According to courthouse workers, “Judge” Jack Halpin has actually retired three times. Yet even today, Judge Jack Halpin can be found sitting on the Shasta bench adjudicating family law cases as if he never left. The apparent loophole that someone is using to unlawfully and unconstitutionally usurp the role of a judge is that he is involved in these family law cases until they are concluded. If anyone reading this does not fully understand the implications of this, the chief justice, the AOC and “Judge” Jack Halpin justify that he can sit at the bench until all of his “case wards” turn eighteen.
According to the attached complaint, “Judge” Jack Halpin has been unconstitutionally reappointed to the Shasta Bench a staggering 208 times by consecutive chief justices. He has served as a temporary judge going on twenty consecutive years and appears to be entitled to sit another eighteen consecutive years at the Shasta bench – according to Mr. Halpin, the AOC and that stellar constitutional mind(s) that occupies the office of the Chief Justice, both current and former. And it is not as if there is no other willing judges willing to sit in Shasta county on a temporary basis. Word behind the bench tells us that prospectives are lined up at the opportunity to serve but it is Jack Halpin’s gig.
The type of lawsuit that’s been filed against Jack Halpin is a Quo Warranto. The Attorney General’s office indicates that a Quo Warranto is “a lawsuit against any person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any public office”
Just a week before his court date, Mr. Wagner was denied access to his own files again with a clerk stating that “Judge Jack Halpin has a hold on the files.” Investigating Reporter, Alan Ernesto Phillips asked the clerk for the public files citing permission from Mr. Wagner. After 10 minutes and a briefing with a supervising clerk, the files were presented to Mr. Wagner and the reporter. “Oh, these just came in to us from the judge…”offered the nervous court clerk. Photo courtesy of Investigative Reporter Alan Ernesto Phillips
I’m no lawyer but this judge appears to have missed three elections having sat at the Shasta Bench for nearly 20 consecutive years. In the mind of this common citizen, to coin a phrase of wearyant, being a member of the poor, huddled unwashed masses it appears that this character needs to be put out to pasture by operation of law. If the AOC and our chief justice actually respected our constitution, she would have addressed these matters long ago instead of perpetually re-appointing “Judge” Jack Halpin through what should have been three election cycles.
For the laymen out there: The Commission on Judicial Performance that might normally remove a judge has no oversight responsibilities whatsoever over assigned judges. Oversight of assigned judges is the responsibility of the criminal minds at the AOC. Additionally, Mr. Steven Jahr, current executive director of the AOC was formerly a Shasta county judge and sat for years with “Judge” Jack Halpin and continues the longstanding tradition of unlawfully appointing Jack Halpin to the Shasta Bench. Nobody wants to intervene and actually do the right thing.
This lawsuit is a public relations disaster for the AOC, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, Steven Jahr and the assigned judges program and serves as the poster child case of the judicial branch leadership usurping the will of the people. A hint to the legislature and governor: This double-dipping judicial welfare program for Jack Halpin costs the people of the state of California 26 million dollars per year, yet there are judges out there without court staff or courtrooms to practice their profession in. This program is low hanging fruit and ripe for legislative elimination as was done in 23 other states, legislative intervention in defining the parameters of the program and CJP oversight.
Everyone who is anyone in the AG‘s office, the Governors office and the judicial branch leadership now has a copy of this complaint. And now, you do too. Please note Jack Halpin’s own response that references a response made by the AOC to the Attorney General’s office. We are trying to obtain that document which is one of the reasons we’ve been sitting on this story for a few days. Surely if the respondent makes reference to a document that the AOC sent the AG’s office, the prosecuting attorney should get a copy as well ?