Hon. James C. Chalfant See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
Los Angeles County
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   5.2 - 26 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 27 rating(s)
Please send me alerts on this judge
E-mail Address:




Add your own rating

E-Mail Address (will not be displayed)
   
Confirm E-mail Address      
Zip
Occupation

Only items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating.


General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)


Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)


Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. James C. Chalfant


Comments


Other

Comment #: CA8404
Rating:1.0
Comments:
It is our responsibility to keep our kids safe but more so child protective services and law enforcement and those who make the final decisions. This case is wrong in so many ways. This should never have happened to this kid or any kid. The signs were there. So many signs and we failed this child. People should need a license to have children!! This poor boys abuse, suffering and horrific death is a direct result of the lack of responsibility and the abundance of laziness in the child protective agency, the individual agent, the justice center, the judge, etc. This was preventable. Now the judge & justice center has failed this child again and so many others such as the Casey Anthony story and many other. This is a pathetic, Irrresponsible, blind call from the judge and proves even more, after the preventable death of this child, the sad excuse of a justice system we have! This man is a poor excuse of a judge and the agent assigned to this poor child's case, more so life, is a poor excuse for a social worker. All the signs were there, even a non-trained, non-professional with no degree could've seen the signs!' All these helpless, innocent, tiny children have to count on to keep them safe is their parents and when their parents fail them, all that's left is us, the social workers, the child protective agency, the justice system, the police & the judge and those adults in authority that make decisions in behalf of these children that have no voice. Don't let our children fall through the cracks & certainly not a second time!!! This enrages me!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8354
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Chalfant is very bright, but there is something off with him when it comes dealing with human beings. He has a streak of hubris tinged with sadism. If life were a math problem, he'd be great.

Other

Comment #: CA8353
Rating:1.0
Comments:
How can you allow someone who deserved equal punishment as the parents who harmed this child to be free to go back to a job where it was his JOB to protect Gabriel and MANY other children? How does America keep failing these poor children dying at the hands of abuse. This isn't fair that this one case worker goes without punishment. You should be ashamed of yourself. He didn't help Gabriel. He only left him to suffer in the home that would end up becoming the scene of his murder. Judge if this was your child or grandchild you would have wanted a different outcome, if this was your family member, you would want justice served. Justice for Gabriel! This case worker wasn't doing his job before, what makes you think he will do it now? Who knows how many other cases he failed to help children on.

Other

Comment #: CA8348
Rating:1.0
Comments:
HORRIBLE and Neglectful to JUSTICE!

Court Staff

Comment #: CA8342
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Please help us understand your decision!! Gabriel Fernandez needs justice. We are going backwards, this society needs better people in charge! If Merritt does not get fired because he didn't do his job right with this little angel, then what else do you need sir?!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8338
Rating:1.0
Comments:
horrible and incompetent judge. this judge should be remove how can he make such a decision on the death of a child and free the social workers who should go to jail. shame on you.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8337
Rating:1.0
Comments:
not a good judge very sad an disappointing no justice

Other

Comment #: CA8332
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Any Judge who ignores such insurmountable evidence, is incapable of making a lucid, well-informed, legal decision. The sheer number of complaints and visits was a red flag to Mr. Merritt. He is supposed to look after the welfare of some of the most vulnerable people in the world - children. He's proven he's either incapable or uninterested in doing his job. Why should he be reinstated?

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8330
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Please be the voice of Gabriel! What if this was your grandson. Make the social worker an example that if they are over worked to speak up but not let our child pay for that price. Children are innocent they do not ask to be born. Please reconsider!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8329
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Justice for Gabriel! Been following this case all the way from Washington State. Gregory Merritt had ONE job to do and he failed. Yet you are willing to give his job back? So much evidence that he could have been saved! I'm sure if this was your child you would want justice. So much evidence, so many people involved yet no one did anything to help this poor innocent child. He needs justice you should atleast do your job right!

Other

Comment #: CA8328
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Very poor decision. There is still NO justice for Gabriel. My heart breaks regarding this decision, Judge Chalfant. We have to take a stand against the mediocrity of the system. What type of example is this decision setting for other County employees vested with the responsibility of taking care of our most vulnerable children?

Other

Comment #: CA8327
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Its clear the social worker did not do his job....But yet the judge is letting him get his pay. Its called commen sence...A boy had his life taken and the judge rules for the social worker..Sickening....This judge needs to resign...

Other

Comment #: CA8326
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Gregory Merritt obviously ignored blatant signs of abuse such as Gabriel having a BB pellet in him. There were 60 reports of abuse and he chose to believe the abusers? It is unbelievable that Mr. Merritt is even asking to be reinstated. I hope that this ruling is overturned and Mr. Merritt has to pay the county back for all the money paid to him when he couldn't even do his job. This judge needs to make the right decision which he didn't do by reinstating Mr. Merritt.

