems. Situational Reasoning: Requires the ability to exercise judgment, decisiveness, and creativity in situations involving the evaluation of information against sensory, judgmental, or subjective criteria, as opposed to that which is clearly measurable or verifiable. Physical Ability: Tasks require the ability to exert very moderate physical effort in light work, typically involving some combination of stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling, and which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (12-20 pounds). Sensory Requirements: Some tasks require the ability to perceive and discriminate colors or shades of colors, sounds, and visual cues or signals. Some tasks require the ability to communicate orally. Environmental Factors: Essential functions are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions. Working Conditions: The demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met or are encountered by an employee while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Regularly Required: -Sit at a desk and/or in front of a computer terminal -Twist and bend neck -Repetitive hand movement while performing computer data entry as well as writing -Standing for extended periods of time Frequently Required: -Push and/or pull drawers of desk and/or file cabinets -Bend at waist -Reach above and below shoulder height Occasionally Required: -Drive to various meeting locations -Travel to various court divisions and other locations
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