Judge Manuel J. Covarrubias retired on April 30, 2023, from the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura after more than 28 years of dedicated service. At a retirement ceremony held at the Court on April 28, 2023, elected officials, current and former Court judicial officers, and members of Judge Covarrubias’ family honored the Judge’s many years of service.
Judge Covarrubias was selected by the Ventura County Superior/Municipal Court Judges as the court’s third Court Commissioner and was formally sworn into that position on December 30, 1994. He was then appointed as Judge of the Ventura Superior Court by Governor Gray Davis on October 16, 2002, and was administered the oath of office the same day. During his tenure as a Court judicial officer, Judge Covarrubias presided over criminal law, family law, small claims, traffic, child support and civil restraining orders, with his most recent assignment in juvenile delinquency. He twice served as the Supervising Judge of the Family Law Department and was also the Supervising Judge of the Juvenile Division.
Judge Covarrubias often served as an educator for other Judicial Officers, attorneys, and others at various local and statewide continuing legal education programs. He also served and participated in numerous associations and professional activities including: Former Vice- Chair of The Implementation Task Force of The Strategic Plan For Language Access In The California Courts; Co-Chair of Joint Working Group for California’s Language Access Plan; Former Member of The California Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory Committee; Former Member of The California Judicial Council’s Court Interpreter Advisory Panel; Founding Member and Past President of the Mexican American Bar Association; Former Member of the Board of Directors for Ventura/Santa Barbara Colleges of Law; Chair of The Ventura Superior Court Temporary Judges and Training Committee; Chair of the Ventura Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program; and Member of the California Judges Association. Judge Covarrubias received numerous awards and honors including: the 2015 Judicial Council’s Distinguished Service Award; Ventura County Trial Lawyers Judge of the Year Award (2006); Mexican American Bar Association of Ventura County President’s Award; Knights of Columbus Council #750 Public Safety Award (2005); El Concilio Del Condado de Ventura Latino Leadership Award (2009) and he was inducted into the Oxnard High School Alumni Hall of Fame (2013).
Judge Covarrubias is a life-long resident of the City of Oxnard, graduating from Oxnard High School in the Class of 1970. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Northridge in May 1974, and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School in May 1977, and was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1977. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Covarrubias was a Staff Attorney for Channel Counties Legal Services (1978-1981); a Hearing Officer for State of California (1981); and had his own private law practice from 1981 to 1994.