Other

Comment #: CA8325
Rating:1.0
Comments:
#justiceforgabriel

Other

Comment #: CA8320
Rating:1.0
Comments:
How can you justify giving him his job back??


I bet you won't answer that!

Other

Comment #: CA8315
Rating:10.0
Comments:
As far as the Gabriel Fernandez case, I have one question for this judge that believes that Mr. Merritt should have his job back. If this was a child of YOURS or in Your family that was not looked after (as his job required), therefore said child was brutally MURDERED, would he be getting his job back? With back pay? He neglected to oversee his employees, overlooked what he did see and now a little boy is DEAD!!!!!!! You give him his life back, when this child was never given the chance to have one because the when his parents failed him, his whole DCF system INCLUDING Mr.Merritt failed him further, NOW YOU add to it, only after his dead. Poor baby, may he Rest In Peace, this man should be brought up on some sort of charges,not reinstated to make such a huge mistake again!!!
JUSTICE FOR GABRIEL

Other

Comment #: CA8312
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Do they just allow anyone to become a judge these days? How can someone have such authority with such a poor mindset. I'm sure if it was his own child he wouldn't be so damn lenient on this decision and giving this so called supervisor his job back. He's just as much as fault as the other employees who let this poor baby down! No one did their job and it sucks we have to rely on such a poor system to get justice for all babies that these people have failed! Do your got damn job! Protect these kids don't just sit on your butt and wait for a paycheck! This judge is sick in the head and so are these people in charge for cases that deal with kids! This could have been prevented if they had done their job! And Gabriel could have had a fair chance! But u lazy asses couldn't even do your job right and this judge is not any better of a person giving this pos his job back! Justice for Gabriel!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8311
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge chalfant should lose his job just like Gregory Merritt. Cannot believe he would rule for Gregory to get his job back. Knowing he failed to do his job. An innocent child lost his life in such a horrific way just because Gregory was to lazy and stupid to take further actions. He don't care what happens to children. Why are we paying idiots. Gregory Merritt belongs in jail along with the other two.

Litigant

Comment #: CA8304
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
This judge should lose his job! How can he rule that Merritt is worthy of a job protecting small children. Would he let this jerk be in charge of his own grandchildren?? Gabriel needs justice and this judge is doing both to help in the matter! Shame on you!!!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8303
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Little Gabriel deserved justice!

Other

Comment #: CA8302
Rating:1.0
Comments:
It is completely absurd that you would grant this case worker his salary and benefits. He did not do his job. He was careless and irresponsible. There werre many times Gabriel could have been saved. As a result of this case workers poor job Gabriel is dead. How can you side with someone that knew this was happening to a child, and did nothing. I hope you rot in hell along with his piece of crap mother, the boyfriend and the case workers involved in his case. And when this case worker is to blame for more children's deaths i hope you have a great day knowing you also have thier blood on your hands. Im certain that my 7 year old son has better judgment than you. Hon james c. Chalfant.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8301
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Please help us understand your decision!! Gabriel Fernandez needs justice. We are going backwards, this society needs better people in charge! If Merritt does not get fired because he didn't do his job right with this little angel, then what else do you need sir?!

Other

Comment #: CA8300
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Truly a sad day to reinstate someone who clearly did not take his job seriously enough to help his little boy... It's already a broken system that he is a part of and if he couldn't do his job right in the first place Why ?? Give it back to him... That child had as much right as the next person to live and it had been so reported many times of his abuse and absolutely nothing was done to get him hel the system failed him so badly... Why didn't they just give him back to his grand parents where he was happy... I hope when it come to the 2 pieces of scum of the earth they will pay for the abuse and murder of this now little Angel ... God help any other child in the system !!!

Other

Comment #: CA8299
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The decision to side with the social worker involved in handling Gabriel Fernandez' case, is appalling to voters. Gregory Merritt did not do his job and he did not protect that child. That baby was tortured and murdered and there was no one there for him. To give him his job back is a threat to other children at the hands of abusers. This decision marks only another sad day in regard to justice in Los Angeles.

Other

Comment #: CA8298
Rating:2.0
Comments:
I don't understand how a judge would even consider reinstating Gregory Merrit as a social worker when he failed Gabriel Fernandez on so many levels! What does it take for CFS employees to step in and removed a child out of harms way?Even after the child died Gregory Merrit just seems concerned with himself! Gregory Merrit is just as guilty as the ones who committed the murder. He has no business working with children. What's going to happen when his case load is too much for him this time around? How many children have to die!

