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June 16, 2022



Dear CASCI Members,The CASCI Board is proud to announce that Melanie Phillips from the Superior Court in San Luis Obispo County is this year's recipient of the 2022 Golden Quill Award. This award is presented with great pleasure to our former CASCI President, for her dedication and exceptional service to our membership.


Melanie has worked in Social Services for over twenty years working with children, families, and disabled individuals. She was a Program Manager for over eleven years at a non-profit organization providing services to families through Child Welfare Services and Family Court Services. Prior to her employment with Superior Court San Luis Obispo County she was a Forensic Interviewer for the Child Abuse Prevention Council providing interview services for Law Enforcement to children and disabled adults that had been victims of sexual assault. Additionally, she provided supportive and educational services to at-risk youth and their families through the Probation Department. She has worked in collaboration with law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, Family Court, and many other organizations over the years.


Melanie began her employment with San Luis Obispo County Superior Court in December 2015, as a Court Investigator and she has enjoyed working for the court. Melanie has served on the CASCI Board for several years and has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Board and working for the members of CASCI.   We applaud Melanie for her hard work and continued dedication to CASCI.

















April 15, 2022



The Board is seeking to fill three Executive Board vacancies in May 2022.  Self-nominations are welcomed.  You may submit only one form per nomination.  Before nominating someone other than yourself, make sure that you notify the member that you plan to nominate them and confirm the he/she/they agrees to your nomination and agrees to serve a 2-year term if elected.  Most newly elected Board Members serve as “Member-at-Large during their first year of service unless they have experience (or have served on the Executive Board in the past).


Nominations are being accepted now through April 30th 2022.  Information/descriptions of Executive Board Members’ responsibilities can be found on the CASCI website.  Please submit your nominations form(s) via email to CASCI Board Members Fatima Villasenor at -or- Elizabeth Carder at


Elizabeth Carder

CASCI President


March 3, 2022


We are currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Golden Quill Award!  The Golden Quill Award is presented to a CASCI Member each year.  This award recognizes the recipient's notable contributions and extraordinary efforts to further the goals of CASCI during the year or over a period of time. A Nominee must be a current CASCI member, in good standing, who has done something to further the goals of CASCI in the last year, or over a period of time.  Each member can submit only one nomination.  The deadline for submitting nominations is April 29th, 2022.  Once received, the CASCI Executive Board will review the nominations, and select this year’s recipient.  The nomination form has been distributed through the listserv and should be returned via email to Fatima Villasenor, CASCI Secretary  If you are a new member who did not receive a nomination form through the listserv, please contact your CASCI Board President, Elizabeth Carder at


Elizabeth Carder 

CASCI President


December 7, 2021


Dear CASCI Members,


As you know, your CASCI Board conducted a survey in July to poll our membership’s interest in attending either an in-person conference in 2022 or a virtual event.  Given the responses that we received, we determined that we did not have enough interest in an in-person event to make a statewide in-person event cost-effective.  The board then explored various virtual platforms to see if a virtual conference would be more affordable and generate greater interest.  However, after contacting several companies, attending demonstrations of their products, and gathering proposals, we could not find an affordable option that would meet the membership’s needs.  Regrettably, we will not be holding a statewide conference in 2022.


Your CASCI Board is compiling an updated list of training resources (including both fee-based and free of cost) and will be distributing this to our members through the listserv by the first of the new year.  We also hope to have an updated directory circulated in early 2022 as well, as we have made this a priority task.  We will be reaching out to our membership in the coming months to gather updated information for the directory, as we are aware that there have been changes over the course of the past year.  If any of our regional representatives are interested in holding regional trainings for our members, I would invite you to submit a proposal to the board.  Any regional training proposals must be submitted at least two months in advance of the training, and the trainings must be held between the months of July and January in 2022.  If any courts are willing to host a regional training, please let your regional representative know.  If you are unsure of who your regional representative is, regional representatives are listed on the CASCI website or you can contact any of your board members for more information.


