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Mental Health Hearing Officer (Attorney Mediator)

Company: Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County
Location: Santa Clara
Posted on: June 20, 2022

Job Description:

Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara invites applications for the position of:
Mental Health Hearing Officer (Attorney Mediator) - Extra Help

Applications may be filed online at:

The Hearing Officer must be an active member of the California State Bar. This position isresponsible for a limited hearing schedule serving in conjunction with other part-time Hearing Officers as back-up to the primary Hearing Officer.

Part-time Non-Regular Mental Health Hearing Officer's, shall be compensated for ascheduled "Hearing Block" at the rate of $250 for each assignment. Expenses for mileageand parking in conjunction with hearings and attendance at one administrative meeting a quarterwill be reimbursed upon submission of receipts and mileage claim form.

A "Hearing Block" is a block of time required to complete scheduled hearings at one (1) or more facilities. "Hearing Blocks" are typically an average of four (4) hour blocks in either the morning orafternoon during the work week, but can run shorter or possibly longer, depending upon a particular case load for the day. "Hearing Block" activity may also include hearing officer related business such as presentations or training when requested by the Supervising Judge. Initial agreements will be pro-rated to reflect services through current fiscal year.

This Extra-Help, non-regular position is necessary to provide services due to calendar overlap or when workload demands require additional officers, coverage for vacation, illness, holidays and other Court demands.

Typical schedule: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and as needed for coverage. Schedule subject to change depending on needs of the Court.

The Welfare and Institutions Code provides for the conduct of certain hearings for persons subject to involuntary treatment in mental health facilities. Section 5250 et. seq. provides for aCertification Review Hearing to determine whether probable cause exists to detain the person for intensive treatment related to mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism. Section 5332 et. seq. provides for 'Capacity Hearings' to determine whether a patient detained for treatment lacks the legal capacity to consent or withhold consent to antipsychotic medications. In Santa Clara County, these hearings are conducted by Mental Health Hearing Officers. The Superior Court is responsible for the selection, compensation, and oversight of the hearing officers.


Conducts informal hearings applying the appropriate rules of evidence and civil procedure,and consistent with the Mental Health Hearing Program Procedures as established by the Superior Court at designated facilities in the county:
Welfare and Institutions Code 5250 (certification reviews) to determine whether probable cause exists to detain person for intensive treatment related to a mental disorder orimpairment by chronic alcoholism, and
Welfare and Institutions Code 5352 et. Seq. (Capacity Hearings) to determine whether apatient detained fro treatment lacks the mental capacity to consent or withhold consent toantipsychotic medication.


To conduct certification review and capacity hearings in psychiatric hospitals throughout the County of Santa Clara as assigned by the primary full-time Mental Health Hearing Officer. Said hearings to be conducted pursuant to W&I Code Sections 5250 et seq and 5325 et seq and the Superior Court Policies and Procedures for Certification Review and Capacity Hearings.
To ensure that all notices and decisions that pertain to matters heard by the Hearing Officer are appropriately completed, and filed or delivered to the Superior Court/County Clerk.
To attend meetings as arranged with the primary full-time Mental Health Hearing Officer.
To maintain hearing logs as needed to support monthly claims and to assist in the collection of program statistics.


Active membership in the State Bar of California, and;
A minimum of five (5) years post-bar experience in a private practice or for a legal service provider or a governmental agency.
Must refrain from the practice of law while employed with the Court as a Mental HearingOfficer (Canon 6G of the Judicial Code of Ethics).
All hearings are held in the mental health facilities located throughout the County. HearingOfficers must be able to travel to these facilities, arranging their own transportation.
Hearing Officers must hold a valid California Driver's License if driving a motor vehicle.
Submission to background investigation is required upon conditional offer of employment.


Legal principles and methodology, and;
California State Mental Health Laws.
Working with persons with mental disorders. Knowledge may have been obtained in a recognized clinical agency, or mental health clinic, psychiatric hospital, etc.
Representing clients at hearings related to conservatorship, social security benefits, HabeasCorpus proceedings, etc.


Conduct fair and impartial hearings in a manner that will obtain all pertinent evidence andsecure confidence and respect;
Understand and extract pertinent facts from clinical testimony and patient case records;
Interpret complex legal and psychiatric regulations;
Analyze, appraise and apply legal principles, facts, evidence and precedents to legalissues;
Present clear and logical statements of fact, law and arguments in oral and written form;
Contribute effectively to the formulation and administration of the Mental Health HearingProgram; and,
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Superior Court Bench,members of the Bar, mental health facilities, various governmental agencies and Court staff.
Maintain a valid drivers license and vehicle insurance.


The work environment is generally clean inside buildings with limited exposure to dust, fumes,odors, and noise. Incumbents will be working under sometimes difficult and stressful conditions;with frequent deadlines and expectations for high quality work; and with periodic contact with angry and confrontational individuals. The ability to work independently as well as closely with others is required.


Specific tasks and duties may vary with assignments; however, the following are consideredessential functions expected of the Mental Health Hearing Officer classification;
Frequent and ongoing use of a computer terminal to conduct a variety of the more advanced clerical functions and communications;
Periodic, regular and/or occasional contact with employees in other court divisions, government agencies, the public and/or vendors with the ability to converse and respondappropriately to inquiries and requests;
Periodic to regular lifting, walking, and carrying of files, documents, and other court related materials. Incumbents must have the ability to lift and carry 10 lbs;
Work with time constraints and under pressure in some situations.
Regularly drive a vehicle to facilities to perform duties throughout the county.


Strength, dexterity, and coordination and ability to use a computer keyboard and read avideo display terminal on a regular basis;
Ability to listen to requests from the public and court staff, then respond appropriately;
Dexterity and coordination to handle files and single pieces of paper; occasional lifting of objects weighing up to 10 lbs, such as files, stacks of paper, reference books, and other materials;
Frequent need to reach for items above and below desk level, sometimes with the assistance of a ladder or step-stool;
Standing and sitting for long periods of time is periodically required.

A screening panel will be convened to select those applicants deemed most qualified to participatein a written and/or oral examination. The examination process will include one or more of thefollowing: application appraisal, written examination or oral examination.

Application Requirements:
This recruitment requires the submission of an on-line application. Applications may be filed online at: No paper applications will beaccepted and an electronic copy of your resume must also be submitted as an attachment to this application submission. Completion of the supplemental questionnaire required. Please note that only the information submitted in the application will be considered.

The Court is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin,and veteran or disability status. The Court provides reasonable accommodations for applicants challenged with disabilities. If you are challenged with a disability as defined by the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and will be requesting an accommodation in the application process, please contact Renee Hughes or PamMcGee at or
or (408) 882-2703 to discuss yourrequest. TDD communication is available by calling (408) 882-2787.

The Court must verify the identity and employment authorization of all new employees to comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform & Control Act. This verification is required only after an offer ofemployment has been made. For further information regarding the required verification, please contact Human Resources at (408) 882-2747.

Keywords: Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County, Santa Clara , Mental Health Hearing Officer (Attorney Mediator), Legal , Santa Clara, California

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