March 2- We are reposting these stories to help people stay informed for Tuesday’s Election, in alphabetical order. Make sure to vote!
SUSANNE RIZO, CANDIDATE FOR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
Susanne Rizo, candidate for Inyo County Superior Court judge, is a Bishop High School
graduate with 18 years’ experience practicing law in California.
Fifteen years ago she returned to Inyo County, first with the County Counsel’s office and
currently in child support services as attorney and regional director.
In San Diego County, she rotated between criminal and civil courts. Moving to the north
county city of Carlsbad, she served as Deputy City Attorney in an office with 90 attorneys.
During her tenure, she prosecuted over 40 cases, ranging from DUIs, sexual assault, domestic
violence and battery. On the civil side, her case load included environmental law, water law,
code enforcement and public contracting.
Rizo came back to Inyo County in 2005, serving as Deputy County Council. She currently
works as regional director of the Eastern Sierra Department of Child Support Services and as a
mediator in the County Courts.
During the past 15 years, she expanded her case load experience working on California
Environmental Quality Act cases, contract law, 5150 (danger to oneself) cases and advised
police and fire departments.
Rizo views the decision-making obligation of Superior Court judges as vital. “What we do
impacts the whole community,” she said. “We have to help people through a crisis. It’s a very
Part of that process, especially with child abuse and juvenile cases, is bringing the whole
picture into focus. “What other issues are plaguing the family? How do we improve the
outcomes for the child,” she added.
Judges have to rely on the Court’s partners, Social Services, Probation. Decisions can’t
be made in a vacuum. Rizo stressed the need to meet with people and groups and to stay in
touch with the individuals and families that come become the court.
“There’s a connectedness within this community,” Rizo said, especially in cases involving
juveniles. “It’s not just the child. We have to provide treatment for the family.”
Rizo is running for Superior Court Judge to bring a fresh perspective, “to instill
confidence in the courts,” she said. “Undue delays can prejudice the parties. In divorce cases,
it’s difficult to establish a stable home life” when final decisions are delayed.