Persons appointed by a judge to find facts, to hear testimony, or to perform a specific function connected with certain types of cases.
An attorney, a judge, a retired judge, or any person with the background necessary to comprehend complex legal matters may be a court commissioner, although a court commissioner is not a judge. The court that the court commissioner serves ordinarily reviews his or her decisions.
Commissioners may take testimony in hearings to determine the validity of a will; proceedings concerning the entry of default judgments or stipulations; pretrial conferences in criminal cases; or proceedings involving family court petitions to modify alimony or child support.
State law governs the powers of court commissioners.