Hon. Ariadne J. Symons See Rating Details
Superior Court
Santa Cruz County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.5 - 4 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   5.0 - 6 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)

What others have said about Hon. Ariadne J. Symons



Comment #: CA8318
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
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.


Comment #: CA7852
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!


Comment #: CA7837
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!!!


Comment #: CA7834
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!


Comment #: CA7653
Rating:Not Rated
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.


Comment #: CA7167
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.


Comment #: CA5958
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
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.