Elizabeth Carder

CASCI President



June 1, 2021


Dear CASCI Members,
The CASCI Board is proud to announce that Sandra M. Webb from the Superior Court in Solano County is this year's recipient of the 2021 Golden Quill Award. This award is presented with great pleasure to our former CASCI President, for her dedication and exceptional service to our membership.

The following is the submission received by the CASCI Board nominating Sandra for the Golden Quill Award:


"After a 20-year career as a probation officer, Sandra M. Webb retired from probation services and joined the California Superior Court where she has been conducting court investigations on petitions for Conservatorships, Guardianships and Termination of Parental Rights for Stepparent Adoptions. Sandra has been part of the CASCI Team and served on the CASCI Executive Board for several years in different roles: CASCI Regional Representative for Region II (Bay Area), CASCI Treasurer, CASCI Vice President, and most recently completing a 3-year extended term as CASCI President in May 2021. 


Sandra’s vast contributions to CASCI are too many to list; among the most notable include her leadership in organizing and executing CASCI annual conferences, our latest CASCI Regional Training hosted by Solano County (Region II), and the flawless transition of the CASCI Listserv from Yahoo Groups to Google Groups. The COVID pandemic posed extraordinary challenges for our membership this past year. For the first time ever, stay-at-home government orders forced our membership to cancel our annual CASCI Conference about five weeks before it was scheduled to take place, Sandra was quick to step up to the challenge and took on the venue’s legal team to ensure our membership received a full refund despite contract cancellation policies impeding it. Simultaneously, Sandra was in constant communication with the Judicial Council, not only inquiring, advocating, and suggesting possible solutions to the many issues that directly impacted court investigation requirements, and recommending alternate ways to satisfy CI training requirements, but also successfully proposing appropriate relief for all state court investigators facing court closures, layoffs, medical leave and family leave due to the pandemic. During these challenging times, Sandra has demonstrated exemplary leadership, with great ability for making effective “executive decisions” during very stressful situations and unprecedented moments of uncertainty. We applaud Sandra for her hard work, endless volunteer hours, and continued dedication to CASCI. We are proud to nominate Sandra M. Webb as our 2021 Golden Quill recipient."















2021 Golden Quill Award - Photo.jpg

May 3, 2021



Thank you for participating and submitting your inquiries and nominations!

This year, a membership vote was not needed because the number of qualified nominees was equivalent to the number of open Board seats.

Let’s welcome our new Executive Board Members!


Linda Trias, J.D.

(Supervisor at Contra Costa County)


Lezlie Abbott, M.A., M.F.C.C.

(Supervisor at Kings County)


Angela Rodd-Terry, M.A.

(Director at Tulare County)


Linda, Lezlie & Angela will join our current Executive Board Members Elizabeth Carder (Riverside), Melanie Phillips (San Luis Obispo), Fatima Villasenor (Stanislaus) & Amanda Halvorson (Amador), and will fill the vacant Board seats left by Leticia Gonzalez (San Mateo), Billy Blythe (Kern) & Sandra M. Webb (Solano), all whom have served consecutive and/or extended terms on the CASCI Board.

On behalf of CASCI, thank you all for your service, leadership and commitment to our membership!



Sandra M. Webb for CASCI

March 15, 2021




Dear CASCI Members,


This year’s Board Elections will be conducted online. We’ll be using the same process and the same online tool as last year. Current members will be able to nominate (self-nominations are welcomed), vote, and be elected to serve on the Executive Board. To help select your candidates, a list of CASCI members eligible for the nomination was sent to you via listserv today along with the Nomination Form with instructions. We have three Board vacancies to fill this year.

Nominations will be accepted until March 30th at 5 pm.

Online voting is set to go live in April, and the newly elected Board Members will be announced to the membership in May.


Thank you for your participation!



Sandra M. Webb

CASCI President


November 16, 2020



Dear CASCI Members,


Today, the Judicial Council adopted two new rules of court to address CEU compliance issues affected by the pandemic and the imposition of social distancing measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, which as you know, forced CASCI and other approved education providers to cancel in-person training this year.


