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San Francisco Superior Court will get a new supervising judge for the criminal courts and a courtroom dedicated to behavioral health and mental health cases next month, when the court’s annual assignment swap takes place. About one-third of the city’s judges and commissioners will change locations or roles on Jan. 9, according to a list from Presiding Judge Robert Dondero’s office. Judge James McBride will move into Department 22 to become the supervising judge for the criminal division. He’ll replace Judge Mary Morgan, who will preside over the behavioral health and mental health court in Department 27 at the Hall of Justice. About one day of her week there will be spent on what is now known as the behavioral health court, a program that assigns defendants with serious mental disorders to treatment programs and services. The program is currently conducted one day a week under retired Judge Herbert Donaldson. The mental health court will take up the rest of Morgan’s week. That docket will include the proceedings that determine whether someone who has already completed a criminal sentence can be detained even longer through a civil commitment � something that state law allows for certain mentally disordered offenders and sexually violent predators. And the mental health court will also track the progress of patients who have been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity, Morgan said. Her replacement in Dept. 22, McBride, currently presides over civil trials but has split his career between criminal and civil law, both as a lawyer and since taking the bench in 1994. A former prosecutor, he left the San Francisco DA’s office in the 1980s to enter private practice, which included business litigation. He is one of more than 20 judges and commissioners who are changing courtrooms next month.
THE NEW ROTATION
Unified Family Court:Dept. 405: The Unified Family Court (UFC) will get a new supervising judge when Judge Donna Hitchens moves there from preliminary hearings.Dept. 29B: Judge Newton Lam will move to the UFC from misdemeanors.Dept. 30: Judge Nancy Davis will stay in the UFC, but will move from one juvenile delinquency courtroom to another.Civil:Dept. 501: The UFC’s current supervising judge, Katherine Feinstein, will preside over civil trials.Dept. 210: Judge Suzanne Bolanos will move from misdemeanors to civil trials.Dept. 502: Judge Patrick Mahoney will move to civil trials from the UFC.Dept. 506: Commissioner Paul Slavit will move to small claims from traffic court.Dept. 002: Judge Peter Busch will move from a civil courtroom on McAllister Street to one on Polk Street.Hall of Justice:Depts. 9, 10, 11: Judges Harold Kahn, Charlene Mitchell and Marla Miller will move to preliminary hearings from the domestic violence courtroom, civil trials and misdemeanors, respectively.Dept. 13: Judge Cynthia Lee will move to the domestic violence courtroom from felony trials.Depts. 14, 16: Judges Garrett Wong and Curtis Karnow will move to misdemeanor courtrooms from civil trials.Depts. 15, 17: Judges Perker Meeks Jr. and Kathleen Kelly will move to misdemeanors from preliminary hearings.Dept. 20: Judge Susan Breall will move to preliminary hearings from misdemeanors.Dept. 22: Judge James McBride, currently in civil trials, will become the supervising judge of the criminal courts.Dept. 25: Judge Charlotte Woolard will move from one felony trial courtroom to another.Dept. 27: Judge Mary Morgan, who currently supervises the criminal courts, will move to a newly dedicated mental health/behavioral health courtroom.Dept. 29: Judge Teri Jackson will preside over felony trials in a newly built courtroom.Dept. B: Commissioner Geraldine Rosen-Park will move to traffic court from small claims.� Pam Smith

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