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Overholt named interim director
of California courts

Longtime court administrator Ronald G. Overholt was named interim administrative director of the California courts last month, replacing William Vickrey, who will retire Sept. 9. Overholt has been chief deputy director of the state courts for 11 years.

Prior to joining the state court system, he was a manager in the Alameda and San Diego county courts.

Ronald Overholt

Vickrey announced his retirement in March, just weeks after two lawmakers called for his resignation in the wake of a blistering state audit of the controversial and costly court case management system (CCMS), a project to computerize court records on a statewide basis. Vickery said he had decided to leave his post well before the audit.

In addition to the CCMS, Overholt faces other court-related issues, including severe budget cuts and opposition to the AOC’s centralized power by an increasingly vocal group of judges. This legislative session, the California Alliance of Judges succeeded in moving the Trial Court Rights Act, to increase local control and give judges more power over their budgets, to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, where it was gutted before being withdrawn. But the latest severe budget cuts have encouraged alliance members to call for shelving CCMS as a way to save money.

In announcing Overholt’s interim appointment, Cantil-Sakauye said he “is intimately familiar with the statewide budget process and many other aspects of court administration.” San Diego Superior Court Judge Kevin A. Enright, chair of the Judicial Council’s Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, said Overholt’s appointment “will provide consistency in our judicial branch during these unprecedented and difficult economic times.” At a meeting last month, the Judicial Council asked the chief justice to appoint a committee to develop a process for selecting the next administrative director.

Overholt, who is a past president of the California Association for Superior Court Administration and a former member of the board of directors of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, said, “I am so honored to serve the courts, the public, and the AOC as interim administrative director of the courts. I could not be more proud to be a member of the staff of the AOC and to lead its work.”

Prior to joining the AOC, Overholt was executive officer, jury commissioner and clerk of the Alameda County Superior Court. He previously served in management positions for the San Diego courts. He also served as a negotiator on behalf of the Judicial Council for the passage of legislation for state trial court funding in 1997. In 2010, Overholt received the National Center for State Court’s Distinguished Service Award, presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the judicial administration field. 

Overholt has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Diego State University. He and his wife, PJ, have a daughter, Blaire.