Monday, September 26, 2016

DDA Kurt Rowley teaching at the 2016 Child Abduction Seminar in Sacramento


Deputy DA Kurt Rowley taught at last week's 2016 Child Abduction Seminar in Sacramento which was sponsored by the California District Attorneys Association. The two day seminar was for prosecutors and investigators working in all levels of child abduction and provided an excellent opportunity for networking and the sharing of information with others who work in the field.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Restitution Specialist assists victims of crime in collecting restitution using a CR-110/CR-111


Victim Restitution Specialist Sandra Perez recently assisted two victims in acquiring restitution they were owed after she had encouraged them to file an Order for Restitution and Abstract of Judgment (Judicial Council forms CR-110/JV-790 and CR-111/JV-790, commonly called a CR-110/CR-111).

According to Sandy, all crime victims can and should file a CR-110/CR-111 with the Superior or Juvenile Court once restitution has been awarded. The CR-110/CR-111 does not “convert” the criminal restitution order into a civil judgment. Filing it, however, enables the victim to collect on a criminal restitution order “as if it were a civil judgment,” thereby opening the door to civil collections remedies (i.e., liens, wage garnishment, etc.). 

Recording the CR-110/CR-111 with a County Recorder wherever the defendant resides or may own property establishes an automatic lien against that defendant’s current or future real estate there, and gives the victim’s judgment priority, such that the victim must be paid the amount of the restitution owed before the defendant can sell, refinance, or transfer his or her property in that county. Liens can also be placed on a defendant’s business assets via a statewide lien on personal property with the assistance of the California Secretary of State.

Back in July 2016, a victim who had followed Sandy’s advice to file a CR-110/CR-111 received notice from an escrow company that the defendant in her case had inherited a house. As the defendant attempted to have the title transferred into his name, the CR-110/CR-111 lien showed up. In order to close escrow, the defendant was forced to satisfy the victim’s lien. With some further guidance from Sandy, the victim was able to have the escrow company wire the full restitution amount (over $8,000) into her bank account one month later. 

The victim then emailed Sandy: “Good morning!! Guess what?! The full restitution was wired into our account on August 16th! We cannot believe it, but it’s true! Thank you, Sandra, for everything you did to help us get a judgment recorded. The system really does work! Please let everyone know how grateful we are for their assistance. This is such a blessing!!”

In another recent case, a victim learned that his perpetrator was about to sell his house, so he contacted our office for assistance with his CR-110/CR-111. He had turned the completed forms into the Superior Court, but they still awaited judicial signature. Sandy and DDA Michelle Iskander were able to get a judge to sign the forms immediately, and the victim quickly recorded them. Unfortunately, the title company missed the lien. It eventually acknowledged its mistake, however, and satisfied most of the restitution order (almost $30,000).

“I always encourage all of the victims I work with to file the forms because you never know when a defendant will attempt to buy or sell real property,” said Perez. “If and when they do, it will show up as a lien, which has to be satisfied before title can be transferred.” 

Attorneys at the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board and those in the District Attorney’s Appellate Services Unit with whom Sandy has worked on a variety of restitution matters also encourage that all Deputy District Attorneys assist victims in having the court sign a CR-110/CR-111 at the time the restitution order is made.

Consumer Protection Unit honored at Best of Inland Empire Awards Celebration


 
Supervising Deputy DA Denise Trager-Dvorak and Lead Deputy DA Doug Poston recently accepted an award on behalf of those in the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit for outstanding work in the aftermath of the Blue Cut fire.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

205 Years of Combined Service to the County of San Bernardino

The following members of the District Attorney's Office were recognized Monday by the Board of Supervisors with their service pins:


Jennifer Dawson (30 years)

Paul Garcia (25 years)

Veronica Parham (25 years)

David Simon (25 years)

Michael Dowd (20 years)

Karen Khim (20 years)

Kristianna Parde (20 years)

Paul Garcia and Veronica Parham pose for a photo with Chief Mike Smith following the presentation

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

IN THE NEWS: San Bernardino terror attack conference focuses on victims

Bureau of Victim Services Chief Flerida Alarcon poses for a photo with Lupe and Dozer--members of the Special Victims K-9 Unit. Alarcon participated in the conference to discuss the District Attorney's response on Dec. 2 and the services and still being provided today.
LOS ANGELES >> Dozens of first-responders, victim advocates and other experts came together Tuesday to talk about the insights gathered from the Dec. 2 San Bernardino terror attack including how to take a more victim-centered approach to mass casualty incidents.

The day-long event was hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the California Endowment Center at 1000 North Alameda St. in downtown Los Angeles.

“It’s the first of its kind in our district and possibly in the nation,” said US Attorney Eileen Decker Tuesday morning.

