Step Taken to Ease Judges’ Caseloads


Hoping to ease the caseloads for Ventura County’s judges, court officials announced Thursday that they will hand off some child support cases to a newly appointed court commissioner.

Oxnard attorney Manuel J. Covarrubias, who has served as a judge pro tem in family law cases, will become a court commissioner assigned to child support and other municipal court cases.

Covarrubias said in a statement that he had been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to work as a court commissioner, whose duties are similar to those of a judge.


“I’m very gratified to have been selected and . . . I am looking forward to taking on the position and challenges and am ready for some hard work,” he said.

Court officials said the appointment should help judges lighten their calendars so people will not have to sit in the courtroom for hours waiting to be heard.

“This should really help expedite the process,” said Florence Prushan, assistant executive officer for the courts. “We’ve been waiting for this for a while, and we’re excited to get this program started.”

The new position will be funded in part by a federal grant aimed at improving the court’s ability to handle increasing numbers of child support cases.

Covarrubias will begin taking cases Jan. 3.