In San Diego, at least, this has never happened before: A superior court judge is suing her presiding judge and all other judges in the San Diego court system for not enforcing a state law which she says must be imposed on all domestic violence defendants.
Judge DeAnn Salcido at a news conference Friday denied she was taking the action because her court seat is being challenged in the June 8 primary by a right-wing conservative group, BetterCourtsNow, supporting Harold Coleman, a court arbitrator and attorney.
In court papers, Salcido claims she is being harassed by fellow judges and presiding Judge Peter Deddeh in the East County Branch where she has served since her 2002 appointment. She is petitioning the 4th District Court of Appeal, asking the court to order judges to impose all conditions of probation called for under state law for domestic violence offenders.
She said those conditions include requiring domestic violence probationers to take a one-year course on domestic violence, issuing orders into a statewide database that are intended to provide people with protection from defendants. and ordering defendants to relinquish any firearms they may own.
She said she determined a pattern of other judges not complying with the law and they turned against her when her clerk began checking court documents. “There is a culture in the San Diego court system that puts plea bargains ahead of public safety,” she said.
At the news conference, Salcido singled out Judge Deddeh for the plea bargain that gave John Gardner an early release in a sex molestation case in 2000. Gardner is the confessed killer in the sensational murder cases drawing national attention of teenagers Amber Dubois and Chelsea King.
No judges nor the court’s attorney would comment publicly on Salcido’s petition suit because of ethics rules.
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