Court Services is located in downtown Modesto at the main courthouse. It provides security for the entire court system county-wide, including bailiff services and transportation of all inmates to and from local intra county facilities, and to state correctional facilities. The Court Services Division is currently responsible for security in the following sites:
STANISLAUS COUNTY SUPERIOR COURTS (DEPARTMENTS 1-15, 25)
800 11th Street
Modesto, CA. 95354
The three story structure covers half a city block. It is occupied by an average of 3,000 people per day, 200 of which are jurors, 600 employees, and 1,000 litigants and attorneys. These courtrooms handle a wide variety of legal process including arraignments, preliminary hearings, misdemeanor and felony trials, family law cases, and civil writs. There is a security screening checkpoint at the entrance to the courthouse which is designed to keep weapons from entering the building.
STANISLAUS COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUVENILE DIVISION (DEPARTMENTS 17-18)
2215 Blue Gum Ave.
Modesto, CA. 95358
Department 9, Phone: (209) 525-4581
Department 10, (209) 525-4583
This single story structure is attached to the county's Juvenile Hall facility. General Juvenile criminal and traffic matters are handled at this site. Three deputies from Court Services are assigned, two to the adjoining courtrooms and one for lobby security.
STANISLAUS COUNTY TRAFFIC COURT (DEPARTMENT 20)
2260 Floyd Ave.
Modesto, CA. 95355
CIVIL COURTS (DEPARTMENTS 21-24)
801 10th Street, 4th & 6th Floors
Modesto CA 95354
The Government Code requires the appointment of a Sheriff's Lieutenant to head the Court Service's Bureau. In addition, the Sheriff has assigned the following personnel to this function:
1 Leiutenant, 2 Sergeants, 30 Deputies, and 6 Court Security Officers
Although the Court Security Division represents only about 10 percent of the department’s sworn strength, there are strong interrelationships with the four other services areas. Correctional Services coordinates with Court Security to insure that inmates are transported and available for court appearances. Investigative and Patrol Services provide necessary support to Court Security and appear frequently in courts to present evidence in criminal proceedings.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Specific duties of various Court Security Personnel are detailed in the Procedures Manual. Generally, the Lieutenant is responsible tor liaison between the Sheriff's Department and the Presiding Judges. The Lieutenant provides for the administration and management of the Bureau. The lieutenant oversees the preparation of the divisional budget, insures that department policies are properly interpreted, and investigates internal complaints.
The two sergeants supervise the specific areas. They provide periodic performance evaluations for employees assigned to their respective work areas. Any concerns or comments, positive or negative, may be directed to the appropriate sergeant by contacting the Court Service's Bureau in the Courthouse, (209) 236-7898.
GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS OF DEPUTIES
Typically, the deputies have experience in one or more divisions of the Sheriffs Department before requesting assignment to Court Services. In addition to basic academy training, each deputy receives advanced training each year in a wide variety of job-related subjects.
When experienced deputies are transferred to Court Services from other service areas, they receive orientation and training specific to court security functions.
In 1992, the Stanislaus County Marshal’s Office merged with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. This merger was facilitated by Government Code Section 74784 Article 31, passed in 1992. The thirty-seven Deputy Marshals became Deputy Sheriffs and the officers were made a part of the Sheriffs Court Security Division. All officers involved in this merger were guaranteed their positions for five years. The Sheriff's Department opened all of its assignments in all divisions to officers who wanted to move to new service areas.
At the same time, the Marshal's Civil Bureau merged with the Civil Bureau of the Sheriff's Department and the Marshal was promoted to Lieutenant.
Prior to the merger, Deputy Marshals provided bailiff services for Stanislaus County Municipal Courts. Deputy Marshals reported to the Marshal which was a position appointed by the Municipal Court Judges. The Marshals relied upon the Sheriff's Department, as the larger department, for enforcement actions.
The Sheriff's Department provided bailiff services for the Stanislaus Superior Courts along with the transportation, escort, control and security for the court facilities. The Sheriff could muster personnel from other divisions during time of crisis.
The Sheriff-Marshal merger provided for a consolidation and standardization of services provided. It streamlined the administrative functions and provided a more direct and responsive means of addressing complaints and problems. On August 1, 1998 the Superior and Municipal Courts merged, providing for standardization and consolidation of court services. All courts are now Superior Courts.
Mission Statement for Court Security
To insure the safety and security of the court buildings and
insure the safety and security of the persons who appear and work in them;
facilitate and maximize the efficiency of judicial and other courthouse functions;
present an image of concern, competence, and professionalism to the bench, bar and all other users of the courthouse;
and deliver all in-custody defendants to court in a safe, secure and timely manner.
California Government Code, Article 31, Section 74784 seq., mandate the Sheriff's provision of security service to Superior and Municipal courts in Stanislaus County. The mandated services include:
• Notice and process services
• Court security
• Prisoner transportation
• Prisoner escort
• Bailiff services
• Execution of court orders and bench warrants requiring immediate presence of a defendant or witness
California Government Code further addresses the administration of the Sheriff's Court Security Bureau.
Lieutenant of Court Services
Lieutenant Cliff Harper is a 26 year veteran of law enforcement for Stanislaus County. He began in 1984 with the Stanislaus County Marshal’s Office. He graduated from the Modesto Junior College Police Academy in December 1984. Six years later he was promoted to the rank of Captain in the Marshal’s Office. In 1992, when the Marshal’s Office merged into the Sheriff’s Department, Cliff became a Sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department. He served in the Court Services Division until 1995. In August of 1995, Cliff was given the assignment of Training Sergeant. While in this position, he served as coordinator, interim director, and instructor for the Ray Simon Regional Criminal Justice Training Center. In 2003, Cliff was transferred back to the Court Services Division. In September of 2004, Cliff transferred to the Patrol division where he remained until he was promoted to Lieutenant in April of 2005. Lt. Harper has a BS degree from Liberty University.
Lieutenant Cliff Harper's current assignment is Court Services and Civil Division Commander. In that capacity, he manages the daily operations of Court Security, Civil Process, and State Wide Prisoner Transportation.