Hundreds of criminal court cases are being dismissed in Riverside County. There is a major backlog due to a shortage of judges to hear those cases. At least 50 of the cases dismissed are felonies. The Larson Justice Center in Indio has seen the most dismissals with 351 cases. Countywide at least 600 cases have been dismissed.
The case types are both misdemeanors and felonies and include nearly all crime types. The Riverside County District Attorney’s office says many of the dismissed cases include a victim of crime. They are refiling many of the felony cases and filing appropriate appeals. The District Attorney’s office says they are committed to taking every action to safeguard the community and will continue to argue dismissals in court.
“The dismissal of cases and thus allowing criminals back into our community with no consequences for their actions is a danger to everyone,” said DA Mike Hestrin. “The consequences of the decisions being made from our judges is going to cause extreme harm to victims of crime and our community at-large. This is a public safety crisis, and it needs to stop.”
The Riverside County Superior Court says it is deploying civil judges to preside over criminal trials and re-designating some departments to hear criminal cases. Retired judges are also being used through the Temporary Assigned Judges Program.