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Virginia Mungovan, Manager

For Immediate Release

City Council Reappoints Surprise City Court Presiding Judge and Associate Judge

Surprise, AZ (June 16, 2021) Surprise City Council voted at their June 15 meeting to reappoint Surprise City Court Presiding Judge Louis Frank Dominguez and Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau to new four-year terms beginning July 1, 2021. 

Prior to Council’s vote, the city’s Judicial Selection Advisory Commission completed an investigation and evaluation process for both judges, per city code, and recommended that both judges be reappointed. Council accepted the recommendation and voted to reappoint Presiding Judge Louis Frank Dominguez and Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau.

Judge Dominguez has served as Presiding Judge for the Surprise City Court since 2013. From 1994 – 2013 he served as a Phoenix Municipal Court Judge. Prior to that, he worked in the City of Phoenix Prosecutor’s Office beginning in 1984.

He was recently named the 2020 Justice Michael D. Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence recipient by the State Bar of Arizona Public Lawyers Section, which honors a judicial officer who demonstrates dedication and commitment to improving the justice system with high ideals, personal character and judicial competence. 

Judge Dominguez received his B.A. in Psychology from Arizona State University and his Juris Doctor from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Judge Gaudreau has served as an Associate Judge for the Surprise City Court since December 2016. From 2006 to 2016, she was an Assistant City Prosecutor II with the City of Scottsdale, and from 1991 to 2002, an Assistant District Attorney with the Milwaukee Country District Attorney’s Office in Wisconsin. She began her legal career as a Civil Litigation Associate with international law firms in California and Florida. 

She was recently selected as a Fellow in the Judicial Engagement Network’s 2021 Fellowship Program. The network is a national community of engaged judges and judicial officers leading efforts to improve community responses and judicial and court practices to domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

Judge Gaudreau holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Florida International University.

Judge Dominguez’s salary will be $204,652.51 annually. Judge Gaudreau’s salary will be $186,803.40 annually.

The Surprise Presiding Judge oversees Court staff and directs Court operations, and the Associate Judge reports to the Presiding Judge. Each judge independently exercises powers, duties and responsibilities in accordance with the Arizona and United States Constitutions, State law, the City Code, and the orders, rules and directives of the Supreme Court of Arizona. Surprise City Court adjudicates criminal misdemeanors and civil violations occurring in Surprise, and provides orders of protection and other legal services to Surprise residents as part of the statewide court system.

The Presiding Judge and Associate Judge are two of five city officials appointed by the City Council. The City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk are also Council appointees.

City of Surprise 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza Surprise, AZ 85374 | Phone: 623-222-1000