The Honorable Carrie M. Stephens

Stanislaus County Superior Court, Department 12


The Hon. Carrie M. Stephens is a judge for the Stanislaus County Superior Court in California. She was originally elected to the bench in 2018 and was subsequently appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown, allowing her to immediately assume her bench position. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Loretta Murphy Begen (Ret.).

Stephens is a registered Republican.

Judge Stephens graduated with her B.S. in business administration from the University of the Pacific in 1986. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1990. She also attended the Naval Justice School in 1991.

Stephens served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps from 1990 to 1996 and continued her service in the U.S. Naval Reserve beginning in 1997. During her time in the Navy, Stephens served as a base attorney at Port Hueneme from 1994 to 1996, and a military judge from 2010 to 2015. Her duties as a military judge included serving as a chief judge with the Naval and Marine Corps Trial Judiciary for two years beginning in 2013. She also served as a commanding officer for the Naval Reserve Region Legal Service Office in Japan in 2015. Then, in 2017, Stephens became an Appellate Judge for the Navy and Marine Court of Criminal Appeals.

Her civilian legal career included working as a special assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office, where she was assigned to the Civil (1991 to 1994) and Criminal (1994 to 1996) Divisions. Stephens then joined the Stanislaus County Public Defender's Office in 1996, where she practiced as a deputy public defender for three years before joining the Stanislaus County Counsel's Office as a deputy in 1999. Stephens specialized in family, civil, and criminal law, as well as probate matters. At the time of her election to the bench, Stephens was concurrently serving as an appellate judge with the Navy and Marine Court of Criminal Appeals and also practicing at the County Counsel's Office.

Her memberships have included the State Bar of California, the National Association of Women Judges, the Wray Ladine American Inn of Court, the Stanislaus County Bar Association, the Criminal Bar Association, the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and the Academic Intervention Mentor Program.

Her military commendations have included the Navy Achievement Medal (1994,1997), the Coast Guard Team Commendation Medal (2004), the Navy Commendation Medal (2005, 2008), and the Meritorious Service Medal (2010, 2015).

Judge Stephens was born and raised in Stanislaus County.

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