More than 1,000 case dismissals countywide
December 19, 2022
COUNTYWIDE – Over the past ten weeks, Riverside County Superior Court judges have dismissed more than 1,000 criminal court cases.
In October, the court stated that 2,800 pending cases were set for trial. As of Dec. 16, there are about 2,200 backlogged cases and Superior Court judges have dismissed 1,098 criminal matters.
On Oct. 10, 2022, Riverside County Superior Court judges started to dismiss criminal cases based on a lack of available trial courtrooms. Case dismissals continue to occur daily across the county. These cases are both misdemeanor and felony cases and include nearly all crime types.
About 83 felony cases have been dismissed so far. Felony cases dismissed include charges such as attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence, and more. Many of the dismissed cases include a victim of crime.
“Our office respectfully disagrees with the decisions the judges continue to make regarding mass case dismissals. A one-size fits all approach of blanket case dismissals is not the answer,” said DA Mike Hestrin. “We are continuing to ask the bench to look at each case individually to determine if there is good cause to continue the matter until a courtroom becomes available.”
“One thousand cases dismissed is a thousand too many,” Hestrin continued. “These are real cases with real victims. The victims deserve the right have their case heard in a court of law. Our victims of crime are being deprived of justice because of a case backlog in the courts.”
The DA’s Office is taking every available action to safeguard our community such as arguing the dismissals in court, immediately refiling felony cases that are being dismissed, and filing appeals when appropriate. Misdemeanor cases that are dismissed cannot be refiled.
The DA’s Office is committed to keeping the public informed regarding this public safety crisis and will continue to periodically release updated information regarding case dismissals as that information becomes available.
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