Ventura County Superior Court, Department 24 (website)
Clerk phone: +1 (805) 289-8900
Criminal: +1 (805) 289-8545
The Hon. Michele M. Castillo is a judge for the Ventura County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench in May 2018 by former governor Jerry Brown. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Rebecca Riley (Ret.). At the time of her appointment, Castillo held the distinction of being the first Latina to serve on the bench in Ventura County.
She is a registered Democrat.
Judge Castillo graduated with a B.A. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles, she would also earn a B.A. in women's studies from UCLA. She went on to earn her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a certificate in international human rights and the international rights of women from the University of Oxford in England.
Castillo began her legal career as an associate for John A. Barker and Associates, who served as the public defender for Fresno County. While there, Catillo defended the indigent in felony arraignments, preliminary hearings, misdemeanors, as well as juvenile dependency hearings.
She would move into the public sector in 2003, becoming a deputy public defender II for the Fresno County Public Defender's Office, where she would continue her work defending indigent individuals in misdemeanor and juvenile delinquency courts. She moved to the Ventura Public Defender's Office in 2005, where she would serve as a deputy public defender III working in the County's Mental Health Court, Veteran's Court, Homeless Court, and the Hospital Court.
After nine years with the Ventura P.D.'s office, Castillo became a court commissioner for the Ventura County Superior Court, where she presided over child and spousal support, domestic violence, workplace violence, and protective order matters. She would hold this position until being appointed to the bench a year later.
Judge Castillo was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from California State University Channel Islands in 2018. She was also honored as the 44th Assembly District's Woman of the Year by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin in 2017.
J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law
B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles (History, Women's Studies)
Certificate from Oxford University (International Human Rights, International Rights of Women)
Court Commissioner at Ventura County Superior Court in Ventura County, California (2014 to 2016)
Deputy Public Defender III at Ventura County Public Defender's Office in Ventura County, California (2005 to 2014)
Deputy Public Defender II at Fresno County Public Defender's Office in Fresno County, California (2003 to 2005)
Associate at John A Barker and Associates in Fresno County, California (2002 to 2005)