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New Sutter County judge sworn in
Sutter County ended 2012 with a new Superior Court judge being sworn in as Sarah Heckman took the oath of office on Monday afternoon before about 100 family members, friends and supporters at the courthouse in Yuba City.
"I want you to know my primary motivation for running for judge was to increase my ability to serve Sutter County and its residents and make sure everyone has a fair hearing before the court," Heckman said after she was sworn in. "I'm humbled by the responsibility before me."
Heckman, who won a runoff in November for the judgeship, will replace retiring Judge H. Ted Hansen, who administered the oath.
But Heckman's longtime friend and fellow Meridian resident, Colusa County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Olivera, said she recalled Heckman as a reluctant candidate at first, when Hansen announced his retirement in early 2012.
Heckman had wanted to become a judge by appointment, not election, Olivera said, but after some thought, jumped into the race.
"The first thing she did was read four books on campaigning for judges," Olivera said.
As a former judge for family court, Heckman said, she'll strive to show she cares about the people involved.
"I want to be fair, and I want people to feel they've been heard and been able to present their case, and I've ruled fairly and equitably," she said before the swearing-in.
Before becoming a judge, Heckman served as the family law facilitator and supervising attorney at the court's Family Law Center and Self-Help Services since 2002. She was also a Sutter County deputy district attorney, attorney for the county's Department of Child Support Services and had a private practice.
Heckman received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her law degree from McGeorge School of Law.
Heckman has been married for 35 years to Greg Heckman, and has three grown children.
Her position as judge has an annual salary of $163,275.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.