The presiding judge is elected by the other Superior Court judges to serve for two years. The presiding judge assigns cases to the other judges from the trial calendar, hears trial continuance requests, acts as spokesperson for the court and directs the court administrator in implementing administrative and general court policies established at regular meetings of the court. Each judge and court commissioner participates on two of the following standing committees: Superior Court Operations; Personnel and Education; Planning and Financial Management; Drug Court; Facilities and Technology; Guardians ad Litem; and Juvenile and Family Law.
On a rotating schedule, each judge serves on the following special assignments:
- Civil Motions Judge (two week rotation) - minor settlements; adoptions; injunctions; lower court appeals; revisions of court commissioner’s rulings; motions for summary judgment, partial summary judgment and dismissal.
- Criminal Motions Judge (two week rotation) - motions, pleas and sentencings.
- Criminal Hearings Judge (two week rotation) - arraignments, pleas, sentencings and most criminal motions, especially motions to suppress evidence and confessions.
Two Juvenile Court Judges (one year rotation at Denney Juvenile Justice Center) - all juvenile offender proceedings and juvenile dependency cases. The two judges rotate between calendars every two weeks
The five court commissioners are licensed attorneys who are appointed by the Superior Court judges to hear certain ex parte, domestic, paternity, civil, domestic violence and mental illness proceedings. The court commissioners do not hear criminal cases or jury trials and rotate their assignments on a regularly scheduled basis every six months.
Each judge has a law clerk who performs legal research for the judge, maintains order in the courtroom, supervises jurors and coordinates courtroom activities. The judges have court reporters who make an exact record of what is said in court or the proceedings are digitally recorded. If a particular case is appealed, this record is prepared for reference on appeal. A clerk assigned to each courtroom keeps minutes of the proceedings and processes exhibits. For more information on the functions of departments please see Court Judges and Departments.
The Superior Court Administrator's Office provides general administrative support for the court and helps implement court policies and procedures. The court administrator’s office manages Superior Court jurors, schedules cases and prepares and administers the court budget.