Hon. Ariadne J. Symons See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
Santa Cruz County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.5 - 11 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   4.0 - 19 rating(s)
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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


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What others have said about Hon. Ariadne J. Symons


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA13360
Rating:9.7
Comments:
Judge Symons has repeatedly demonstrated her willingness and ability to work tirelessly to deliver justice. Counsel knows she will come to court well prepared and that all parties will be heard in a patient and even-handed fashion. She sets a wonderful standard for all participants in the legal process.

Other

Comment #: CA13357
Rating:9.0
Comments:
Judge Symons is thorough and calm. She did rule against me, but I had never been to court before and she was considerate about explaining exactly why the law prevented my case prevailing.

Other

Comment #: CA13284
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I have no words for how foul.

Other

Comment #: CA13206
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have seen Judge Symons in action. She is a great judge. Her knowledge of case law cannot be overstated. Complicated cases are handled firmly and fairly. She manages a no nonsense court room and clears cases with efficiency. Judge Symons is a credit to her community.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA13186
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Symons is the sharpest, brightest, most pragmatic, conscientious, and seasoned judge on the bench. She is an absolute workhorse! Her knowledge of the law, willingness to listen and ask insightful questions, make her a role model for trial court judges and make us all better lawyers in the process.

Litigant

Comment #: CA13126
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I was scheduled to appear in front of Judge Ariadne Symons for a landlord tenant dispute. Once both sides had a chance to tell our story Judge Symons realizes she had met one of the parties outside of the courtroom in a social setting. She immediately excused herself from the case and another judge took her place. I don’t know how things would have turned out for us if she would have tried the case. However, I greatly appreciated her exceptional commitment to professional and judicial ethics. In my experience if you do not tell the truth in court or if you try and spin your story a good judge will come down hard. This is a very good thing for those of us who have been forced to take someone to court for being deceitful. In the other cases I watched Judge Symons preside over she did not tolerate lies or slack behavior from either side. Santa Cruz County needs more judges like her that don’t take crap in the courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA13011
Rating:1.1
Comments:
It pains me to say this judge is a liar, I was in her court on a civil matter, and I personally witnessed her complete lack of respect of others, and her bold ability to out right LIE in the face of hard proven facts. Why she relies on these character traits time and time again, I wonder if this dangerous but to be pitied woman is deeply troubled and in need of professional help. I actually made it a point to sit in her court and view her misjudgment from the bench on several occasions. Why has the Judicial Review Board not taken notice of this blight.

Litigant

Comment #: CA12871
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Not fit for the bench. Makes up for lack of knowledge by berating the side she pre-judges. Lies about having read the file, when the transcripts show she clearly did not. Was rated "not-qualified" by reviewers when she sought to be appointed, then ran with big backers and got elected. She is shameless about lying.

Other

Comment #: CA12472
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
She tends to lecture people, talking down to them as she does so. Then, she presumes nefarious motives for whatever she doesn't directly understand. Her judicial temperament is unacceptable.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12156
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She is an embarrassment to the justice system. Her conduct is below acceptable standards, I would also have to question her ethics, I have sat in her courtroom now a few times, and she displays some very questionable practices, it so sad to see this example of low quality.

Other

Comment #: CA12049
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Worst 'judge' ever.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12047
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I had the opportunity to take this Judge to the California Judical Review Board, which resulted in her response to my complaint by out right lying. Yes she resorted to flat out lying about her outrageous un professionalism in her capacity as a Honorable Judge. It was not her decision from the bench that is in question, it’s her atrocious manner in her performs on the bench, her antics belong in a back ally somewhere occupied by street thugs, or maybe in a cheap bar full of rowdy drunks taking out their personal self doubts with bad behavior.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA11079
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She has a chip on her shoulder. More like a boulder. Something is very wrong with this witch. If it's not in her interest- you are screwed, even if you have a great attorney. A despicable wench who should NEVER have been given the Privilege of sitting on the bench overseeing cases.

Other

Comment #: CA11078
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Horrible. Just absolutely horrible. Marches for women of violent crimes; chimes in about domestic violence, saying men who hit women should be arrested, yet does the complete opposite. She is demon possessed.

