SLO County court commissioner dies

January 12, 2016

CaliforniaCourtsSan Luis Obispo Superior County Court Commissioner Stephen Briggs Sefton died Saturday at the age of 67. The cause of Sefton’s death is unclear. [Tribune]

Sefton served as a court commissioner since 2004. As a commissioner, he he presided over traffic, small claims and juvenile drug cases.

Previously, Sefton served as a traffic referee. He began working for San Luis Obispo Superior Court as a traffic referee in 1998.

During his career, Sefton served in the San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Grover Beach court branches. The Grover Beach branch is no longer in operation.

Court CEO Susan Matherly said Sefton had a generous spirit and an unwavering positive attitude.

Following Sefton’s death, San Luis Obispo Superior Court now has only one commissioner. In November, Gov. Jerry Brown promoted then-commissioner Gayle Peron to the role of judge.


Mr. Sefton never forgot his youth and had a real understanding of life. He was compassionate, fair, and just. There never was a moment when he didn’t want someone to learn from their mistakes rather than just to be punished. He was acutely aware of the Intent of each law and judged accordingly.

Rest in Peace


he was a lifelong parasite living off the backs of people who committed victim less crimes backing the concept you will never own your own home because parasites need to be paid


just think how many hundreds of millions of dollars he extorted from poor people to pay for the exorbitant public servant salaries in slo and other cities.


You are an idiot. Those “poor” people 99/100 were guilty and Sefton almost always lowered the fine to the lowest allowed under the law. Your statement is the most idiotic I have seen in quite some time. On the contrary, if it weren’t for Sefton, the county WOULD have made millions more.


spare me the schindlers list bs. his job was to extort money from people who committed a victim less crime against the state.

he “was just doing his job”


I got to experience him once (when I fought the infamous jaywalking entrapment scheme of the 5-cities PDs – which they dropped all charges and did NOT want to go to court over, btw). Anyway, at the pre-trial, I got to see him and how he treated everyone who wanted to get out of paying their fines (mostly traffic). I was particularly humored when one seemingly homeless man was saying how he could not afford the fine, and it was lowered to $20 (I do not recall specifics, sorry); anyway, the guy said he still could not afford the $20 – to which Mr. Sefton asked, “So how much does that cellphone in your shirt pocket cost per month?” (or something like that). The guy just smirked and said, “OK, I’ll pay…”

What a hell of a job to have, basically it’s half Traffic ref, half bargaining salesman; but it was always about getting money into the system.

Hard to stomach a “legal system” where the ones judging profits from the accused’s guilt.


Morro Bay did the same thing! What a load of crap!

Anyway, he was very fair and was a good guy.


Steve Sefton was a good man and caring and compassionate in his job. After seeing other judges and commissioners run traffic court in other counties, I was always amazed at the respect, grace, and humor Commissioner Sefton brought to the courtroom. He never treated it as punishment but as a learning opportunity for those in front of him and a chance to make better decisions.


He would treat it as “punishment” if someone was arguing a citation and they already had multiple cites…and if they got snarky with him, look out!


Sefton was one of the better commissioners. May he rest in pease.

Concerning the other judges, its strange how the ruling elites of SLO County don’t want SLO County to have a Criminal Grand Jury.