The Judiciary of California incorporates around 40 million Americans, making it the largest court system in the United States. With over 18,000 employees, over 500 volunteers, and 500 locations, the California court system requires a smooth, efficient and just operating process. The California judicial system and its personnel, like Judge Diane Ritchie, ensure that citizens are tried fairly, disputes are handled appropriately and fundamental human rights are not lost. Many details go into the functioning of the Judiciary of California and its legal proceedings.
The California Judicial Branch that Judge Diane Ritchie is affiliated with is made up of three parts: the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and Superior Courts.
The Superior Courts are governed by over 1,743 judges in 58 courts. There is one court per county in California. The Superior Courts are responsible for trials involving family law, juveniles, felonies, civil cases and more.
The Courts of Appeal lives up to its name in the sense that it takes appealed cases coming out of the Superior Courts.
The highest court, the Supreme Court, is presided over by 7 justices. One justice assumes the role of Chief Justice, and the other six serve as Associate Justices. The justices conduct court proceedings in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco. The Supreme Court has the power to check court verdicts made in the Courts of Appeal.
How are Judges Selected?
All judges that were selected for their roles, like Judge Diane Ritchie, had to first be approved by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission holds hearings to review the individual’s case. The Commission on Judicial Appointments includes the California Chief Justice, also known as the leader of the California judicial branch, the California Attorney General and the most senior Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal for the districts over which the judge would hold authority.
The jury is essential to the judicial branch for decision making during court cases. Any citizen that has been called to serve as a juror must participate unless he or she has been excused. There are various reasons for exempting an individual from serving in the jury, such as lack of transportation and mental or physical illness or disability.
Educated in the state she serves, Judge Diane Ritchie, alongside all judicial branch personnel, works tirelessly to mediate between parties to fairly resolve disagreements and other issues governed by the judicial branch.