California judges sue state, CalPERS for backpay

March 31, 2014

lady-justice2A group of California judges has filed a class action lawsuit against State Controller John Chiang and the California Public Employees Retirement System, claiming their salaries and benefits did not keep pace with those of other state workers as required by law. [Public CEO]

On Jan. 21, 2nd District Court of Appeal presiding judge Robert Mallano filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mallano then retired in February.

State workers received salary increases in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2013-14 while judicial salaries froze, according to the lawsuit. California employees received average salary increases of .97 percent in 2008-09, .21 percent in 2009-10 and .22 percent in 2013-14.

The lawsuit alleges that judges were told last November that they would receive a 1.4 percent pay increase retroactive to July 1, as well as matching pension obligations.

Judges who took office in California on or after Nov. 9, 1994, when the state implemented a two-tier judicial pension system, receive average salaries of $179,486. Their average pensions are $116,973.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court judges make right around the average judicial pay, but they also split an extra $235,000 a year in benefits.

Disparity in pay among judges is common in California. A 1998 law passed by the legislature moved control of judicial benefits away from the county boards of supervisors and into the hands of judges.

CalPERS chief actuary Alan Milligan said at a board meeting earlier this month that the lawsuit, if it prevails, could wipe out most or all recent gains of nearly $100 million in the state retirement system.



The founding fathers figured that for our representative republic to work. Judges and all public servants would do what was good for their community and country and not be out just for their own benefit. When people start electing representatives that truly are public servants, we might stand a chance.


There was a time when this story would’ve shocked me… now it just makes me sad. Maybe it’s time to limit the number of judges and lawyers we have in this Nation. We certainly could do just fine with less of them in public office. Better than that maybe it’s also time we stop paying people not to work like in retirement.

Everyone should be directed at a young age to start their own retirement plan so we can avoid this stuff altogether. Government would have plenty of tax dollars if they didn’t have to pay some judges green fees so they could drop the tax rate so we (the people) could afford our own plans. It worked well in the past and it could work well again. Whomever says the almighty government is our only salvation is flat out wrong. Get them out of the retirement business…


Judging on what I’ve seen, judges are the weakest link in our system of justice, and they are also the most protected.

Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind.


I hope the judges look at this page and count the “Likes” and “Dislikes” and have an Epiphany of sorts. But I’m sure where their heads are, it’s tough to see anything.


What makes you think they care? They want theirs and screw everyone else.


By the law

According to the law


Get ready, more revenue through more laws, radars, citations, penalties and or taxation

They can’t lose!


The judges and attorneys already think they are gods. There is never enough money to satisfy their lust for power and to fuel their greed.


Just more evidence that the govt should get 100% out of the pension business.


Is that funny or what? They already have to take their money to the bank in a wheelbarrow, and it’s not enough!


Let me see -as a judge, you have a job, basically for life,with incredible benefits and no overhead to you -no office rent, no malpractice insurance, no employees to pay; you don’t have to look for work/clients like private sector attorneys do; voluntarily you either applied for this job and were appointed, or ran for office and got elected; you have reached a pinnacle of honor in the legal community; you have an average salary of $15,000 per month and you are in line for a retirement of $9700 per month forever – and it still isn’t enough?

I hope every single judge who signs on to this greedy scam is challenged and defeated when his term is up for election. You should be ashamed of yourselves!