Judge Deals with Particularly Poignant Domestic Cases

By Cassie Larson

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Last week, in Dept. 3 of Santa Barbara County Superior Court, veteran Judge Thomas P. Anderle addressed two particularly interesting cases.

In the first case Judge Anderle was confronted by defense attorney Brian Horan, who was attempting to persuade him to allow a live testimony to be given by his client, who was referred to throughout the case as “mother.”

Horan felt live testimony was imperative as it was in regard to ensuring the child in question was receiving the best care possible in terms of the custody agreement between the father and mother.

While this may seem like a fair request upon first glance, Judge Anderle quickly responded by respectfully denying Horan’s request. In fact, Judge Anderle had already given a tentative ruling, and the request for live testimony was given only hours before today’s hearing was scheduled to occur. The judge cited a three-day notice for live testimony to be customary in court.

The attorney continued to attempt to convince the judge to allow the live testimony from “mother”—he said she had not been able to fully make her case prior to the tentative ruling. However, Judge Anderle stood firmly behind his decision, and stated that it would “set a bad precedent” if he were to allow a live testimony from the “losing side” to take place after his tentative ruling had already been made.

The second significant case of the afternoon in Santa Barbara County Dept. 3 concerned the extension of a temporary restraining order.

The case began with a distressed Alexander Garcia asking Judge Anderle for permission to speak, insisting, “I did not intend to do any harm to anybody. I do not want to spend the rest of my life in jail in the U.S.”

Garcia continued to express his concern about how this restraining order would affect his job as an employee of the Santa Barbara School District. He cited a previous experience in which he attempted to apply for a job within the school district, however the number of infractions on his record kept him from receiving the position.

Judge Anderle then told Garcia that what he knows about the case and all the notes he had did not prompt him to believe that any of Garcia’s actions would result in jail time. Judge Anderle explained that as long as he abides by the temporary restraining order in effect, keeps the stated distance away from the victim, as well as moving out of their shared apartment in the allotted amount of time, that he would be okay.

Additionally, the victim was present in court and informed Judge Anderle that she would be most comfortable if the temporary restraining order remained in place until Sept. 1. This is the date in which she was ordered to also be moved out of the apartment previously shared with Garcia.

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