Courts and Transportation Division
From the time the first offender was arrested in Kern County, the Sheriff has always been faced with the task of transporting prisoners. Whether to court, medical appointments, other institutions or from other jurisdictions, prisoner transportation has always been an element of the Sheriff’s duties. The presence of the Sheriff has also long been required in the courts to provide a safe and secure atmosphere for the dispensing of justice. Not much has changed over the years in the way these duties are performed, except the volume of prisoners, the number of courts, institutions, and facilities, and the modes of travel.
The Metropolitan Court Building, located in downtown Bakersfield, is a multi-use building with 17 courtrooms. The Metropolitan Court Unit is comprised of one Sergeant, one Senior Deputy, and 30 deputies. The court hears felony arraignments and jury trials. The court also hears small claims actions up to $10,000 dollars, limited civil cases up to $25,000 dollars, and unlimited civil cases. Throughout the year a number of high profile criminal cases are adjudicated each year in the Metropolitan Court Building.
The Justice Court Building has 11 courtrooms handling misdemeanor arraignments and jury trials, Family Law and Probate matters. Justice Court has two satellite offices: the Juvenile Justice Center with four courtrooms and the Traffic Court with two courtrooms. The Justice Court Unit provides Deputies for the Board of Supervisors meetings, Civil Service meetings, Planning Commission meetings and Civil Service hearings to preserve order and ensure the safety of those attending the meetings. The Justice Court Unit is comprised of one Sergeant, one Senior Deputy, and 31 Deputy Sheriff’s.
The Kern County Sheriff's Office Transportation Unit is comprised of a Sergeant, two Senior Deputies and 29 Deputies who are responsible for transporting inmates to and from the ten Superior Courts in Bakersfield and outlying areas of Kern County. The Unit also transports inmates to medical appointments and prisons throughout California. These duties are accomplished through the use of the unit's 34 vehicles which include large and medium capacity buses, vans, and cars. The Unit also handles one to two extraditions a week from states across the country. These services enhance the judicial process and inmate safety by allowing the timely appearance of inmates in court and at necessary medical appointments.