A California County Dismissed Hundreds of Criminal Cases, Some Violent, Due to Pandemic Lockdown Order

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One county in Southern California had to dismiss hundreds more criminal cases, many of which were violent, and other counties face a similar court crisis.

One woman said that she was the victim of domestic abuse from her husband, but that her case was dismissed.

“He chased me down the stairs with a mallet.” She said that she was able to get into the car where he blasted my car.

In the August 2019 incident, the woman had filed a restraining order against the man. The charges against him were dropped due to a shortage of judges.

According to Mike Hestrin, Riverside County District Attorney, “What’s going on is a disaster.” “There is a crisis in our courts.”

In the last week, more than 200 cases were dismissed due to a shortage of judges.

Hestrin stated that during the pandemic, an emergency order was placed allowing cases to be delayed. This order is now expired and some cases are being dismissed due to insufficient judges.

Hestrin stated, “I believe that these dismissals were not warranted” and added, “It’s an injustice and it puts the public in danger.”

John Monterosso, the presiding judge, allowed the order to expire. He explained that defendants have the right to a speedy case. He said that the pandemic was not entirely to blame for the crisis.

It makes me mad. It is not a surprise that we have been screaming at the region’s judges for years,” Monterosso told KABC.

He stated that other counties, such as San Bernardino County, are also experiencing the same shortage.

In a statement, Hestrin’s Office stated that there was a backlog of over 2,800 cases.

Hestrin stated, “We should be increasing our hours.” “The courts should consider Saturday or night court.” “It’s not enough to say that we don’t have sufficient resources and dismiss hundreds of criminal cases.”