Rule of Court 10.492

Provides temporary relief to court investigators as it relates to content-based and hours-based training requirements:  For New CIs who typically must complete 18hrs of CEUs on specific topics within the first year of his/her start date, they now have two years to complete this content-based education.  For Experienced CIs who typically must complete 12hrs of CEUs each calendar year, the requirement has been reduced to 3hrs of CEUs for 2020 (prorated for one quarter: Jan-March 2020), and 9hrs of CEUs for 2021 (prorated for three quarters: April-Dec 2021)


Rule of Court 10.493

Expands the training delivery methods to obtain the required CEUs by allowing instructor-led training via live webinars and existing remote technology for the duration of the current public health crisis.


The CASCI Board has worked tirelessly advocating for this temporary relief in these challenging times. We are glad the Judicial Council addressed our concerns and adopted these two new rules! Stay safe!


Sandra M. Webb

CASCI President

November 3, 2020



Dear CASCI Members,


Effective December 15, 2020, Yahoo! is shutting down Yahoo Groups (our current CASCI Listserv platform). Therefore, our CASCI Listserv is migrating to Google Groups. The Google Groups platform is similar to Yahoo Groups, so the transition should be pretty seamless.


In the next few days, all active members will receive a Google Group notification via e-mail alerting you that you have been “added” to the new CASCI Listserv in Google Groups.  You do not have to do anything to “join”, if you want to post on the CASCI Listserv, simply e-mail your post to Save the new listserv e-mail address in your contacts (delete the old Once you receive notification that you’ve been added to the new listserv, please start using it for future posts so that we can successfully complete our migration to the new Google Groups platform before December 15th.


The new CASCI Listserv will be managed and maintained by the CASCI Board.  Only active (paid) members will have access to the new listserv.  If you need to re-activate your annual CASCI membership, go to


IF YOU RUN INTO ISSUES POSTING OR ACCESSING THE NEW LISTSERV: If you do not receive notification that you have been added to the new listserv between now and December 15th, please try the following:

  1. Confirm with your court management/fiscal department that your 2020 membership dues have been paid.

  2. Confirm with your court IT department that e-mails from and are not being blocked. Have them “whitelist” these e-mail addresses.

  3. If after completing steps 1 & 2 above, you have not been added or you are unable to post on the new listserv (by e-mailing your post to, please contact either Billy Blythe at or Liz Carder at or Sandra Webb at


A NOTE ON THE HISTORY OF OUR CASCI LISTSERV: Our listserv was created by Debbie Denny (from Santa Clara County) on November 17, 2003.  As the Board prepared for this transition to Google Groups in 2020, we reached out to Debbie, who’s now retired, but at the time, considered one of the most tech-savvy members.  Debbie was happy to hear that our listserv has become our membership’s primary method of communication, and shared that it was important “even back in 2003 to bring the group into the age of online communication”.  Around 2007, the management of the listserv was entrusted to Lori Coopwood (from Quest) who has managed it ever since.  The Board would like to take this opportunity to formally acknowledge Debbie’s innovation & Lori’s continued contributions to CASCI as we transition our listserv to a new platform after almost two decades of existence. Thank you Debbie & Lori for your vision and for taking the initiative to plan ahead for the future of our membership!


Sandra M. Webb

CASCI President

July 24, 2020



Thank you for participating in this year’s Board Elections!

Let’s welcome our newly elected and appointed members!


By Membership Vote:


Amanda Halvorson (Amador County)

CASCI Executive Board Member-At-Large


Fatima Villasenor (Stanislaus County)

CASCI Executive Board Member-At-Large


By Executive Board Appointment:


Lezlie Abbott (Kings County)

CASCI Legislative Committee Chair


Anna Moradian (Madera County)

CASCI Region III Representative


Sandra M. Webb

CASCI President

May 7, 2020


Dear CASCI Members,


The CASCI Board is proud to announce that Constance Catlapp is this year’s recipient of the 2020 Golden Quill Award.  Constance was nominated for the Golden Quill Award prior to her passing on February 19, 2020.  With this Award, we are honoring Constance’s legacy and contributions to CASCI post-mortem, something that has never been done before in the history of CASCI.  Because Constance is not survived by immediate family members, we are presenting her Golden Quill Award to her manager, Denise Esquivel, on behalf of Constance’s Orange County Superior Court family.  They look forward to displaying Constance’s Golden Quill Award in their Courthouse in honor of her memory.