Other

Comment #: CA10890
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Get an attorney. I was the victim now turned aggressor due to injustice in Ariadne's court. I have had to hire a lawyer. An expensive great attorney. If you seek justice in her court you must get a lawyer. She is insane.

Litigant

Comment #: CA10878
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Symons was running late on my court date and I was the last case. I came prepared, I was well dressed and ready for anything. Except this rude, uncaring and disrespectful woman who happened to be my judge. She constantly interrupted my answers to her questions and asked me several questions at the same time.
She returned evidence to me without reading it or accepting it. She had already made up her mind without even reviewing the statutes I submitted. If you are seeking justice, do not go into this woman's court.

Other

Comment #: CA10725
Rating:1.0
Comments:
My personal experience of Judge Symons; she is an abusive mental case.

She does not belong on the bench.

Litigant

Comment #: CA10710
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She allows violent criminals to walk free. Did not grant my tro after overwhelming evidence against my criminal brother attacked me n put me in the hospital. She is a farce.

Other

Comment #: CA10001
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I have a lot of comments to make about this individual. She appears to be someone who would go to any lengths to rise in position, including spinning facts and running with distortions in details. Her investigator (Steve Smith) used the wrong social security number in a case, when it was discovered to be incorrectly obtained by the investigator (incorrectly obtained from a beneficiary form in a personnel file of a witness) they claimed the witness lied about his social security number and never recanted their mistake, but continued the narrative that the witness lied about the social security number, which the investigator gleaned from a personal file, and was actually the social security number of his beneficiary. They attempted background checks with that incorrect social security number. Why would someone give officials their beneficiary's social security number? The wrong social was placed on subpoenas (which are in possession) for the witnesses academic and personnel files. They would not acknowledge their error, to this day. I offer this as an opinion, you determine what is factual.

Other

Comment #: CA9819
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Symons is a shining star, we need more judges with such an even handed, logical approach to law, everywhere in this Nation.

She's fair and honest, a stickler for the law and the rules. She has the utmost respect for the law and expects other to honor the process as well.

Don't waste her time rambling, be well prepared and have your case organized. Be RESPECTFUL of the law, the courtroom and those within, especially her honor.

DON'T be a wise guy, rude, sloppy - dress appropriately - and remain calm.

If the weight of the law is on your side, you will prevail.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8608
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Make no mistake - Judge Symons is sharp. If she could gain some humanity, patience and empathy she could be a shining star. It is possible to be sharp, efficient and kind at the same time.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8581
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge told me that everyone lies in court and to get over it; she doesn't really care about the facts or just, she cares about efficiency and pushing people through the process. She is despicable.

Litigant

Comment #: CA8567
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have been involved in a family law case for over 5 years including a custody evaluation, professionally supervised visitation, mediation, professionally supervised grandparent visitation, multiple hearings and more. I have been in front of numerous judges including Judge Almquist, Judge Morse (who I commend as well for diligence, competence and understanding of the law), Judge Seigel, and Judge Symons to name a few. The Honorable Judge Ariadne Symons was by FAR one of the most competent, intelligent, industrious, thorough judges I have EVER stood before.
Our file is not only thousands of pages long, but is extremely complex and complicated. Judge Symons demonstrated an incredible amount of knowledge regarding our case, and relevant case law. She takes the law very seriously and demands respect equally to and from everyone in the court room. I have never seen a judge with such with such a thorough understanding and familiarization of our case regarding every single document, piece of evidence, person, place, time, etc. This judge does her homework, knows the law and will apply relevant case law better than I have ever seen. When a document was referenced to by myself or the opposing counsel, it was immediately recognized, already deeply familiarized, and instantly referenced back to by her with detailed notes and relevant case law as she went through our stacks and stacks and stacks of files.... It was absolutely incredible to see a judge be so thorough in such a complex case after what I have been through in the Santa Cruz county court system.
She is one seeking to bring true justice back into the Santa Cruz court system and I am so thankful to have such an admirable and honorable judge on the stand. If you want to do will with this judge, I recommend following the law, being honest at all costs, be professional, be prepared and be respectful not only to her, but everyone. She has the utmost integrity, and respect, is highly intelligent, fair, courteous and upholds the law in a accurately and in a commendable manner. She truly is making a positive difference in our court system, our county and in people's lives and is an asset to our court system. Thank you Judge Symons for your competence, incredibly industrious work ethic, fairness and knowledge of the law you have brought to our legal system.

