WatchSonoma Watch
Bill by state Sen. Noreen Evans seeks to shrink juror pools

Legislation billed as an effort to make jury service less onerous in California, but which critics fear could harm a criminal defendant’s right to a fair trial, advanced last week in the state Senate.

3 vie for spot on Sonoma County court bench

One year after the retirement of Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Mark Tansil, Gov. Jerry Brown still has not appointed a successor, leaving court officials wondering if a replacement will be named before the deadline for the next election.

A judge of character

Rene Chouteau, the judge behind the now rescinded ban on ‘expressive activities,’ is known for strong leadership, open mind.

Touring the courthouse grounds with Judge Chouteau

In response to our criticism of a new court order banning protests and group prayer near entrances to the Sonoma County courthouse, President Judge Rene Chouteau called and invited us to take a tour of the courthouse grounds with him. So we did.

Judge bans preaching, protesting near Sonoma County courthouse

You might think the Sonoma County courthouse steps would be one place you could exercise free speech rights. And you would be wrong.

State proposes $10 fee to see public court records

Viewing a public file at the Santa Rosa courthouse will cost $10 under a proposal from the state’s judicial branch that is drawing fire from critics who say it will limit access to public information.

State budget woes may mean more courthouse construction delays

Construction of a new Santa Rosa courthouse is expected to be delayed another year if Gov. Jerry Brown follows through with plans to raid $290 million from the statewide construction fund to balance the budget.

Proposed Dutra plan in Petaluma challenged in court

Opponents of a proposed asphalt plant near Petaluma have challenged the project’s approval in state appellate court.

Petaluma council mulls Dutra appeal

The Petaluma City Council decided Monday night to evaluate whether to appeal a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit trying to halt the Dutra Materials asphalt plant. In a closed-session discussion, the council agreed to analyze whether there are legal grounds for an appeal and how much it would cost to continue the fight.

Judge to decide fate of Dutra asphalt plant

Opponents and supporters of the proposed Dutra Materials asphalt plant south of Petaluma are set to have their date in court Friday. A lawsuit challenging approval of the project, one of the most controversial land-use issues in Sonoma County, will be the focus of a civil court hearing. What should the judge do?

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