Other

Comment #: CA8297
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Words can't even explain how I feel that a child had to die because of this man that you are letting back in he clearly does not deserve another chance another chance to kill more children and you not doing your job as a judge to keep him from doing so it's as if you want more children to die do you not have children or grandchildren what if it was one of them would you want that person to get his job back of failing your children or grandchildren you obviously don't have a heart

Other

Comment #: CA8296
Rating:1.0
Comments:
It's sad to see that you have gave someone a second opportunity who clearly doesn't deserve it. Someone has been Murdered (Gabriel) under their watch with clear signs of abuse. Me as a Grandmother would have seen the signs both of you should be fired for not doing your job!!!

Other

Comment #: CA8292
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Anyone that condones the conduct of Gregory Merrit is a poor excuse of a human and just as guilty for murdeing Gabriel FernAndez and any other children that have not made the news.

I do not understand how he can be reinstated to his position without any reprocessing for failure of possessing the common principals and job decription.

I hope we do not lose another child because of your lack of responsibility.

You're a joke.

Other

Comment #: CA8289
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
As a representative of justice, you have failed to hold the law to the highest standard. Your judgment has some questionable behavior. In the case of Gabriel Fernandez you have failed to hold the social worker responsible for negligence! Instead you reward that unlawful behavior!? Shame on you! His case load shouldn't be relevant, you have to be blind not to realize this boy needed help! May god have mercy on you!

Other

Comment #: CA8288
Rating:1.0
Comments:
SHAME ON YOU !!!
You have no business being a judge you gave this little boy no justice at all !!!!! That social worker let this little boy die and did nothing about it and now you have given that sorry man his job back so he can go and let another innocent child down ...
Hmm but I guess money talks
JUSTICE FOR GABRIEL
& PLEASE TAKE THIS SO CALLED JUDGES POSITION AWAY

Other

Comment #: CA8287
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Please do the right thing and give Gabriel Fernandez Justice, that little boy repeatedly asked for help, is that not what we teach our children to do when In need of help? And we did nothing, we failed this little boy, that monster you gave its job back to is an incompetent child murderer!!! Please please fix this immediately!!

Other

Comment #: CA8283
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Really ! Seems as though you have no regard for the safety and welfare of children and you should be outed..I only wish you could be charged for the crimes that are commited by these people you allow to have a position that puts the kids lives in danger. 08502

Other

Comment #: CA8282
Rating:1.0
Comments:
You have failed Gabriel, just like his parents, and the social worker failed him! UNBELIEVABLE, and we are supposed to trust you to make the right choices (legally) but you ! You have failed!!! Just like they all failed this poor child, a child that all he wanted was to be a happy kid, and be saved!

Other

Comment #: CA8277
Rating:1.0
Comments:
When will it be enough?.. Evidence of Gregory not knowing how to handle his job correctly is no excuse for anyone. He was in charge of other employees doing their job right.He had many opportunities just like 2 other people to help but did not. Gabriel live does matter n we will no longer stay quite we need to protect every child. How can you and many people like Gregory sleep at night with no rumors. Shame on you and everyone who keeps turning a blind eye

Other

Comment #: CA8274
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge's recent decision in favor of defendant, Gregory Merritt, seeking reinstatement and retroactive pay resulting from his firing by the County of L.A., is disgraceful and incomprehensible!! Merritt failed to properly supervise his employees and the L.A.C. Health Department, which led to the repeated torture and ultimate murder of 8-year-old, Gabriel Fernandez. Period!
Judge Chalfant should face a recall. Or, at the very least, he should be voted out of office when he faces re-election.

Other

Comment #: CA8271
Rating:1.0
Comments:
What if Gabriel was a relative of yours?! Anyone who was put in charge of Gabriel's welfare should be taking responsibility! Gabriel died because the "adults" who were supposed to help him didn't!
REST IN PEACE, GABRIEL FERNANDEZ.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8270
Rating:1.0
Comments:
HORRIBLE!!! You are basically applauding that social worker for helping Gabriels mom n bf kill him!! Heartless and complete unjust decision made.

Other

Comment #: CA8269
Rating:1.0
Comments:
What's wrong with you? You should not give someone any compensation or a job working with children when they are not doing their job period.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8265
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Doesn't care about justice.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8262
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Worst judge in thr history, he should be removed n revoked as a attorney and judge.

Other

Comment #: CA8261
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
James C. Chalfant, I am appalled. How dare you side with DCFS by allowing Gregory Merritt to return! Shame on you. RIP Baby Gabriel, we will continue fighting for you.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8257
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge displays poor judgment how could he have close the case of this poor child who was murder and abuse more needs to be done Justice for Gabriel

Other

Comment #: CA8250
Rating:1.0
Comments:
We all know what a disgusting job these social workers did, Justice for Gabriel will always be in my heart!please remove this human from being a judge, hes not capable of doing his job right!! RIP sweet Angel above Gabriel :(

Other

Comment #: CA8249
Rating:1.0
Comments:
How can he reinstate the supervisor in charge of Gabriels case?!?! What is wrong with this man!!! Justice for Gabriel!

