Alan Rosenfield served on the bench more than 30 years
Well-known and long-time resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, Assigned Judge Alan Rosenfield died Wednesday morning following a sudden medical emergency. He was 70 years old.
When speaking with The Signal on Friday, those who knew him best described Rosenfield, who lived in the community for more than 40 years and served on the Los Angeles County Superior Court for 17 years, as a brilliant, loyal and kind person dedicated to his friends, family and community service.
“He was just such a caring person and a great friend,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste on Friday. “I can’t think of anybody that I have enjoyed more, learned more from, respected more. And his ethics were just beyond compare.”
“’Unimpeachable’ is the word, on all levels…I think I’ve lost one of my dearest friends,” Weste added.
“He was the best friend anybody could ask for,” said Tanya Fisher, a friend of Rosenfield’s for more than four decades. “He was such a good person who just inspired loyalty.”
After having worked as a deputy district attorney, Rosenfield was appointed by then-Gov. George Deukmejian to the Newhall Municipal Court in 1990, and was elevated by unification to the L.A. County Superior Court in 2000.
Rosenfield presided over criminal matters for 17 years in Newhall, Lancaster and Antelope Valley courthouses and, after transferring to the Santa Clarita Courthouse in 2014, Rosenfield retired from the bench in 2017.
It would not be long after he formally left his presiding judgeship that he offered to serve the county as an assigned judge, meaning that he had signed up to help his colleagues resolve case backlogs even in his retirement.
Santa Clarita attorney Hunt Braly, who knew Rosenfield as far back as the 1980s, said that, even in the days leading up to his death, Rosenfield was still actively serving his community in a courtroom.
“He was strong and forceful, but fair,” said Braly. “He was a very friendly man, he wasn’t a stern judge. You’d meet him in the community and he’d be very friendly, outgoing and always giving back.”
L.A. Superior Court Presiding Judge Eric Taylor released a statement this week informing all Superior Court bench officers of the death of his, and many others’, “dear friend.”
“Alan’s passing is a reminder that life is our most precious and fragile gift,” read Taylor’s statement. “Take the time to appreciate family and loved ones, and to forgive and heal broken relationships. And let’s all stop for a moment to appreciate and treasure our profession as Alan did, even after retirement.”
When not on the bench, his family described Rosenfield as having loved cars, motorcycles, travel, dogs, and the Dodgers. He was also a frequent visitor to the Saugus Cafe, holding a Saturday morning meet-up for any friends who wanted to chat.
Rosenfield is survived by his wife Angela, stepson Robert, brother Joe and sister-in-law Paula, nieces and nephews.
Community leaders and family members said they would be releasing information about memorial services in the coming days.