The Honorable Donna L. Tarter

Kings County Superior Court, Department 5


The Hon. Donna. L. Tarter is a judge for the Kings County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Louis F. Bissig (Ret.).

She is registered as a Republican.

Judge Tarter received her A.A. from West Valley Community College. She went on to earn her J.D. from San Joaquin College of Law.

After law school, Tarter practiced as an associate at the Law Offices of Steven D. Barnes beginning in 1990.

She left private practice in 1993 to become the public defender for the Kings County Superior Court. While continuing in her role as public defender, Tarter also served as inmate counsel for the State of California's Office of Administrative Hearings.

In 2000, Tarter became a contract sole practitioner, during which time she served as a coordinating attorney for the Kings County Board of Supervisors. She maintained these positions concurrently until receiving the call to the bench in 2009.

While on the bench, Judge Tarter has served as the Presiding Judge of the Court and also served as an Advising Judge to the Kings County Grand Jury.