Sacramento Courtroom Issues $300,000 in Warrants for Holiday

By Julian Navarro

SACRAMENTO – It may have been the day before a holiday, but when more than a dozen defendants didn’t show for scheduled court dates Friday, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Scott Tedmon issued more than $300,000 worth of bench warrants.

That may or may not have been a record for one courtroom in one sitting, but it’s a high number.

One defendant identified only as “Clark” started things off with a bench warrant of $10,500 and had his probation revoked.

From there it was off to the race with a series of bench warrants issued rapidly one after another to the various defendants. Depending on the previous attendance of the defendants, their warrant amounts varied. The average amount was about $10,500 as opposed to the highest amount of $30,500.

Clark, according to the court, only attended one class since he was enrolled in the “batterers” program and missed his progress hearing.

The next case involved a $20,500 warrant when the defendant appeared to not have attended any classes, and in fact didn’t even sign up for the battery program which was an initial requirement to his probation.

But the award for the biggest bench warrant went to a “Mr. Reed,” who garnered a $30,500 warrant. The court said he had previous warrants for failure to appear—he’s now had five in a row.

The courts have been lenient about not issuing warrants, largely because, in this pandemic time, it’s been difficult for defendants to sign up for programs—many businesses and agencies are understaffed.

Also, because jails and prisons have been trying to reduce populations under state judicial council orders last spring, many facilities were able to reduce inmate numbers and courts have not required bail, leading to many more defendants released with only promises to appear.

Without good cause, it could mean an increase in the jail population when law enforcement finds those who now have targets on their backs in the form of outstanding warrants.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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