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HesperiaStar.com
  • Slough appointed to lead Presiding Judges Committee

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  • SAN FRANCISCO — As state trial court officials continue to lobby for more funding, the presiding judge in one of the most underserved counties in California will chair a colleague committee tasked with recommending policy issues to the Judicial Council.
    Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Wednesday announced the appointment of San Bernardino County Presiding Judge Marsha Slough as the new chair of the council’s Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee.
    The committee includes the presiding judges from all 58 trial court systems in the state.
    “Through this committee, the state’s presiding judges provide invaluable input on legislation, budgets, rules of court, and many other issues impacting the court system,” Slough said in a statement through the state judiciary. “The committee also serves as a vital link to increase communication between the council and the trial courts.”
    Slough had become privy firsthand to the budget impacts felt by California trial courts, which last year — when dwindling state financing led to closures of courthouses in Barstow, Needles and Big Bear — reported cutbacks of more than $1 billion in a five-year period.
    The Barstow courthouse closure has since resulted in an influx of caseloads to the Victorville courthouse and dramatically increased travel times to court for its residents.
    Slough has strongly advocated for funding increases that could possibly reopen closed courthouses and would support adding judgeships to the local judiciary. The number of judges here has hovered around 84 when caseloads justify 156, officials said.
    It’s the largest actual-to-need discrepancy among all 58 counties in California.
    “I’m grateful to have the confidence of the Chief Justice and my fellow presiding judges, and I look forward to serving as chair,” Slough said.
    Slough, who currently serves as the committee’s vice-chair, was selected chair by a majority vote of the committee’s members and will officially begin a one-year term Sept. 15.
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