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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

San Diego County Superior CourtCandidate for Judge, Office 37

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Gary Kreep

Superior Court Judge
349,118 votes (29.7%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • To continue to protect the Constitutiuonal rights of all parties in my court.
  • To continue to insure that all parties are given due process rights in their legal proceedings.
  • To continue to rule in all cases before me according to the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, and California State law

Questions & Answers

Questions from KPBS and the League of Women Voters (San Diego and North County San Diego chapters) (5)

Do you believe that the rating you received from the San Diego County Bar Association in May 2018 (viewable here: ) accurately represents your character and professional competence? Why or why not?
Answer from Gary Kreep:

 No.  In 2012, during the election campaign for my first term as a judge, a committee of three San Diego County Bar Association representatives advised me that I was well qualified to serve as a judge based on my legal experience and my legal abilities.  However, I was rated as lacking qualifications by the Bar Association.  Upon my appealing that rating, I was asked to appear before a much larger committee.  During that meeting, I was told that all Christians are too biased to be judges, and, thus, I was unqualified to be a judge. 

This year, the four person committee was not so blatant, but they, likewise, rated me as lacking qualifications.  No reason for the rating was disclosed.  While I was not allowed to know what positive comments were submitted in support of me by attorneys to the Bar Association, I was asked about anonymous negative comments submitted.  From the negative comments that I was asked to respond to, it was clear from the quotes that a significant number of the comments were from individuals that had never appeared before me as an attorney-- a number of the comments actually acknowledged that.


Is it appropriate for serving judges to bring important legal or judicial issues to the attention of the public and/or the legislature? Why or why not? What do you think a judge's role should be?
Answer from Gary Kreep:

It is not only inappropriate, but it could violate the Judicial Canons of Ethics.  It is a judge's duty to handle the cases before him, or her, without bias or prejudice.  Testifying before the state legislature, or another legislative body, in favor of, or against, proposed legislation could lead to the public impression that the judge may, or may not, not be willing to enforce the law as drafted.  Judges do not have the right to decide which laws that they will enforce, but speaking out publically in favor of, or against, existing laws, may give the public the impression that judges do have that right.

Additionally, a judge speaking out on a public issue may give the public the impression that the judge may be biased if that issue comes before the judge in court.

Do you believe that all residents of San Diego County—regardless of geography, personal financial resources, or English language proficiency—have adequate access to legal help and the legal system? Why or why not?
Answer from Gary Kreep:

No.  The California state governor, over his most recent two terms in office, has redirected necessary resources away from our courts, and into expenditures in other areas.  The San Diego County Superior Court has been forced to reduce its clerk staff by over 100 clerks over the past several years, offering "Golden Parachutes" to some court personnel .  This has lead to insufficient clerk staff to handle the work load in our local courts.  Currently, there are as many as 10 judges in San Diego County without courtroom staff. 

Due to cutbacks in the budget, there is only one courtroom in San Diego County that handles eviction (unlawful detainer) cases.  That is my courtroom, Department 60, on the third floor of the Hall of Justice, located at 330 West Broadway in downtown San Diego.  Landlords and tenants have to travel from all over San Diego County to have their cases heard in this one courtroom.  As a result, our standard trial calender now is 18-21 cases per half day.  As any litigation attorney will acknowledge, that is a very heavy calender.

Also, due to the cutbacks, only one courthouse in the county handles Small Claims Court matters--the Hall of Justice.

Further, the cutbacks have resulted in substantial delays in the resolution of numerous cases in San Diego County, some now taking over a year.

Finally, the court does not have the resources to comply with recent case decisions, and new legislation, requiring the court to provide court certified translators, at no cost, upon request for every language spoken on Earth, and court reporters at no cost in every case involving an indigent party.

Some federal drug cases have been bumped down into Superior Court, due to the Department of Justice's decision to prosecute immigration cases more aggressively. (See this Union-Tribune article: ). Are you concerned about the impact of the increased federal immigration caseload on the San Diego Superior Court caseload? Why or why not?
Answer from Gary Kreep:

Any increase in the caseload for the San Diego County Superior Court will lead to more delays in the resolution of litigation.  That would, obviously, have a detrimental effect on parties to numerous cases.

Who are your judicial role models, and what specific qualities of theirs do you hope to emulate on the bench?
Answer from Gary Kreep:

United States Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.  Justice Scalia for the clarity of his written opinions, and for his decisions themselves.  Justice Thomas for his focus, his terse questioning of attorneys appearing before the Supreme Couirt, and his written opinions.

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