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Kern County Superior Court

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

In the past, when government agencies and the media requested court records from the Kern County Superior Court, they could typically access them for free.

Last month, however, that changed, due in part to a rising number of incoming record requests. According to some sources, rising court fees are becoming a national trend. In this interview, Valley Public Radio reporter Monica Velez breaks down the new policy to explain what’s changed, why it matters, and whether it has the potential to violate constitutional rights.

Christina Lopez

A Valley priest who has been the target of several sexual abuse allegations is suing the founder of a Catholic organization for defamation. 

According to the civil lawsuit, filed through Kern County Superior Court earlier this month, Stephen Brady, founder of Roman Catholic Faithful, made statements about Msgr. Craig Harrison that were “false, defamatory, libelous and slanderous.” 

 

Valerie Gorospe

On a recent Wednesday at about noon, Aldo’s Mexican Restaurant in Delano was empty. There wasn’t any chatter or the sounds of sizzling carne asada on the stove, just the song Mejor Recuerda by Julión Álvarez playing in the background.  

 

“During the lunch hour, we used to always be busy, running back and forth, back and forth,” said waitress Araceli Mendez in Spanish. “That’s why you now can see the difference. It’s been empty for almost a month.”

 

Kerry Klein

Two recent lawsuits allege the Kern High School District (KHSD) knew one of its employees had a history of inappropriate sexual behavior with students but continued to employ him anyway.

The 40-year-old athletic equipment manager and trainer at North High School, Edwin Rodriguez, allegedly molested and groomed two former students, the lawsuits filed in Kern County Superior Court say.

 

According to both lawsuits filed March 19, the district “fostered a culture in which sexual harassment and abuse was condoned and ratified.”

Lawsuits were filed in Kern County Superior Court this week accusing Kern High School District staff members of enabling and conspiring to cover up sexual assault allegations.

 

Two teenagers accused the athletic equipment manager, Edwin Rodriguez, at North High School in Bakersfield of molesting them and sending them sexually explicit messages, photos, and videos through social media like Snapchat, according to two lawsuits filed on Wednesday.

 

Monica Velez

A Kern County Superior Court Judge issued a temporary injunction Tuesday against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation -- or CDCR-- after a pregnant correctional officer fell on the job and lost her baby.  The injunction says the CDCR must offer light duty to pregnant employees.

Sarah Coogle was seven months pregnant when her doctor wrote her a note recommending less strenuous duty. She worked as a correctional officer at a super-max state prison in Tehachapi, southeast of Bakersfield.