Information provided by Superior Court of San Benito County
The Superior Court of San Benito County announced Presiding Judge Steven R. Sanders will retire effective Jan. 15, 2021.
According to the recent release, Judge Sanders’ legal career spans 37 years with almost 34 years in public service; as county counsel from 1987 to 2000, which includes 6 months as county administrative officer and then as superior court judge from 2001 to 2021 which includes 10 years as presiding judge. During his 20 years on the bench, Sanders left an indelible mark on his community. Among the highlights of his tenure:
- Integrated a consolidated jury trial schedule for greater efficiency.
- Founded drug calendar for DEJP and Prop 36.
- Established in-chambers discussion to manage increasing caseload. Established vertically integrated (civil/criminal) calendars.
- Established collaborative courts; Drug Court, Behavioral Health Court, and Parental Responsibility / Truancy Court.
- Created a library literacy program for the children of felony probationers, reducing recidivism.
- Served as the Juvenile Dependency Court Judge for 14 years.
- Presided over Veteran’s Diversion and Mental Health Diversion calendars. Presided over the approval and construction of a new courthouse.
- Professor of Law at MCL for over 10 years teaching Civil Procedure.
Judge Sanders remarked: “During my tenure, I am proud of the fact that the Superior Court has continued to increase the public’s access to justice, while maintaining the highest standards of fairness and impartiality to all. This accomplishment is due in large part to the efforts of the dedicated court staff, the diligence of the judicial officers, and the cooperation of our justice partners. I am honored to have served all the people of San Benito County.”
Assistant Presiding Judge Omar Rodriguez stated: “Judge Sanders was the standard to which I compared all other judges, and few measured up. When I was an attorney, it was a pleasure to appear before Judge Sanders, and since becoming a judge myself, it’s been an honor to work with him. The Court and the County will dearly miss him.”