DA announces creation of Veterans Court

Madera County District Attorney David Linn announced Monday that Phase I of his office’s Veterans Court Plan will be offered at the Caring Veterans of America, Inc., Veterans Stand Down held at Sierra Pines Church, located at 40855 Covey Court, off of Highway 49 in Oakhurst, California. The event begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m.

The Stand Down will include not only the first phase of the Veterans Court, free medical examinations for veterans, and consultations with Veterans Affairs personnel, both from the VA Hospital in Fresno, and Madera County Veterans Affairs Office.

Caring Veterans of America, Inc., will be the coordinating organization of the Veterans Court of Eastern Madera County, and VFW Post 1981 will help coordinate Veterans Court in Madera at future events.

The purpose of the Veterans Court is to help veterans clean up their prior criminal record and assist with any current legal issues, Linn said.

The Veterans Court, which was a promise made to veterans by Linn in his 2014 campaign, will include a cooperative effort between the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and the Madera Superior Court. Specifically, Presiding Judge Ernest J. LiCalsi and Judge Dale Blea will be holding Veteran’s Court in Madera two days per month.

In recent meetings with Veterans Affairs, the Madera program has been declared as “far ahead of many other Counties” that are attempting to help veterans.

Linn’s new program of working with veterans who find themselves afoul of the law, will work with each veteran to help benefit them, even if their problem is in a different jurisdiction.

Linn is a retired Navy commander who served in Vietnam, and said he understands that good men and women occasionally make poor decisions.

Staff report