Lori Fowler, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/26/2012 04:06:13 PM PDT
Updated: 10/26/2012 05:25:13 PM PDT

More changes are coming as a result of the Chino courthouse closure scheduled at the beginning of the year.

Not only will cases be reassigned to the courthouses in Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, but three judges who officially had retired but continued to serve will be let go to make room for transferring employees.

“This was driven by budget issues,” San Bernardino County Presiding Judge Marsha Slough said about the decision to let the judges go. “We’re just trying to figure out how best to coordinate the closure of the Chino courthouse.”

Judges Ben Kayashima, Barry Plotkin and Raymond Van Stockum, who sat on the bench at West Valley Superior Court Rancho Cucamonga for years, were recently told that the San Bernardino County Superior Court system was unable to keep them next year.

The decision goes hand-in-hand with the Chino Courthouse closure, Slough said. It was made so three Chino Courthouse judges would have benches in Rancho Cucamonga.

Kayashima, assigned to a civil courtroom, was appointed to the bench in 1980 by Gov. Jerry Brown during his second term.

Plotkin, also assigned to a civil courtroom, was appointed in 1990 by Gov. George Deukmejian.

Van Stockum, assigned to the criminal misdemeanor department, was also appointed by Deukmejian in 1990 to the Municipal Court and elevated to Superior Court by court unification in 1998.

They each served 20 years before being appointed to sit on assignment as a retired judge, Slough said.

“Each has served our bench consistently and with loyalty since their respective appointments, and in their retirement,” Slough said. “They have served our court and county well, and each will be missed.”

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