Other

Comment #: CA8318
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge in my opinion is on a power trip to be Judge Judy. Of course she has a tough job but she does not rule fairly. She is hard nosed and does not look at a case on an individual basis but rather "the law says" approach and we all know there are so many extenuating circumstances in each case and she needs to rule using that rather than a one crime fits all approach.

She ruled in my grandson's case giving him 9 yrs for a Mayhem charge because he cut a man's lip who is a repeat sex offender, homeless, child molester, and a he was left with barely a visible scar on his lip.
My grandson was 17, no priors, not gang related, and he received a longer sentence than a murder in many cases. A sentence to fit his crime should have been more like 4 yrs and she gave him 9 yrs. while the sex offender raping women in Santa Cruz continues to be released on the streets. That is not justice and she should not be allowed to sit in judgement if she can not be fair. I have been in the Santa Cruz Court rooms and they are a Zoo. People going in and out, talking while court is in session, it is chaos and I am sorely disappointed in their conduct. I have written to the D.A.'s office multiple times and no one there ever responds to my emails. No one ever answers the phone. What does this say about our justice for the people system. It is truly a joke! It is all about the deals made over lunch and who scratches who's ego.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8175
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She is a stickler and she literally translates the law yet she ignores the violation of rights by her colleagues. She will never speak up to assure justice prevails.

Other

Comment #: CA7852
Rating:10.0
Comments:
This judge has the utmost integrity, respect and is right on in every session! She knows the law and is making a difference! Thank you!

Other

Comment #: CA7837
Rating:10.0
Comments:
This judge is so impressive. She is sharp, competent, courteous, fair, effective, productive and upholds the law. She does not tolerate disrespect in her courtroom and expects all parties to be civil and prepared while in session. Truly an asset in our County!!!

Other

Comment #: CA7834
Rating:10.0
Comments:
She has been absolutely more than fair in my daughter's case. She seems impatient at times, and does not suffer fool or foolish comments.
Be prepared when you come into her courtroom, it's COURT, act accordingly!! She's not your momma!

Other

Comment #: CA7653
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
She will take advantage of a litigant self represented and all alone. She likes to move things along whatever the cost and refuses to really listen to both sides in a balanced manner. She is the only other judge in family court now except for the dishonorable dishonest Almquist, who's a complete failure. Try to move your case to Santa Clara County for a fair trial. There is no justice in Santa Cruz.

Litigant

Comment #: CA7167
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Intemperate Conduct all day. Leads the witness, bullying, will cut you off mid sentence if she feels she needs to, it’s her court like a tyrant. She makes it seem as though she is just being tough but professionals no better. She’s a bully, too bad for the under privileged. I heard her say one time, “Everyone who is in here (court room) is a loser.

Litigant

Comment #: CA5958
Rating:2.0
Comments:
I am extremely disappointed in Judge Symons' performance She displayed minimal understanding of the family code, which is understandable considering her newness to this court. However, she had complete disregard for the rules of evidence, which she should know coming from the criminal court. She encourages tawdry libelous accusations rather than disallowing it in order to maintain a civil atmosphere. The law can be applied to provable facts. If the rules of evidence are not adhered to, then "anything goes" and the family law circus begins.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4888
Rating:9.6
Comments:
Here's a tip: if you have to appear before Judge Symons, go by the book. She is a stickler for the rules, and expects you to know them and to follow them. Show up on time, be professional, and be well prepared and you'll do fine.

She is very smart and amazingly industrious. You can count on her to have researched the law on which she bases each decision more thoroughly than you have, and to be correct in her ruling. She is generally pleasant, but she runs a very tight ship and has no problem telling anyone when they are out of line. (Sharply.)

Even so, I would take Judge Symons any day. At least, any day that I don't have to argue a position of questionable merit.