Steven Grove is a judge for the Superior Court of California on Major Crimes.
Judge Grove has a wife who is one of the most published professors in UCLA's communications department. He has also known Captain Sharon Raydor for a long time and is friends with her.
Judge Grove first appears in “Backfire” when he refuses to accept a plea deal without more information on how the crime was committed. He accepts a deal the second time it is brought before him, but his refusal the first time causes another person to die. His actions earn him the ire of DDA Emma Rios as a result.
Judge Grove returns as the judge in the Phillip Stroh trial in “Return to Sender Part 2”. Judge Grove refuses to let the threatening letters against Rusty Beck into the preliminary hearing, but changes his mind when defense attorney Linda Rothman's question causes Rusty to bring them up. Judge Grove overrules Rothman's objection to her own question and asks to see the letters for himself.
During season 4, Judge Grove appears as the judge in the Alice Herrera murder trial. In “Open Line”, after Rusty goes to visit Slider in prison, Judge Grove has to examine his recording of his visit with Slider because Slider's defense argued that he was acting as an agent for the LAPD in order to question him without an attorney. Grove ultimately determines that Rusty wasn't acting in any sort of bad faith. He also advises Sharon to back off from the investigation as a friend rather than watching over Rusty all the time and takes her out to dinner.
After Rusty identifies Alice as Mariana Wallace, in “Four of a Kind” he attempts to get approval from Judge Grove to do a story on Slider, after making deals with Slider's defense lawyer Bobby Munroe and DDA Andrea Hobbs. Judge Grove offers Rusty a deal that grants Judge Grove censure over the story. Judge Grove then reveals that his wife has pulled some strings to transfer Rusty to UCLA as she feels his talents are being underutilized at Santa Monica City College. During the conversation, a comment by Judge Grove indicates that Sharon put him up to it. He also suggests that Rusty consider law school, stating that if Rusty is going to argue his point so much, he should at least be paid to do it.
Judge Grove appears in “Blackout” as the judge in the trial of Ken Song, a man accused of murdering his wife. Defense attorney Jack Raydor suddenly introduces video evidence of Ken being at a bar at the time of the murder and Judge Grove agrees to give the prosecution and the police exactly 24 hours to verify the evidence which Jack claimed to have just gotten.
When the time is up, Hobbs admits that they can't disprove the video evidence and now believe that it exonerates Ken Song. Hobbs requests that the indictment be dismissed and Ken be remanded to the LAPD rather than the sheriff's department for faster processing. Judge Grove overrules Jack's objection, threatening to order an investigation into how Jack suddenly came up with the evidence at the last minute. Judge Grove dismisses the indictment and remands Ken Song to the LAPD as requested.
In “Thick as Thieves”, “FindKaylaWeber” and “Penalty Phase”, Judge Grove presides over Slider's murder trial. After Slider is found guilty and sentenced to death, he rejects an offer by Bobby Munroe to waive review of the sentence. In the final entry of The Other Side of the Coin on Identity, its stated that Judge Grove upheld the death sentence.
In “Quid Pro Quo”, Judge Grove presides over the trial of Richard Bloom, a man accused of murdering his wife. After Linda Rothman calls into question Detective Amy Sykes' testimony based off of pictures she has on her phone that she has not shared, Judge Grove reviews the pictures. While he deems them irrelevant, Sykes' credibility is somewhat damaged. After Richard's brother Paul is identified as the hitman, Judge Grove allows Hobbs and Rothman to converse about a deal.
During “Quid Pro Quo”, Judge Grove converses with Rusty in the courtroom, this time as Hobbs' intern and assistant. Judge Grove jokes about how good it is to have Rusty in his courtroom and not be on the witness stand and congratulates Rusty on his decision to go to law school. Admitting that he's very proud of Rusty, Judge Grove shakes hands with him.
Known Cases TriedEdit
- Jason Goss (“Backfire”)
- Phillip Stroh (“Return to Sender Part 2”)
- Slider (“Open Line” to “Penalty Phase”)
- Ken Song (“Blackout”)
- Richard Bloom (“Quid Pro Quo”)
Judge Grove appears to be a by-the-book judge with a fair but stern personality. However, he can occasionally go too far in trying to get all of the facts as seen in “Backfire” when his refusal to accept a plea until they knew more led to an escalation of the situation.
At times, Judge Grove displays a sense of humor that is mostly hidden by his stern demeanor. This sense of humor appears to come out in more relaxed settings or situations and include Judge Grove rolling his eyes when Rusty mentions working on a vlog, asking how many murder trials Rusty wants to be associated with and joking that two brothers on trial for conspiring to commit murder-for-hire is an example of family court. However, he can switch from levity to his more serious demeanor very quickly.
Due to Rusty Beck's history in his courtroom, Judge Grove appears to have adopted an exasperated fondness for the boy. As a result, possibly at the request of Sharon, Judge Grove aided Rusty in transferring to UCLA where his talents would be put to better use than at Santa Monica City College. Judge Grove was also the first to recognize Rusty's potential as a lawyer, suggesting that he consider law school with his tendency to argue his views with others. After Rusty turns up in his courtroom as Andrea Hobbs' intern, Judge Grove amicably greets Rusty and expresses pleasure to see him there off of the witness stand. In what Judge Grove admits is a rare moment for him, he tells Rusty how proud he is of Rusty's accomplishments and even shakes his hand.
- Judge Grove is heavily indicated to have been asked by Sharon to pull some strings to get Rusty transferred to UCLA as he basically quotes something Rusty told Sharon about electronic textbooks. When confronted, Judge Grove quickly brushes off the accusation.
- Judge Grove presided over two trials important to the plot of Major Crimes: the trials of Phillip Stroh and Slider. Rusty Beck has also testified in both trials before Judge Grove.
- In “Four of a Kind”, Judge Grove suggested that Rusty would make a good lawyer, a suggestion seconded by Sharon in “Moral Hazard”. After Rusty does in fact switch from journalism to law, Judge Grove makes a point of going "I told you so" to him.
- According to Rusty in “Penalty Phase”, Judge Grove never overturns a death sentence handed down by a jury.
- His wife is a professor in UCLA's communications department and a fan of Identity.
- In “Four of a Kind” and “Quid Pro Quo” respectively, Judge Grove suggested that Rusty would make a good lawyer and that he might change his mind on going into family law. Both suggestions ultimately proved to be correct with Rusty first changing from journalism to law and then from family law to becoming a prosecutor.
Season 2 Edit
Season 4 Edit
Season 5 Edit
- “Quid Pro Quo”