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A Pleasanton judge who faces a misconduct hearing in two weeks must pay his daughter $1,600, a small claims court ruled Monday. That’s the latest piece of bad news for Alameda County Superior Court Judge D. Ronald Hyde, 59, who is waiting to fight seven counts of misconduct before a panel of special masters on March 24. The judge, who has been on the bench for 21 years, could face anything from public admonishment to removal if the Commission on Judicial Performance finds that he committed the misdeeds. The CJP disciplined Hyde once before, in 1996. One of the allegations before the CJP is that Hyde knew he was assigned to hear his daughter’s 2001 small claims court case over a fender bender and told his clerk to keep it on his calendar. Hyde later assigned the case to a judge pro tem who is also a member of his Rotary Club. The daughter, Suzanne Hyde, sued her father in a separate small claims case in December for withholding $1,600 and some rings that she inherited from her grandmother, who died in March 2001. The judge countersued, claiming his daughter still owed him $1,900 of $15,000 that she had agreed to pay when she bought his 1996 Ford Explorer. The younger Hyde said she didn’t owe her father any money. Suzanne Hyde, who said in an earlier interview that she is not on speaking terms with her father, said she merely agreed to assume her father’s $10,000 loan. She did that and paid him an additional $2,000, she said. At a Jan. 23 hearing, the judge and his daughter presented their cases to retired Kings County Judge Carlos Baker Jr. at the Hayward Hall of Justice. According to Suzanne Hyde and newspaper accounts, during the proceeding Judge Hyde intimated that the jewelry may have been stolen , though he later gave his daughter one of the disputed rings. Judge Baker’s Monday ruling was issued on a standard court form and didn’t delve into either party’s accusations. The judgment says Hyde must pay his daughter the disputed $1,600 and $62 in “costs.” Suzanne Hyde does not have to pay her father any money, the form says. “I am happy and relieved,” Suzanne Hyde said Tuesday, adding that she thinks her relationship with her father will never be the same. “After this last stunt of his, our relationship is a done deal,” she said. “The damage is irreparable.” Judge Hyde did not return calls seeking comment. Hyde’s attorney in the CJP proceeding downplayed the small claims judgment. “I don’t think that it will have any bearing, should this proceed to a formal hearing,” said James Murphy, of San Francisco’s Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney. The “line of communication” for settling the CJP case is open, he added. Despite the recent small claims dispute with her father, Suzanne Hyde said earlier in an interview with The Recorder that she believes her father is ethical. And Murphy said if the younger Hyde is called on to testify before the commission, she will say that she never discussed who should hear her 2001 small claims court case. John Harding, the pro tem in the judge’s Rotary Club , will testify that he had no idea that Hyde’s daughter was a defendant in the case until it was assigned to him, Murphy said. Although Harding later assumed the defendant was related to the judge, the pro tem “did not consider the relationship between the judge and his daughter before rendering his ruling,” Murphy said. The CJP is also investigating allegations that Hyde told an offensive sexual joke to court staff and that he ended probation for the daughter of a lawyer friend who sits on the Pleasanton school board. That attorney, Patrick Kernan, the head of Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel’s Pleasanton office, will testify, Murphy said. Deputy DAs and PDs who were involved in the underlying cases mentioned in the CJP probe will also take the stand, he said. The list includes prosecutor Glen Duren, as well as Deputy Public Defenders Leonard Ulfelder and Raymond Keller. Hayward father-daughter criminal defense lawyers Allan Gorelick and Jo Lynn Gorelick represented a defendant in one case and may also testify, Murphy said. Hyde’s lawyer said the small claims tussle doesn’t mean there is animosity between his client and his client’s daughter. “There’s blood there,” he said. “They have been close in the past, and deep down there is a family tie.” Had there been no CJP probe, there would be no interest in the case, he added. “Really, there is no difference between this and your garden variety, run-of-the-mill small claims case,” Murphy said. If Judge Hyde wishes to appeal Hyde v. Hyde, 2002071603, he must do so within 30 days, the judgment says.

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