Skip to main content

Inland Empire’s presiding judges discussed the state of San Bernardino and Riverside courts at the Hon. Joseph B. Campbell American Inn of Court’s June 8 meeting.

The last meeting of the year for the inn was hosted by the American Legion, Post 106’s event hall in Redlands.

Presiding Justice Manuel Ramirez of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, had planned to attend but sent his regrets the afternoon of.

San Bernardino Superior Court, as presented by Presiding Judge Glenn Yabuno

  • The courts are facing a statewide court reporter shortage caused by the closure of court reporting schools, and stiff competition in the private sector
    • The court is looking at getting audio recordings for all courtrooms, in the case court reporters become unavailable
  • San Bernardino Superior Court’s budget “is in a better position than it’s ever been in.”

The nine (judge vacancies are) unprecedented, the 16 is unheard of.

San Bernardino Superior Presiding Judge Glenn Yabuno
  • The courthouse in San Bernardino will add 250 parking spots by securing the parking lot on West 2nd Street and North Arrowhead Drive. Yabuno predicts the court will secure the lot by the end of fall
  • The court will move the court’s child support from the old Mervyn’s building to the historic courthouse in the fall
  • The Needles courthouse will provide remote access for small claims, traffic trials and family law beginning in 2023. The move will reduce the Barstow courthouse’s traffic
  • The court will roll out e-filing in January, 2023. E-filing will become available by staggered law area, although Yabuno is not certain which type of law will start
  • The court offers free hourlong training on using its new court access portal to organizations that request it
  • Yabuno expects the court to cut through 80% of its filing backlog within six months
  • Judge vacancies
    • The court has nine vacant judgeships, a vacancy rate of 10%
    • Yabuno expects two more judges to retire in July
    • The proposed state budget would add funding for six new judges
    • After the judges retire and the budget passes, Yabuno expects San Bernardino County to have 16 vacant judgeships. “The nine is unprecedented, the 16 is unheard of,” Yabuno said.
    • Yabuno is on calls with the governor’s appointment secretary, who handles judicial applications, every week
    • Due to the shortage, the court has no judges on the limited civil calendar. Both courtrooms that handle those cases are presided over by assigned or pro tem judges
    • Yabuno encouraged interested attorneys to apply to the pro tem judge program. “We need your expertise, we need your wisdom, and I think everyone would benefit from local people taking on these roles,” Yabuno said.

Riverside Superior Court, as presented by Presiding Judge John Monterosso

  • Riverside Superior Court has fully reestablished all of their pre-pandemic programs, now that night court resumed a month ago
  • The legislature’s allowance of remote proceedings expires in a month
  • Riverside Superior Court is experiencing staffing issues. They lost staffers during the pandemic, dropping, at the worst point, from 1,250 staffers to fewer than 1,000. The court is getting its staffing numbers up again
  • Riverside Superior Court also has a shortage of courtroom reporters
  • Monterosso has his eye on courtroom security, and the court’s contract with county sheriffs. The court does not fully reimburse the sheriff’s department for court security, and he is worried about the safety of judges. People should write to their legislators to address the problem, he said. “You guys have pens, you can write legislators.” 
  • Judges
    • Riverside has five judge vacancies eligible to be filled by the governor
    • The state budget will fund four more judge seats
    • At the pace of state funding and judicial appointments over the past 20 years, Monterosso predicted it would take 31 years for the court to have enough judges for the number of cases filed, assuming the county population does not change in that time. Monterosso encouraged inns of court and bar associations to lobby for more judgeships
  • Although the court has 20 criminal courtrooms, only 11 to 14 are operational a day, causing a backlog
  • As a result, criminal cases sometimes wait 30 days to get to trial before dismissal, an increase from the 10-day typical waiting time
  • The court is expanding its e-filing system to juvenile court July 5. Criminal court will follow.
  • The court has two courthouse projects, both expected to be complete around spring 2024
    • A five-department Indio juvenile and family courthouse, to replace Indio’s old juvenile courthouse
    • A nine-department Menifee courthouse, to replace the Hemet courthouse.

Topics to follow



assignment_turned_in Registrations


Subscribe now for free

Follow Our Courts will never charge for access to our content, and we will not sell your information.

Password must be at least 7 characters long.
Password must be at least 7 characters long.
Please login to view this page.
Please login to view this page.
Please login to view this page.