Criminal cases continue to be dismissed in Riverside County due to an ongoing judge shortage.

In less than a week, three separate child sexual assault cases have been dismissed, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

In one of the cases, the Riverside County Superior court announced there were no judges available to hear the trial, but later one judge dismissed the case altogether due to the court’s inability to start the trial within the timeframe required by law, officials allege.

The DA’s office says two other child abuses cases were never brought to trial for the same reason.

All three cases have since been re-filed.

Back in October, the Superior Court issued a statement breaking down how it is dealing with backlogs caused by a “chronic shortage of judges.”

As a result, 1,500 cases have been dismissed since then, according to the DA’s office.

In one example, Tabitha Davies said her family bought a custom-built manufactured home from a dealer who had allowed his license to expire. He delivered a home that was mold infested and destroyed, she told KTLA.

The dealer was criminally charged, but Davies never got her day in court. Officials told her there were not enough judges.

“I am angry,” she said, detailing the hardships the issue has caused. “Having to, at one point, live in a van on our property, run off a generator in one room with all of my kids … We can’t even collect victim relief funds because we don’t have any criminal justice.”

Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzales said that not only is the amount of dismissed cases hard to accept, they are causing all kinds of problems in his department.

“It’s just causing some major issues for us, for my officers on the street,” Gonzales said. “Just by the pure nature of the dismissals. A lot of them are domestic violence cases, a lot of them are firearms cases.”

Gonzales offered some solutions.

“You think of the way we lived through the pandemic, and doing Zoom hearings, getting other facilities you can have courtrooms in, or at least hear cases in, anything they could possibly do would assist us in this,” Gonzales told KTLA. “Think outside the box. Get a place where we could try these cases so we’re not letting violent people out on the street.”

Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin is asking the court to reschedule judge trainings, which he said recently caused some courtrooms to be closed.

“I understand the need for ongoing training, however, when our courts are experiencing a crisis and engaging in the mass dismissal of cases, victims of crimes deserve the right to be the priority,” Hestrin said.

He added that some of the dismissed cases are serious felonies.

In an updated statement regarding the judge shortage, Superior Court officials indicated that Senator Richard Roth has introduced a bill that would would authorize 26 new judicial positions, of which Riverside would receive five.

“Hopefully this legislation will be enacted and these positions will be authorized and funded providing the court with further judicial resources to address the legal needs of this community,” the statement read.