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Come January, San Francisco Superior Court will have another courtroom dedicated to the criminal division and one more dedicated to the city’s Unified Family Court. “We have backlogs in both the juvenile dependency division and in criminal,” said Presiding Judge Donna Hitchens. “What I hope it’ll help us do is diminish those backlogs and get cases to trial more quickly.” Hitchens released courtroom assignments for the coming year Monday, including the newly designated courtrooms as well as the annual shuffling of judges and commissioners between, or within, courthouses. The court’s decision to designate new courtrooms doesn’t mean it’s paring down other divisions, Hitchens said. While the court awaited appointments to the bench, some courtrooms sat empty, or were used by visiting judges, the PJ said. x-Gov. Gray Davis delivered in his last two months in office, naming Suzanne Ramos Bolanos, Donald James Sullivan and Kathleen Kelly to San Francisco’s last three vacancies in quick succession, Hitchens noted. The PJ says she’s “delighted” to have a full bench now, but laments that there still isn’t enough courtroom space at the Hall of Justice. As a result, lawyers will have to travel some blocks to argue in the new criminal courtroom — because it will be in the civil Civic Center courthouse on McAllister Street, near City Hall. “We don’t have a courtroom available at the Hall of Justice,” Hitchens said. Many judges will stay put, but others will swap courtrooms, roles or both beginning Jan. 12, according to court officials: • Judge Anne Bouliane will preside over the new criminal courtroom in Dept. 624, where she now hears civil matters. • Judge Harold Kahn will move from domestic violence court at the Hall of Justice to family court at the Civic Center courthouse. • Judge Katherine Feinstein will move to Dept. 405 to reflect her new role supervising the Unified Family Court. • Judge Charlotte Woolard, who currently supervises the UFC, will move to domestic violence court. • Commissioner Abby Abinanti will switch from the Youth Guidance Center to a UFC courtroom in the civil courthouse. • Judge Peter Busch is trading in a preliminary hearing department at the Hall of Justice for a civil courtroom. • Judge Teri Jackson will go from a misdemeanor arraignment and trial court to a preliminary hearing department. • Judge Sullivan, who temporarily had a civil courtroom and was also filling in for judges at the Hall of Justice, will take over a misdemeanor arraignment and trial courtroom, as will Judge Kelly, the court’s newest appointee, who’s now in orientation. • Judge Mary Wiss is moving from a first-floor preliminary hearing department at the Hall of Justice to a long preliminary hearing department upstairs. • Judge Mary Morgan, who is taking over the role of supervising judge for the criminal division, will move to Dept. 22. • Judge Kay Tsenin, who currently supervises that division, will swap for Morgan’s current criminal trial courtroom, Dept. 26. • Judge Nancy Davis will move from a misdemeanor arraignment and trial courtroom to the Youth Guidance Center.

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