On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, the California Commission on Judicial Performance issued a public admonishment against Commissioner Wendy M. Harris of Riverside County Superior Court for her rudeness, contentiousness, impatience, and disparaging conduct towards the litigants in both hearings.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Wendy M. Harris,”
This public admonishment arose from Harris’s conduct during two consecutive hearings dealing with a custody dispute and a domestic violence restraining order request. The commission found that Commissioner Harris exhibited discourtesy, argumentativeness, impatience, and demeaning behavior toward the litigants in both hearings. Furthermore, she appeared excessively involved in the proceedings, which compromised the integrity of the court process.
In the issuance of a public reprimand, it was stated that in the initial hearing, the courtroom saw the presence of a deputy district attorney (DDA) and an investigator, both affiliated with the Child Abduction Unit (CAU). On the subsequent day of these proceedings, the same CAU members who had attended the first hearing were joined by two additional DDAs holding supervisory roles within the CAU. Every DDA affiliated with the CAU was documented as having appeared for the record during both hearings. Throughout these proceedings, Commissioner Harris did not afford the DDAs or the investigator the opportunity to provide her with any pertinent information. Commissioner Harris’s inappropriate conduct was further exacerbated by prior disciplinary actions taken by the Presiding Judge of Riverside County Superior Court, stemming from her handling of a previous family law case marked by her poor temperament.
According to Patch, Riverside County Superior Court Executive Office, Presiding Judge Judith Clark received and reviewed the commission’s report. ‘At this time, Commissioner Harris is not hearing cases; however, she is still an employee of the court,’ Executive Office spokeswoman Marita Ford said. ‘The court respects and appreciates the oversight of the Commission on Judicial Performance regarding the conduct of its judicial officers,’ Ford added. ‘The court takes very seriously its obligation to ensure the highest ethical standards for all judicial officers in order to maintain the public’s faith and confidence in their system of justice.’
In response to the alleged facts against Harris, the California Commission on Judicial Performance issued a public admonishment to discipline Harris.
The Disposition states:
‘The Commission on Judicial Performance has publicly admonished Commissioner Wendy M. Harris of Riverside County Superior Court.”
Ms. Harris is a commissioner of the Riverside County Superior Court in California located at 4050 Main St, Riverside, CA 92501, United States, and can be reached at 951-777-3147. Her info can be found on appscalbar.ca.gov.
A copy of the original filing can be found here