Minutes from October 25, 2016 Open Board Meeting-U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Deborah Barmack, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Dick Hart, Lowell King, Bill Leman, John Mirau, Brian Reider, Jan Remm, Michael Rivera, Kristine Scott, and Ray Wolfe.


Guests:  Boris Medzhibovsky and Ken Stream.


Announcements: 1) Inland Action had a strong presence of ten members at the meeting with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. 2) Member Tom Brickley was honored with the Achievement Award for Specialty Contractor from the Associated General Contractors. 3) P.T. McEwen, CEO, Boys and Girls Club has been proposed for membership.  This is the first of two announcements prior to voting on the proposed member.  For more information about them please use the link provided https://www.guidestar.org/profile/95-6187083 4) The SCAQMD will hold public hearings on their proposed 2016 Air Quality Management Plan for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  There will be two hearings in the Inland Empire, November 17, 2016 at 9:00 a.m., Norton Events Center, 1601 E. 3rd St., San Bernardino and November 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., Hyatt Place Riverside Downtown, 3500 Market St., Riverside.

M/S/P: Minutes from October 18, 2016.

Brian Reider introduced U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, Central District California.


California has four federal court Districts. Riverside and San Bernardino County are part of the Central District as are Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.  The Central District serves 19.4 million people, more than half of the State’s population.  The District is divided into three divisions.  Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are in the Eastern Division working out of the Federal Courthouse in Riverside.  There is currently one open position for a District Judge


Judge Pym explained that a U.S. magistrate judge is a judicial officer of the district court and is appointed by majority vote of the active district judges of the court. A U.S. magistrate judge exercises jurisdiction over matters assigned by statute as well as those delegated by the district judges. A full-time magistrate judge serves a term of eight years. Duties assigned to magistrate judges by district court judges are both in civil and criminal cases. In civil cases, they will hear pretrial motions, conduct settlement and pretrial conferences, and may, on assignment, handle dispositive motions and, with the consent of the parties, may conduct the trial.  In criminal cases, they will handle most pre-trial matters, including initial appearance of a defendant before a judge, arraignment on charges, including taking a plea of guilty or not guilty, and determining whether the defendant should be detained or released pending trial. Magistrate judges handle all petty offense cases and most misdemeanor cases.  They also handle appeals from social security decisions and most petitions by prisoners for review of their convictions, and conditions of confinement.


A District Judge is nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate. The Constitution states that these judicial officers are appointed for a life term. The names of potential nominees often are recommended by senators or sometimes members of the House. The Senate Judiciary Committee typically conducts confirmation hearings for each nominee, and the vote for confirmation is presented to the entire Senate.


Over 50% of the cases filed in San Bernardino County were assigned to a judge in Santa Ana or Los Angeles courts, due to lack of judges in the Riverside court. With limited mass transit, residents in our county have burdensome and costly logistic challenges and incur additional expense for their legal counsel to travel.


Understanding the intense need for judges in the Inland Empire, Senator Diane Feinstein is championing an appointment for the Riverside office. Both Inland Action and The Monday Morning Group have been contacted by her office in search of a local candidate.  Judge Pym was encouraged to apply and is currently in the process for consideration.  Judge Pym, as a resident of Claremont, assured the group that if appointed she will remain in the Inland Empire.


Guest and Monday Morning Group member, Ken Stream, commented that letters of support both from groups like Inland Action and individual businesses will help the application process. The Monday Morning Group has already sent a letter of support as have many of their members.


A Q & A period followed.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 a.m.