New court commissioner sworn in

Shelly Seymour was sworn-in as new Merced court commissioner on Friday during a brief ceremony inside the Merced County Board of Supervisors chambers.

Seymour, 53, replaced Commissioner Gerald Corman, who retired this month.

Seymour is a graduate of Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, where she received a bachelors degree in accounting and political science. She received her law degree from the University of Iowa in 1986.

She was in private practice in Merced from 1989 until 2008 where she specialized in civil and family law. From 2008 until recently, she was a self help attorney/family law facilitator at the Merced County Superior Court. She also assisted the Mariposa Superior Court as a family law commissioner until 2011, according to a court press release.

According to Presiding Judge Brian McCabe, Seymour was the Superior Court’s choice from a large, legally diverse and experienced pool of candidates, and her experience made her uniquely qualified for the commissioner position.

Judges are appointed by the governor and serve a term of six years, before running for re-election. Commissioners, on the other hand, are hired by the court.

The primary duties of commissioners include determining ex parte motions, hearing uncontested actions and proceedings, conducting arraignments, hearing actions to establish paternity and child or spousal support, hearing small claims and infraction cases and issuing bench warrants for failure to appear, according to court officials.