Rate My Judge is a public resource for community members, practitioners, public defenders, and others engaged in fighting for justice to provide honest reviews of their day-to-day interactions with LA County Judges and their experiences within a judge’s courtroom.
For far too long, the public has been left in the dark as to what happens inside a judge’s courtroom. Does the judge provide instructions? What is their temperament like? How do they treat defendants, staff, and public defenders?
Now, what was once private will come to light as we promote transparency and accountability via a community-powered and interactive watchdog website. It’s time for judges to get evaluated on their behavior.
Rate My Judge is a platform created by La Defensa, a project of Tides Advocacy, designed and built by Swell Creative Group.
Judicial accountability from an abolitionist perspective refers to the oversight, transparency, and accountability mechanisms developed and implemented by the community to both expose and reduce the harms of the judicial system and create pathways for alternative forms of community-driven accountability.
It recognizes the systemic biases and injustices present in the legal system and its inherent nature to uphold white supremacy and capitalism.
Holding judges accountable can be done through various mechanisms such as:
Rate My Judge is a community-driven, public resource for people who are engaged in fighting for justice to provide honest reviews of their day-to-day interactions with LA County Judges and their experiences within a judge’s courtroom.
Court Watch LA is our community organizing model, Court Watch LA, promotes accountability and transparency in the judicial system. We train and empower Court Watchers to observe judicial behavior in courtrooms by collecting data and reporting their findings to the public. Additionally, Court Watch seeks to raise awareness about the criminalization of poverty and homelessness, including fines, fees, and predatory bail-setting practices.
Court Watch LA aims to shed light on the disparate treatment and punishment of marginalized groups such as Black, Indigenous, and Latine communities, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and other marginalized Angelenos. We also cast light onto any influence from law enforcement and elected officials and hold them accountable for promoting mass incarceration and criminalization. Our community organizing models support organizing efforts outside and inside the courtroom to limit the reach of the criminal legal system and dismantle the carceral state.
Justice PAC by La Defensa is the first of its kind, and the only PAC dedicated to supporting truly progressive candidates for judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The PAC will focus on culturally-informed political education for varying demographics, especially first time voters, under-funded communities, and the LGBTQI+ community.
170.6 Challenge (Papering): A judge can be disqualified from presiding over a civil lawsuit or criminal trial if the judge seems to be prejudiced against one of the parties or attorneys. Their caseload will be distributed to all other judges within the courthouse.
Commission on Judicial Performance: The Commission on Judicial Performance is the independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and judicial incapacity and for disciplining judges.
• Reducing the scope and power of the criminal legal system through the decriminalization of certain offenses and the legalization of others helps limit the influence of the judicial system in communities and reduces opportunities for judicial misconduct.
• Reduction of judicial discretion that allows for preventative detention
• Enforcing and codifying separation of powers
This includes judges with varied legal expertise, such as those who have worked as civil rights lawyers, labor attorneys, or public defenders, among others. It also encompasses diversity in personal backgrounds, such as different ethnicities, gender identities, religions, socioeconomic statuses, and other identities that shape their perspectives. Judges with different backgrounds and experiences can bring unique insights and perspectives to their decision-making, which can help prevent biases and promote a more balanced and just application of the law.