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On June 7, 2022, the voters of Santa Barbara County elected Stephen Foley to the position of Superior Court Judge in an uncontested race. His term was set to begin on January 2, 2023. However, on October 7, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom granted Judge Foley an interim appointment allowing him to assume the role of judge earlier. Prior to his appointment, Judge Foley served as the Superior Court Commissioner since August 13, 2018.

Judge Foley is a graduate of San Marcos High School. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1996. He began his legal career as a prosecuting attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. In 2004 he joined the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office and spent ten years working the Santa Maria Office and four years at the Lompoc Office.

Judge Foley is assigned to Department 7 in Santa Maria hearing criminal matters.

Before his appointment, Judge Foley spent ten years serving as a school board member for the Los Olivos Elementary School and Santa Ynez Valley Unified High School. He is a former board member for the Santa Maria Valley Boys and Girls Club (now known as Mid Central Coast). He has also volunteered as a Teen Court judge and Mock Trial coach.


Judge Foley presides over Dept 7 in Santa Maria Miller Division
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