Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Page 1


Superior Court Commissioner Rebecca Omens Slates Retirement From Bench




Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Rebecca Omens is retiring, the MetNews has learned.

Omens, 68, last sat on Feb. 28 and is officially retiring as of March 30.

The Chicago native has been a trial court commissioner since 1988, when she was appointed by judges of the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Then known as Rebecca Omens-Rochman, she was sworn into office by her then-husband, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Morton Rochman.

She became a Superior Court commissioner under trial court unification in 2000.

A graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where she also earned a master’s degree in Anthropology, Omens turned to the law after having been a professional dancer and a dance company manager.

She clerked for the legal services agency in the San Gabriel Valley while attending Whittier College of Law, from which she graduated in 1978. She then worked as a staff attorney there before being named a Pasadena deputy city prosecutor in 1979.

She became a deputy district attorney in 1981 and remained in the office until her appointment as commissioner. Her final assignment was prosecuting sexual assault cases.

She also taught Torts at California College of the Law in West Covina.

She spent much of her career at the Van Nuys Courthouse, where she was attacked by a Woodland Hills woman as she walked to her car after work on a January afternoon in 1998. The woman, Elizabeth McGuire, was convicted of battery and sentenced to 123 days in jail.

McGuire, described in a newspaper account as a “militia-type,” was accused of twice punching Omens in the chest. Omens was uninjured and returned to work the next day.

McGuire reportedly wanted to serve Omens with papers but was told by a courtroom bailiff she had to leave them with a court clerk. She found out where the commissioner parked her car and waited at the courthouse entrance to the parking lot, a court employee said.

The attack may have been related to a traffic case in which a man seen in court with McGuire became the subject of a bench warrant issued by the commissioner.


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