About the Judge
Judge José Luis Castillo, Jr. is the senior Justice of the Peace in Pima County. He was first elected in September 1994. He is a former public defense attorney who earned his B.A. (anthropology) and his J.D. from the University of Arizona. He honorably served active duty in the United States Marine Corps and thereafter in the Army National Guard. He is a devoted father to his three children for whom he writes stories and poetry. Among his interests are improving court access through the use of technology, the architecture of Luis Barragán, MesoAmerican archaeology, music and the romantic works of Gabriela Mistral, George Eliot, Pablo Neruda and Kahlil Gibran. He has a passion for preserving the history of the Courthouse and particularly the courtroom formerly called "Courtroom F" & known now as "Courtroom 8" since mid 2009. The judge is one of a few fluently bilingual judges in the State of Arizona. El juez habla español e fala um pouquinho de português tambén. His other judicial concerns, duties and responsibilities have included:
At This Justice Court:
- Presiding judge (1999 - 2000 contested election) (2001 - 2002 contested election)
- Associate presiding judge (1997 - 1998)
- Founding judge for the Cholla Magnet School Satellite Program. Actual cases (from speeding tickets to domestic violence to DUI jury trials) are heard at Cholla Magnet High School. This program allows TUSD students to see their 3rd branch of government first hand without leaving their campus. The Court of Appeals, Div. 2 was invited, by Judge Castillo in 2003, to hear oral arguments and sat in session at Cholla that year.
- Environmental court judge (this assignment involved hearing title 7/17 cases of the Pima County Code)
- Night Court Judge (2000 - 2001)
- Jury trial review judge (this assignment involved determining every Friday which cases will be jury-tried within the following 2 weeks) [1997 - 2002]. This assignment was created by Judge Castillo to reduce the jury backlog by almost 40% in the period that he administered it. Prior to the jury review system the court had predawn hearings which were heard by all the judges at different times with little coordination and minimal advance notice for the court's calendar. Judge Castillo administered the jury trial review as a judicial function thus he personally inspected each file to determine if new charges had been filed, served and arraigned. He would also determine if the case actually was jury triable. If evidentiary or any other hearings needed to be set these issues were addressed as well. The philosophy behind jury reviews was to address as many problems or issues prior to the actual jury setting, ensure the oldest cases went to trial or were dealt with by non-trial disposition and reduce the time that an attorney is at the jury trial review. The latter point reduced costs to the private client and to the taxpayer (for court appointed cases.)
- Liaison to Teen Court/Teen Court Advisory Board (1996 - 2005)
- U of A College of Law clerking program (1996 - 2007)
- Chaparral College intern program (2003 - 2005)
- Authored the Digital Court Model that this court adopted and mostly uses (2009).
At Other Courts:
- City of Tucson Special Magistrate (2004 - 2008)
- Superior Court Commissioner (1999 - present, appointed but have not been called to serve)
- Superior Court Judge Pro Tem (1999 - present, appointed but have not been called to serve)
- Federal Court Pro Tem Magistrate, served once (1998)
For the Tucson Community:
- Creator of Courtztour 2000 (A walking tour and explanation of the functions of the downtown courts for students: Federal Court, General Jurisdiction [Pima County Superior Court], Limited Jurisdiction Courts [Tucson City Court, Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts], and the Arizona Court of Appeals). Educators: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As an Author:
- Children's Story Book Court a Power Point presentation on the right to a jury of one's peers to: Drachman School, Turning Point School, Lineweaver School and Castle Rock School.
- Judge's Journal, Castillo, Wallis-Honchar & Morales, From E Complaints to E-Trials, Summer 2001.
Service to the Arizona Supreme Court:
- Board member, Wendell Electronic Resource/Research website, 2004 - 2007
- Board member, Judicial College of Arizona, 2001 - 2006
- Moderator, 2004 & 2003 Arizona Judicial Conference
- Co-Chair (Limited Jurisdiction) Arizona Judicial Conference 2000 & December 1999
- Supreme Court of Arizona Advisory Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution (Jan. 1998 - July 1999)
- Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee - Arizona Supreme Court (May 1998 - June 2001)
- 1998 Judicial Conference Committee, Arizona Supreme Court
- Publications Committee, Arizona Supreme Court (1997 - 1998)
And . . .
- Successful petitioner to modify Rule 31 of the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court (2002)
- Faculty / presenter:
- New Judge Orientation (April, January 2004)
- Judicial Conference (June 2004)
- Family Center of the Conciliation Court (2002)
- Governor's Conference on Traffic Safety (1999, 2002, 2003)
- Small Claims Hearing Officer Training (1999, 2000)
- 1996 graduate of the National Judicial College's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Faculty Development workshop [one of 5 Arizona judges chosen for this workshop]
Judge Castillo is the impetus behind former Local Rule 1.6 (b) [settlement negotiations in criminal cases], the modification / rescission of 2 other local rules in 2003, and the satellite court program (Cholla High School, Global Courtroom, and Kino Hospital Small Claims Forum). In addition, he has prepared various aids for jurors, defendants, judges and attorneys such as:
- Misdemeanor Compromise forms [form # JP 246]. A misdemeanor compromise allows a party to drop charges in certain offenses. Domestic Violence cases are not misdemeanor compromisable.
- Pretrial statements for the defense and the state. [form # JP 247/ JP 248]. The pretrial statement allows the parties to place each other on notice as to witnesses, defenses and such. The failure to place the other side on notice at least 20 days before trial may result in preclusion of the evidence or the witness
- Juror notebooks
- Spanish D.U.I. obligation obligation / sentence forms
- Spanish Domestic Violence obligation / sentence forms Judicial aides such as:
- Right to Jury Trial Matrix (*note, the Matrix was pre-Derendal)
- Sua Sponte Chart