The Superior Court of California, County of Solano announces the retirement of the Hon. Garry T. Ichikawa after more than 17 years on the bench. Judge Ichikawa was appointed to the Solano Superior Court by Governor Gray Davis on May 11, 2000. He has served his entire judicial career in Family Law and Juvenile Law, almost always holding the positions of Presiding Juvenile Judge or Supervising Family Law Judge.

Judge Ichikawa is the third of five generations of family that have lived and worked in Solano County. His grandparents immigrated to the Suisun Valley from Japan in the early 20th century. During World War II, his parents spent time in an internment camp. Returning to Solano County after WWII, they were among the first persons of Japanese ancestry to be able to purchase land in Suisun Valley.

Judge Ichikawa likes to say he was born with a shovel in one hand and a book in the other. He graduated from Armijo High School, and U.C. Berkeley. After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he graduated from the U.C. Davis School of Law.

He served as a Deputy Public Defender for two years prior to going into private practice, where he soon specialized in Family Law. He became a certified family law specialist and served on the State Bar’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Commission, where he helped draft and persuade the California Legislature to adopt a law requiring most professionals to report child abuse. He was elected to the Solano Community College Governing Board and was twice elected to the Fairfield City Council. He has served on numerous boards and foundations which include the Solano Farmlands and Open Space Foundation (established the Rush Ranch open space) and the California Board of Legal Specialization (wrote and graded family law specialist examinations). He has also taught many courses to judges, lawyers, court staff, and foster parents.

He was instrumental in the establishment of many successful court programs that have greatly impacted service and justice to the community, including Dependency Drug Court, Domestic Violence Court, Adoption Day and implementation of educational rights for foster children.

For his work in the justice system and the community, Judge Ichikawa has received local, state and national recognition: 2017 California Family Law Judge of the Year (California Bar Association), 2016 Community Recognition Award (La Raza Lawyers Association of Solano), 2015 Aranda Access to Justice Award (a joint award from the California Judicial Council, California Judges Association, State Bar of California, and the California Commission on Access to Justice), 2013 Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award (The American Society for Public Administration for improving circumstances for foster children), and 2009 J. Paul Coan Award (Solano County CASA).

As stated by Presiding Judge, Robert C. Fracchia, “the best justice is local justice, grounded in community values. As a lifelong resident of Solano County, Judge Ichikawa understands Solano County and has always acted to promote its best interest. He has been repeatedly recognized as one of the finest juvenile and family law judges in our state and many of our best programs are a product of his vision and direction. To say he will be missed is an understatement for our court and the legal community.”

Judge Ichikawa stated, “I thank the community for giving me the opportunity to serve it all these years, and I dedicate those years to the memory of my parents and all others like them. They started with very little and lived their lives with honor so that their children could be accepted as Americans.”

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