CJP complaint against Judge Harold Hopp, call for removal of Presiding Judge for failure to adhere to the 90 days submitted cause rule.

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California Commission on Judicial Performance
Commission on Judicial Performance
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14400
San Francisco, CA 94102
Fax: (415) 557-1266

Judicial Council of California
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye
Judicial Council of California
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
Fax: 415-865-4586  xxxxx

Re: Presiding Judge Harold Hopp, Riverside Superior Court, failure to supervise and monitor the number of causes under submission before the judges of the superior court within 90 days (CA rules of court 10.603 (c)(3). Judge xxx failure to sign amended proposed order within 90 days.

Dear Ms. Henley,

Presiding Judge Hopp of the Riverside Superior Court has failed to monitor and supervise a cause under submission before Jxxxxxin case xxxxx, despite Judge Rebecca (Becky) Dugan sending a letter to me specifying that a proposed order needed to be addressed by Judge xxxxx and specifying that I should in the meantime submit another proposed order. The letter was dated 6/19/2015 and has been enclosed for your convenience.

I filed an amended proposed order attached to objections filed on 6/29/2015 and received and forwarded to the relevant assigned judicial officer. The filed proof of service on 6/29/2015 (enclosed) specified that the amended proposed order was served on the other party as required by law.

I filed objections listing Judge Rebecca Dugan’s letter on 7/8/2015 (enclosed) once again listing the amended proposed order which had once again been reserved with the objections as the court had not signed the amended proposed order.

California rules of court 10.603 (c)(3) specifies the mandatory actions of the Presiding Judge

(3)Submitted cases
The presiding judge must supervise and monitor the number of causes under submission before the judges of the court and ensure that no cause under submission remains undecided and pending for longer than 90 days. As an aid in accomplishing this goal, the presiding judge must:
(A)Require each judge to report to the presiding judge all causes under submission for more than 30 days and, with respect to each cause, designate whether it has been under submission for 30 through 60 days, 61 through 90 days, or over 90 days;
(B)Compile a list of all causes under submission before judges of the court, designated as the submitted list, which must include the name of each judge, a list of causes under submission before that judge, and the length of time each cause has been under submission;
(C)Circulate monthly a complete copy of the submitted list to each judge of the court;
(D)Contact and alert each judge who has a cause under submission for over 30 days and discuss ways to ensure that the cause is timely decided;
(E)Consider providing assistance to a judge who has a cause under submission for over 60 days; and
(F)Consider requesting the services of the Administrative Office of the Courts to review the court’s calendar management procedures and make recommendations whenever either of the following conditions exists in the court for the most recent three months:
(i)More than 90 civil active cases are pending for each judicial position; or
(ii)More than 10 percent of the cases on the civil active list have been pending for one year or more.
Department 2 J is still the assigned department for all purposes in case in case xxxxxx (All purpose assignment order 4/23/2010 in case xxxxxx). Judge xxxxx is the responsible judicial officer for signing the amended proposed order on the mandatory forms submitted by a party (CA rules of court 1.31 and 1.35). The signing of the amended proposed order has been pending for over 90 days and consists of an amended proposed custody order SUBMITTED with the MANDATORY FORMS (CA rules of court 1.31; 1.35). The court may not refuse TO FILE mandatory or optional judicial council forms submitted by a party. FL 341 (b) is a mandatory child abduction prevention form and FL 341 is a judicial council form submitted by a party (CA rules of court 1.35).

The delays as it relates to the signing of the amended proposed order violate Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, canons 1, 2A, 3B, 3C, and constituted prejudicial misconduct and persistent failure to perform judicial duties

A judge may be removed from office for prejudicial misconduct, willful misconduct, or persistent failure to perform judicial duties (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 18, subd. (b)).

Under California law, judges are expected to decide matters submitted to them within 90 days of submission, and are prohibited from receiving their salaries during times when they have undecided matters under submission for more than 90 days (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 19), Mardikian v. Commission on Judicial Performance (1985) 40 Cal.3d 473, 477, fn. 4 [220 Cal.Rptr. 833, 709 P.2d 852] (Mardikian).) To implement the latter provision, the Government Code requires judges to regularly execute affidavits declaring they are in compliance with the law and entitled to salary. (Gov. Code, § 68210). To be paid, the judge must sign an affidavit affirming he or she has no overdue cases (Gov. Code, § 68210).

The failure to sign the amended proposed order and instructions by the Presiding Judge to not do so; by failing to actively monitor causes under submission for 90 days constitute prejudicial willful misconduct. The Elements of willful misconduct, the most serious form of judicial misconduct, consists of (1) unjudicial conduct (2) that is committed in bad faith (3) by a judge acting in his or her judicial capacity.

Failure to comply with the California Code of Judicial Ethics is generally considered to constitute unjudicial conduct. The bad faith requirement for willful misconduct is satisfied when a judge is (1) performing a judicial act for a corrupt purpose (which is any purpose other than the faithful discharge of judicial duties), or (2) performing a judicial act with knowledge that the act is beyond the judge’s lawful judicial power, or (3) performing a judicial act that exceeds the judge’s lawful power with a conscious disregard for the limits of the judge’s authority.

A judge who transgresses the limits of a judge’s lawful authority, with no regard for whether his or her acts are legally permitted, cannot be said to be acting with the purpose of faithfully discharging judicial duties. Rather, a judge’s reckless disregard for, or utter indifference to, whether his or her judicial acts exceed the bounds of a judge’s prescribed powers is a state of mind properly characterized as bad faith.

The judge’s failure to promptly decide submitted matters constituted prejudicial misconduct and a violation of the judge’s duty to promptly and efficiently hear and decide all matters assigned to the judge (Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, canon 3B) and to act in a manner that promotes and preserves the integrity of the judiciary (Cal. Code Jud. Ethics, canons 1, 2A). The delays also constituted a persistent failure to perform judicial duties. Litigants and the public have a right to expect judges to take action on matters assigned to them in an expeditious and efficient manner. A judge’s failure to act deprives litigants of resolution of their disputes and grievances through the court system.

I am requesting that the California commission on judicial performance remove Judge Harold Hopp from the Presiding Judge’s office of the Riverside Superior Court as all of Judge Hopp’s actions are committed in bad faith.

I declare under the penalty of perjury in the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct and all correspondence received from the trial court is a true copy of the original and that all documents enclosed are copies of filed documents in the Riverside Superior Court.

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