Judicial candidate questions:
Name and dept.
– Tim Healy, Superior Court Judge in Department 2
Why are you running for Superior Court Judge?
– I want to continue my service to the People of the State of California by brining my extensive experience in the Courtroom practicing Law home to Calaveras County. I am the only candidate for Department 2 who has dedicated my professional career to public safety, victim’s rights and seeking equal justice for everyone as a Criminal Prosecutor. When I saw Gov. Jerry Brown had made a political appointment of my opponent, as a resident of Calaveras County for the previous 11 years (now 12) and an attorney, I believed Calaveras County’s newest Judge should have been the most qualified based upon his Courtroom Experience practicing the law and his experiences as an attorney. I have extensive courtroom experience that is simply unmatched by my opponent. I want Calaveras County to have a choice for our next Judge in Department 2.
What qualifies you for the position you seek?
– I am the only candidate for Department 2 who has practiced law in the Courtroom within the past 15 years. I am the only candidate for Department 2 who has EVER practiced Criminal Law in the Courtroom. Having earned my undergraduate degree in History from Duke University in 1986, I received my Law Degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in 2000. With over 25 years of private business sector and legal experience, I have been a Criminal Prosecutor and a member of the California State Bar Association for nearly 14 years. I have personally handled over 1000 cases as the only attorney assigned; and, I have helped prosecute over 30,000 cases during my career. I have also used my expertise to teach students at Humphrys Law School in Stockton.
The majority of cases currently being heard in Calaveras Courts are criminal cases. During 2013 there were approximately 1500 adult misdemeanor and felony cases filed in Calaveras Courts. In Calaveras we do not have a “premises liability” problem or a “breach of contract problem”, we have a Crime problem. I am the only candidate who has worked closely with victims of violent crime, parolees, and probationers; this is not the type of experience you gain from sitting behind a desk – you have to be in the Courtroom practicing Law. In only two years as a charging deputy, I reviewed well over 10,000 police reports in order to determine whether charges should be filed. I am the only candidate for Department 2 who has this experience. It will take my opponent 14 years to gain the Criminal Law experience and knowledge I already have as a prosecutor.
What is your current occupation and the duties of that position?
– I am currently the head attorney for the San Joaquin County’s Child Abduction Unit. This is a unique assignment for a Criminal Prosecutor as we not only work as a Deputy District Attorney, we also work for the Judges of the Superior Court. More specifically, we assist the Family Law Judges by helping to ensure their Family Law orders regarding custody and visitation are followed by both parents. We are authorized by law to utilize both civil and criminal law to fulfill our duties. Therefore, not only must we be experts in Criminal Law but we must also develop an expertise in Civil, Family and International Law, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (which is in force in all but one of the 50 States) and the 1988 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. We also assist parents who are trying to exercise their rights to see their children when the other parent denies them that right, even when there is no court order regarding visitation in place. Child Abduction Units also assist parents by recovering abducted children regardless whether the children are taken to another county, state or foreign country. This position has given me the distinct honor of helping to recover abducted children from places like Mexico, Israel, Taiwan and the Ukraine as well as numerous other places around the US.
These duties also involve: reviewing police reports, meeting with investigators and parents, attending Family Law Court proceedings, helping to write protective custody warrants for the return of abducted children, coordinating with the U.S. Department of State, California State Attorney General’s Office and Law Enforcement around the Country and World. I also file criminal complaints, appear in Criminal Court and handle every aspect of the prosecution of criminal cases involving child abduction.
How would you define the caseload make-up (civil, family, etc) of your desired department? And what expertise do you currently have to handle those types of cases?
– The “caseload make-up” for any Superior Court changes as each new Presiding Judge decides which type of cases will be assigned to a particular Judge/Department. Currently, Department 2 is handling approximately 2/3 civil caseload with criminal cases making up about 1/3 of the caseload. Department 2 handles a number of Family Law issues. I currently practice Family Law as the head attorney for San Joaquin County’s Child Abduction Unit. I am an expert in every facet of Criminal Law from writing and evaluating search, arrest and protective custody warrants all the way up to and including the sentencing of defendants and the appellate issues that follow. To state one Courtroom is the Criminal Court and the other is the Civil Court is not correct – this is because both Judges in Calaveras County are authorized to hear any type of case that comes before them. My opponent and I agree, when the two new Judges are elected – they will decide for themselves any and all new changes to the Court’s current calendar. My expertise lies in several areas: Criminal Law, Civil Law: Family Law, International Law (as it relates to International Child Abduction). I have also handled Real Property, Employment and Personal Injury cases.
If you could list one thing in life you are proud you accomplished with regards to your career, what would that be? And why?
Dedicating my professional career to society by seeking truth and justice as a criminal prosecutor. Throughout society there are people who are unable to protect themselves, these are our most vulnerable and they deserve Justice. It has been my great honor and privilege to serve the People of California by being dedicated to public safety, victim’s rights and equal justice for all! As your next Judge in Department 2, I will dedicate myself to ensuring everyone has access to equal justice, is treated fairly, and with dignity and respect.
What have you done in the past year, 2014, to further your education?
I have attended approximately 20 hours of continuing legal education; the majority covering Child Abduction investigation and prosecution. Further, during this campaign I have travelled to virtually every community in Calaveras County in order to meet and talk with its residents. This has been my best classroom experience yet! The People of Calaveras are some of the most generous you will find anywhere in the nation; not only that, they are some of the most community oriented and involved I’ve ever met. Throughout Calaveras County, there is evidence in every community of its residents coming together to help protect the most vulnerable.
What is your greatest strength?
- My family, compassion for others, my desire to ensure justice, extensive courtroom experience practicing the law, my knowledge of the law and life experiences outside the law.
What is your greatest weakness?
-You might be better off asking my wife the answer to this question. Otherwise, it’s Skittles and Girl Scout cookies.
At this point you may submit a 300 word or less statement covering topics not covered in the before mentioned questions.
Married to my best friend, Rachel for 10 years we have lived in the Valley Springs area for 12 years. Rachel has lived in Calaveras, and worked as a Peace Officer for over 20 years having lived in Murphy’s, Avery and Arnold. We are raising our children here and both are active in baseball, softball, football, soccer, wrestling, cub scouts, girl scouts and CSTARS. I even help coach my son’s football team. I’m currently active with the Valley Springs gym, Friends of the Fair, the Wallace/Burson Association, the VSABA, the Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge, and Committee member of Cub Scout Pack 352. Rachel and I have a very real and vested interest in the success of Calaveras!
When Judge Mewhinney announced his retirement almost 3 years ago, I hoped to seek the Governor’s appointment to replace him. I was not in a position to seek the appointment because my wife was fighting for her life against Leukemia and I chose to keep my family together. When Gov. Jerry Brown finally made his appointment; my wife’s doctor had given us the green light to start living again. We chose to run for Judge because I believe I’m the most qualified candidate because of my unmatched courtroom experience practicing law. We wanted to give Calaveras a choice for our next Judge.
I’m endorsed by John Trifilo, former candidate for Department 2, Tom McClintock, Frank Bigelow, Rico Oller along with the people I work with every day: Judges, Court Personnel, DA, Sheriff, Bailiffs, fellow Prosecutors, Investigators, Criminal Defense and Civil Attorneys and Law Enforcement. I’m also endorsed by local business owners, ranchers, teachers, friends and neighbors. This November 4th, please vote for me, Tim Healy, for your next Superior Court Judge in Department 2. To learn more please watch my video at timhealyforjudge.com