The following is the submission received by the CASCI Board nominating Constance for the Golden Quill Award by Orange County Superior Court Probate Manager Denise Esquivel:

“Constance Catlapp has over 45 years of professional service working in the public sector and over 30 years as an agent and/or representative of the judicial system. She began her career in 1972 working in the mental health field, assessing recovering addicts. Constance remained in this field for ten years until she transitioned to the position of Deputy Public Guardian for the Public Guardian’s Office in the County of Orange. In her role as Deputy Public Guardian, she investigated and administered Probate and LPS conservatorships. Her work as a Deputy Public Guardian would prove essential as she later transitioned to Probate Court Investigator for the Superior Court in Orange County in 2006, where she continues to serve in that role.

Constance is known as a “walking Probate book” by her unit for her tremendous wealth of knowledge, extensive Probate experience, and tenacity for knowledge in her field. She evokes a passion for the population served and goes above and beyond to ensure her investigations are thorough and accurately reflect all statutory requirements. She has been an active member of CASCI throughout her tenure as a Court Investigator, always emanating a collaborative spirit in the sharing of ideas and knowledge on emerging Probate issues throughout different counties. She has contributed her personal time and expertise throughout the years. Most recently, she has been essential to the planning, execution and collaborating as liaison for the CASCI conference. When CASCI members hear the name “Constance,” you can be sure she is recognized not only for her impressive Probate experience and quirky sense of humor, but also her dedication and feverous spirit for the work we all do as Probate Court Investigators.


It is with deep joy and enthusiasm that I respectfully nominate Constance Catlapp, Probate Court Investigator from the Superior Court in Orange County, for the prestigious Golden Quill Award. Constance has dedicated her professional career to ensure quality treatment for those seeking judicial remedy in Probate matters. Her ability to disseminate and provide input on legislative issues that impact our work continues. Lastly, Constance’s colorful personality and passion for the work she does imprints a lasting impression on all those lucky enough to know and work with her.”      





May 7, 2020


Dear CASCI Members,

We hope this message reaches you in good health. Thank you to all members who have submitted their 2020 annual membership dues! Given these unprecedented times and our inability to conduct this year’s Board Elections in person, the CASCI Board is creating an online process to conduct Board nominations and be able to vote electronically.  All active members will have online access to nominate (self-nominations are welcomed), vote, and potentially serve on the Executive Board.  You must be an active member to participate in Board Elections and to serve on the CASCI Executive Board. To that end, the deadline to submit annual membership dues has been extended until June 15, 2020. Please check with your individual Courts to confirm your 2020 CASCI Membership Dues have been paid to ensure your participation. This year’s Board Elections are scheduled to begin at the end of June.  Details will be sent out directly to all active members at that time.

Stay healthy and safe,

Sandra M. Webb

CASCI President

March 18, 2020



Dear CASCI Members,

With further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19, the CASCI Executive Board members have unanimously decided to cancel the 2020 CASCI Conference scheduled to take place next month in Contra Costa County.  In accordance with the guidance of public health authorities, Bay Area counties have issued orders directing all businesses and governmental agencies to cease non-essential operations and prohibiting all non-essential travel and gatherings.  Given this situation, it is not feasible to host our annual conference as planned.

Full refunds of the conference registration fees will be issued.  We’ll be contacting your local Court’s finance departments to properly process each refund.  For members who paid their conference registration fees with a personal check, our CASCI Treasurer will be contacting you directly to process your refunds.

The Board is exploring the possibility of conducting our annual membership business meeting on line to make remote participation in this year’s Board elections available.  The Board has also been in contact with the AOC to inquire about potential training requirement deferments for this year.  We’ll provide updates and information as soon as they become available. 

There is no question that these are extraordinary times, and it calls on all of us to be flexible and support each other with great care. Our actions have a direct impact on our ability to end this pandemic.   

Stay healthy and safe,

Sandra M. Webb

CASCI President

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