Access for Individuals
with Disabilities

Ask the Court
Directions and Maps
Hours of Operations/
Court Ethics
Press Releases
Who's Who
History, Statistics,
Court Etiquette
Court Telephone
Selected Links
Job Opportunities
What the Court
Can Do for You
Limited English
Proficiency Plan

The Superior Court of California, County of Glenn is a unified superior court, served by two judges: Judge Donald Cole Byrd and Judge Peter Billiou Twede. The court is also served by one AB1058 commissioner, one facilitator, and 20 staff. The Interim Court Executive Officer, Kevin Harrigan.


Judge Donald Cole Byrd [image]
Judge Donald Cole Byrd

Judge Donald Cole Byrd of the Superior Court, Glenn County

Appointment/Election: Appointed by Governor Wilson on January 24, 1998 (oath Feb. 4, 1998); elected to office on June 2, 1998, for a term commencing on January 1, 1999. Re-elected for term commencing 2005. Re-elected for a term commencing 2011.

Judicial Office: Presiding Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Glenn, 2015-Present, 2005-2012, 2003, 2001, 1998-1999; Trial Court Presiding Judges Executive Committee 2015-2016, 2011-2012; Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee (TCPJA) 2015-Present, 2005-2012, 2003, 2001, 1998-1999

Committees/Groups: Trial Court Facility Modification Advisory Committee (TCFMAC) 2010-Present, Chair 2015- Present; Trial Court Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) 2011-Present; Courthouse Cost Reduction Sub- Committee (CCRS-CFAC) 2011-Present; Courthouse Naming Policy Sub-Committee (CFAC) 2012-Present; Presenter for Primary Assignment and Elder Abuse Course-Center for Judiciary Education and Research (CJER) 2013; Presiding Judge and Court Executive Officer (PJ/CEO) Management Program Committee 2011-2012; Special Master for Commission on Judicial Performance 2011; Trial Court Budget Working Group (TCBWG) 2004-2008 ; Presenter Elder Abuse - Cow Counties Institute Faculty 2014, 2008; PJ/CEO Management Program-Facilitator 2007; Special Master for Commission on Judicial Performance 2006; Firearms Relinquishment Colloquium-Speaker 2006; Attorney General's Public Safety Officials Home Protection Advisory Task Force (AB2238) 2003; Rural Court Judges Working Group on Administrative and Operational Efficiency 2003; TCPJA Joint Rules Subcommittee 2002-2003; California Judges Association 1998-Present

Education: J.D. (1975), University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; B.A (1971) Saint Mary’s College of Calif.; Willows High School (1967).

Admission: Admitted to Calif. Bar June 23, 1976; U.S. Supreme Court July 12, 1985; U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit Sept. 21, 1981; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Calif. June 23, 1976; Northern District of Calif., Sept. 24, 1981; Southern District of Calif., Oct. 23, 1981; U.S. Tax Court April 22, 1981.

Past Public Office: School Board Trustee, Willows Unified School District, Willows, Glenn County, Calif., 1988-94.

Past Employment: Partner, Meckfessel, Hopkins & Byrd, Willows, Glenn County, 1980-98; Partner, Geis, Meckfessel, Hopkins & Byrd, Willows, Glenn County, Jan. 1979 - Dec. 1979; Associate Attorney, Geis, Meckfessel, & Hopkins, Willows, Glenn County, 1976-78.


Judge Peter Billiou Twede

Judge Peter Billiou Twede of the Superior Court, Glenn County

Appointment/Election: Presiding Judge 2013; Appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on November 5, 2008 (oath Nov. 14, 2008); Elected to office June 3, 2008 for a term commencing on January 5, 2009.

Past Judicial Office: Superior Court Commissioner 1997-2008.

Memberships/Awards: Member: California Judges Assn. 1997-: Calif. Commissioners Assn. 1997-; Glenn County Bar Assn. 1976-; American Bar Assn. Past member: Willows Elks Lodge, PER 1985; Orland Exchange Club, Past President; Glenn Count Heart Assn. Past President. Received 2004 Judicial Officer of the Year Award form NCSEA.

Education: J.D. (1976) Lincoln University School of Law-San Francisco; B.A. (1972) University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Born: August 15, 1947. Married with two children.

Interests: Golf, travel, jazz festivals, theatre.

Admission: Admitted to Calif. Bar 1976; United States District Court, Northern District of California, December 22, 1976.

Political Affiliation/Religion: Republican; Roman Catholic.


What Does A Judge Do?

When criminal charges are filed by a prosecutor or a civil lawsuit is filed by a litigant, the case is assigned to a courtroom. It is the job of the judge in that courtroom to be in charge of everything that happens to the case.

In every case, the judge must be impartial. That means the judge must be able to be fair to everyone involved in the case. They are called the parties. If the judge thinks there is any reason for the parties to question whether the judge can be fair, the judge must tell the parties about this reason. If there is any reason that the judge might not be able to be impartial, such as the judge is a friend of one of the parties, the judge must withdraw from the case. That is called a recusal.

In a criminal case, the judge schedules an arraignment, at which time the charges that have been filed are explained to the defendant. The defendant may admit to the charges and plead guilty, or the defendant may ask for a trial. There might be a settlement of the case with a plea agreement, also called a plea bargain, in which the prosecutor recommends that the judge impose a sentence that is less than the maximum possible sentence in exchange for the defendant's plea of guilty to the charges; or the defendant might agree to plead guilty to a less serious charge. If case is not settled, it will be set for trial.

In a civil case, the judge will usually meet with the lawyers to see if the case can be resolved or settled without having a trial. In a civil case, the settlement usually involves the payment of money in exchange for voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit. If the civil case cannot be settled between the parties, it will be set for trial.

A party may request that the judge make legal rulings about the case before the trial by filing a motion. To make any rulings on a case, the judge must understand the facts and know the laws that apply to the case.

A trial is the time when the parties present evidence to prove their case. In a criminal case, the prosecution must present the evidence to prove the defendant is guilty of the crime charged. In a civil case, the person who filed the case must present the evidence to prove the case.

If a trial is held, the judge is responsible for:

  • Setting the hours of the trial;
  • Keeping order in the courtroom;
  • Presiding over the selection of jurors;
  • Permitting the presentation of evidence through testimony of witnesses or the introduction of exhibits;
  • Deciding on what evidence can be considered by the jurors in making their decision;
  • Explaining the law that applies to the case to the jurors so they can deliberate, and
  • Sentencing the defendant if the defendant is found guilty in a criminal case.

How Does Someone Become A Judge?

There are two ways to become a judge in California. One is to be appointed by the Governor. The other is to run for election.

Qualifications include:

  • Being a lawyer and a member of the State Bar of California.
  • Superior Court judges must have at least 10 years of experience.
  • A lawyer who seeks an appointment from the Governor must fill out an application. The Governor's staff reviews the application. Most successful candidates also submit letters of support from friends, including other lawyers, judges, law school professors, and others who know about the candidate’s qualifications.
  • If the Governor’s office thinks the applicant has sufficient merit, the State Bar of California Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation is asked to review the candidate's application. The commission solicits additional information and recommendations from other lawyers and judges who know the applicant.
  • If the applicant receives a high rating, the Governor’s staff will submit the application to the Governor, who then decides whether to grant the appointment.
  • A lawyer may also seek a judicial appointment by running for election. They may run against a current judge, or they may run for an open office.
  • Candidates for judicial election are usually evaluated by a committee of the local bar association. The bar association will rate the candidate and inform the voters before the election.
  • The term of office for a trial judge in California is six years.