A native of Pennsylvania, Marshal
James C. Byham came to Orange County in 1961
following his discharge from the United States Army.
He attended Rancho Santiago College, and then joined
the Marshals Office in 1963, while attending
California State University, Fullerton.
Marshal James C. Byham spent the
next 25 years in the Marshals Department,
rising from Deputy Marshal to the top position during
some of the greatest growth years of the department.
During Marshal Byhams tenure, the Marshals
Department doubled in size and grew by hundreds of
Marshal Byham was the first Marshal
to serve both the Municipal and Superior Courts,
following the consolidation of services between the
Sheriffs and Marshals Departments on
April 1, 1984. The consolidation of services is
credited with saving the taxpayers of Orange County
more that $1 million dollars per year in operational
In 1987, the Marshals
Department had grown to approximately 321 authorized
employees, with an annual budget of more that $14
Marshal Byham retired in March,
1988 and was succeeded by Marshal Michael S. Carona.