Dowling announces retirement from judicial seat |

Dowling announces retirement from judicial seat

Sean Dowling

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Sean Dowling announced Monday that he will not seek re-election.

Dowling, who turns 65 this year, will have completed 17 years of service on the Nevada County bench when he retires in January 2015 at the end of his term.

No one has stepped forward as of yet to vie for what will now be an open seat. The other judicial seat up in June is that of Judge Linda Sloven, who was appointed in 2012 to fill a vacancy created when Judge Julie McManus officially retired from the bench in July of that year.

Dowling hails from San Francisco, graduating with a law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1974. He was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1974 and relocated with his young family in June 1975 to Nevada County. Dowling remained in private practice for 22 years before going to the bench.

Dowling was selected in October 1997 as a Court Commissioner shared by Nevada and Sierra counties, the first such person to hold that position in this county, said Court Executive Officer Sean Metroka in a press release.

Dowling presided over family law cases, traffic court and a variety of other assignments as needed, traveling a circuit of courts from Nevada City to Truckee to Downieville.

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In August 2005, he was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger as a Superior Court judge to replace Judge Ersel Edwards, and he has since been assigned to family, juvenile, criminal and civil calendars in addition to serving as Presiding Judge from 2007 to 2010.

"I've been blessed with so many wonderful personal and professional relationships that have helped me along, starting with attorney Bill Wetherall, who referred cases to me as a rookie lawyer in 1975," Dowling said. "I've had the privilege of being mentored by and working with a host of exceptional judges and staff.

"I look forward to my final year of service to our courts and community," Dowling concluded.

Dowling said he plans to work a little less in order to spend more time with his wife and best friend of 26 years, Susan, his four adult children and three grandchildren.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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