My question involves court procedures for the state of: California
I went to Small Claims (in San Diego County) court today to observe and (to my astonishment) a litigant wanted to object to the presiding judge; however, this wasn't a Judge, it's a commissioner. The form the bailiff handed the litigant was form CCP 170.6. Doesn't said litigant simply need to refuse to stipulate to the use of a commissioner and save that one usage of CCP 170.6 just in case said litigant REALLY does have a problem with the assigned Judge? Not only that, they (the Bailiffs) stated they would try to find "someone to take the assignment". Wouldn't you want to know ahead of time what Judge does get assigned and therefore reserve usage of CCP 170.6? Can I refuse to stipulate to a commissioner BEFORE I go to my assigned court date/time, so I can see who (what Judge) gets assigned the case?
This is directly applicable to me because I intend to refuse to stipulate to a commissioner. Principally because I believe the matter has possible criminal components and a commissioner has a limited scope of authority and likely can't/won't refer this case for anything criminal because he/she lacks the authority to do so.