Four Merced County judges will shuffle court assignments beginning Monday.
Linda Romero-Soles, executive of the Merced Superior Court, confirmed the judicial rotation, saying it will help the judges gain experience ahead of the retirement later this year of a veteran judge and the addition of a new courthouse in Los Banos, tentatively scheduled to open the middle of next year.
Beginning Monday, Judge Marc A. Garcia will swap seats with Judge David Moranda. Garcia will take over juvenile cases and Moranda will hear criminal felonies in Merced County, Romero-Soles said.
Additionally, recently appointed Judge Paul C. Lo will take over misdemeanor proceedings from Judge John D. Kirihara, who will take Lo’s spot hearing civil, small claims and traffic cases, Romero-Soles said.
The additional experience the judges receive will help the court prepare for the upcoming retirement of Judge Harry L. Jacobs, who plans to step down at the end of the year.
The court’s chief also said two judges will staff the new Los Banos courthouse when it opens in 2016. “So one of the judges may move over there, and we’re hoping to add a new judge position to fill the other vacancy,” Romero-Soles said.
Construction on the nearly $32.6 million project is expected to begin in May.