Other

Comment #: CA7976
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I am more and more perturbed to even come to your country of california. Have you even shot a gun before? Whats the difference if i have 15 round magazines or 10? I can get 100 10 round mags and carry all if that's how silly you want to be about it. You cannot violate our amended rights. State law cannot go against federal law. Oh and thanks for being a state that can no longer allow it's citizens and legal gun owners the right to shoot their ar-15's for competitions. IT's ok, when those terrorists attack and california can come crawling back to other states for help and no one will help because you and your states government turned your backs on all people, I mean come on no reciprocity? Why treat law abiding citizens as criminals when the only gun crimes in your state happen from illegally obtained arms? If people are scared let them be scared. Remind them and yourselves what made us free to where we are today: guns won the wars. Great battles were fought so we could be free; many americans died for us. California; you created the fear now you are the only ones that can destroy it...

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7807
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Thoughtful, experienced, knowledgeable

Other

Comment #: CA6900
Rating:1.0
Comments:
His rulings over land use decisions have no rational basis and has an opportunistic interpretation of CEQA to oppose planning for the future.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: CA6401
Rating:2.1
Comments:
Since he moved to Writs and Receivers, he has become a complete pinhead. He obviously hates the assignment and is taking it out on lawyers seeking relief in his courtroom. A very childish and petulant response from someone who is supposed to be a judicial officer.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6399
Rating:9.9
Comments:
Highly intelligent, scholarly and neutral. Like other comments state, he reads everything: he looks up case and statutes, he even looks up cites that come up when he looks up cites. He'll ask you to point to your papers, your declarations, your arguments - so write thorough, organized and well researched briefs. Be on top of your facts and law. If you do he'll give you all the time and consideration you can ask for from a court, and his batting average for getting it right is very high.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6332
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Strong judge. Got the big picture IMMEDIATELY. Very courteous and not lazy like his sad sack counterpart in Department 86. She is incredibly lazy. If you are going to have lots of writs and receivers action, it is almost worth 176ing the judge to get a case number that might go to his Dept. 85.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6321
Rating:2.2
Comments:
Assumes facts not in evidence. Gets many facts wrong. Fails to address the legal issues stated by plaintiff. Appears tired and past retirement.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6174
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Great judge. Very smart. He read all of the papers. He caught all details, and saw the whole picture.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA5498
Rating:9.6
Comments:
Judges on the law. Pays attention to credibility of counsel as well as litigants. Gets it right.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5453
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Great judge - extremely smart, hard working, and humble. As a lawyer, I was very impressed with how courteous and explanatory he was to unrepresented litigants.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5154
Rating:9.6
Comments:
He's extremely intelligent and detail-oriented. He reads EVERYTHING, drafts detailed tentative rulings, and patiently engages in long intellectual discussions with counsel during oral argument. He rarely changes his tentative rulings. He's very much a stickler for rules and procedures, so make sure you dot your i's and cross your t's with him. Very fair and follows the law without regard to any agenda.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5009
Rating:10.0
Comments:
No nonsense, law judge. Refreshingly candid approach. A true neutral.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4841
Rating:9.9
Comments:
He is one of the best judges in LASC. He is smart, decisive, and knowledgeable.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4224
Rating:1.7
Comments:
Judge Chalfant seems to have an axe to grind with female attorneys that appear before him. He is much harsher and much more abrupt to women lawyers.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3308
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
He's a good guy. Tries to get it right. Reads the papers. Issues a well thought out tentative and will engage in oral argument. Even though I have lost most of my cases in front of him, I always enjoy appearing in front of him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2412
Rating:9.9
Comments:
Very smart. Perhaps the hardest working judge on the bench in LA. He has clerk hand each side 1 copy of single spaced, multi-paged tentative ruling/decision prior to hearing on most motions or writs. Read tenative closely and thoroughly before wasting time arguing. Generally, doesn't change tentative, but since he types own tentative, watch out for typos that can make substantive difference in ruling.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2378
Rating:4.9
Comments:
Chalfant is like a car with a powerful engine and a defective GPS. He will often head off the wrong direction and even take you to the wrong destination, but you will get there quickly and without any hint of doubt.

Litigant

Comment #: CA2155
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I appeared before this judge in a Writ of Mandate action. I appreciated his patience in letting me get my non-legal profession actions completed. I especially appreciate his ruling on the matter in my favor!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA2097
Rating:7.3
Comments:
Great judge. His decisions are well reasoned, even if it doesn't go your way. This is one of the few judges that I feel honored to be in front of.
He also reads everything so make sure your papers are tight.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA89
Rating:8.9
Comments:
Very impressed with his carefulness and thoroughness in deciding matters. He also has firm control over his courtroom without coming across as arrogant or condescending.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA21
Rating:8.5
Comments:
Smart, hard-working, great at resolving cases. Can be cranky.