As authorities dealt with the aftermath of the attack — the deadliest on American soil by Islamic extremists since Sept. 11, 2001 — from an investigative and administrative standpoint, it was clear one of the major points that should not be left out is how victims are treated during and, sometimes more importantly, after such a devastating event, she said.

“Victims need all the assistance that we can afford them,” she said noting that some needed counseling, others needed help navigating through the county’s worker’s compensation system.

Decker said she hopes the conference will help assistance agencies, including prosecutors, to take a victim-centered approach to these events.

“We’ve attended many conferences that were strictly focused on the attack and police response,” San Bernardino Assistant Police Chief Eric McBride, who was also a speaker at the conference, said during a phone interview later in the day. “But it was nice to be involved in a conference that focused solely on the victims and how to better serve them.”

Along with first responders who were there the day of the attack, victim advocate groups scheduled to speak were FBI victim specialists Claire Balanay and Debbie Deem and Flerida Alarcon, chief of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Victim Services.

They were among five experts on a panel addressing preparations needed to assist victims following a mass casualty incident.

Click here to read the full story.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Deputy District Attorney Jack Liu Honored as MADD Prosecutor of the Year



Deputy District Attorney Jack Liu was recognized today at a luncheon honoring members of the law enforcement community.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) recognized Liu—who has been a prosecutor for just under a decade—for his work in both the courtroom and within the community.

Over the last year, he has worked in the West Valley Division and has primarily prosecuted major felony DUI cases involving serious injuries or death.

“He was chosen to handle these types of cases because he is not only a tenacious prosecutor but also displays compassion and sensitivity towards victims and their cases,” said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Joe Gaetano. “The victims that he has interacted with have expressed appreciation about his accessibility and the guidance he provides them as their cases are being prosecuted.”
 
Deputy DA Liu and San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Smith who had 483 DUI arrests last year
 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chief Deputy District Attorney Julie Peterson

Congratulations to Julie Peterson who was just promoted to Chief Deputy District Attorney. Chief Peterson, who received her badge today, will oversee the Desert-Mountain Division.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Members of Child Abduction Unit Honored at Local Baseball Game


Senior DA Investigator Karen Cragg and Investigative Tech Michelle Faxon were recently honored at an Inland Empire 66ers baseball game for their work in helping to reunite a mother with her son who had been abducted in 1995.

Karen is currently assigned to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit. Since 2009, she has conducted hundreds of interviews and has been responsible for the recovery of over 55 abducted children.
Michelle Faxon has been employed by the County of San Bernardino since 1988 and joined the District Attorney’s Office 16 years ago.

Together, Karen and Michelle are an important part of the Child Abduction team, who are committed to not only reuniting children with their lawful parent or guardian, but also holding the abductors accountable for their actions.

 


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor Day safety reminder

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- As we take time to celebrate Labor Day, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office would like to remind everybody to make safety a part of their weekend. If you choose to drink alcohol, please drink responsibly and designate a sober driver. Please take the necessary steps to make sure this extended weekend is a safe one for everybody on the road. If you see a drunk driver on the road, please pull over and call 911.

“For many, Labor Day weekend is the last chance for families and friends to come together before the start of the school year. The purpose of this message is to deter drunk drivers and prevent someone from becoming severely injured or killed,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “Please drink responsibly this weekend for your sake and the sake of others on the road.”


Quick Facts
Last year the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office filed 147 DUI-related cases that occurred during the Labor Day weekend. Of this amount, 1 involved serious injury.

In 2015, 7,526 DUI-related cases were filed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. Of this amount, 30 cases involved death or serious injury.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Upland man sentenced to 106 years in state prison for sexually assaulting child


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  An Upland man who sexually assaulted his young relative for seven years was sentenced Friday to 106 years to life in state prison.
Mario Hernandez, 59, was found guilty by a jury on June 3, 2016, of five counts:  three counts of Sodomy with a Child Aged 10 or Younger, one count of Oral Copulation with a Child Aged 10 or Younger, and one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child.
Hernandez, along with his wife, was the boy’s legal guardian. He began molesting the child shortly after he was placed at Hernandez’ home at age 3.  The sexual assaults continued until the victim was 10, when he finally disclosed to school friends that he was being molested.
According to Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss, who prosecuted the case, Hernandez withheld food and privileges from the victim unless he submitted to sexual acts, saying, “You owe me.”
“He would also refuse to sign the boy’s school planner if he did not cooperate,” Schmauss said. “As the victim grew older, Hernandez threatened harm to the boy and his brother if they told anyone.”
While sentencing Hernandez to the maximum possible sentence under the law, Judge Stanford Reichert, who presided over the trial, commented, “The crimes showed a high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness.”
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s courtroom comfort dog, Lupe, assisted both the victim and his brother during their courtroom testimony. This trial was the first in the county to use the comfort dog during a jury trial.
“This defendant will never again hurt a child,” Schmauss said.  “The victim has been returned to the custody of his father and stepmother and is doing well.”