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Press Release

Judge Ann Rutherford

It is with profound sadness that the Butte County Superior Court announces the passing of the Honorable Ann H. Rutherford, a pioneering figure within the California judiciary and a respected member of the legal community in Butte County.

Appointed to the Chico Municipal Court in 1976 by Governor Jerry Brown, Judge Rutherford began a storied judicial career by establishing herself as a pillar of judicial prudence and fairness within the community. Upon winning election in 1988, she became the first female to serve as a judge of the Butte County Superior Court.

Judge Rutherford was instrumental in establishing the court’s Family Law Division and served as the first Supervising Judge of the Family Law Division beginning in 1998. In September 2000, she was honored by the California State Bar’s Family Law section as Judicial Officer of the Year. The award is presented annually to a judicial officer who best exemplifies commitment and dedication to the field of family law and who has made extraordinary efforts to improve the judicial process for California families in transition. Following her retirement in 2001, Judge Rutherford continued to serve the Judicial Brach through the Judicial Council of California’s Assigned Judges Program, offering her expertise and services to courts in need. She continued her service in that capacity until her full retirement from judicial service in August of 2017.

Her colleagues, mentees, friends, and all who had the privilege of working with her will remember Judge Rutherford for her sharp wit and her unwavering sense of justice. Presiding Judge Michael R. Deems remarks: “The passing of the remarkable Judge Rutherford is a great loss for our legal community and the people of the north state. All of us at the court will miss not only her sharp mind and quick wit, but also the care and attention she gave to jurors performing their civic duty. Judge Rutherford, or “Judge Ann” as some referred to her, understood the value of citizens taking the time to serve on jury duty. She took pains to explain the process and the law effectively and ensure their comfort. She treated them like a guest in her home – the Butte County Superior Court.”

The court extends its deepest condolences to Judge Rutherford’s family and to all who were close to her.

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