Stevens County Awaits Decision on New District Court Judge

The Stevens County Commissioners are currently thinking over who they want to appoint to replace Pam Payne as District Court Judge.  As of 12 noon today a decision had not been announced.  Pam Payne announced her decision to leave the bench last month.  When a Superior Court Judge resigns midway through a term, it is the Governor who makes the appointment.  But with District Court, the decision belongs to the County Commissioners.  Once the County Commissioners appoint someone, that judge faces an election of the voters.  Traditionally, County Commissioners often consider some input from the other judges who preside and often times other government officials and local lawyers write to offer their opinions.  The commissioners then interview prospective candidates.   As well as intelligence, experience, and fairness, the temperament of an attorney is typically considered.  There have been several attorneys whose names have been mentioned as interested in the position.

The District Court judge hears small claims, small suits, name changes, and presides of misdemeanors such as DUI, minor assaults, etc.   Pam Payne always seemed to be pretty well thought of by prosecutors and defense attorneys alike.  I practiced law in front of her regularly my first year of private practice in 2003.  I always found her to be very fair.   Pam Payne, while she was a Stevens County Judge, often times would come to Ferry County once per month to preside.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking:
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