Thursday, November 16, 2006

Injustice in Oregon's Courts

Back at the end of September the NYT exposed the rotton state of justice in small town New York where undertrained and underpaid judges make important decisions regarding fines, warrants, issues of protection, and jail time without any real knowledge or respect for the law. A key passage from the Times article that gives a hint into the behavior of these judges who usually lack a law degree and oftentimes lack even a college education.
A woman in Malone, N.Y., was not amused. A mother of four, she went to court in that North Country village seeking an order of protection against her husband, who the police said had choked her, kicked her in the stomach and threatened to kill her. The justice, Donald R. Roberts, a former state trooper with a high school diploma, not only refused, according to state officials, but later told the court clerk, “Every woman needs a good pounding every now and then.”

I know this article was a while ago and I'm late jumping on board covering it, but I found it interesting and started doing some research. I was interested in the claim made by the New York Times that 30 States have courts just like New York's. It was when I looked through the Oregon State Code that I discovered that Oregon is one of the 30. What I find interesting is how extraordinarily abusive the Courts appeared in the New York Times article contrasted with how little you hear about this issue. So I present two questions. 1) Should town judges be required to be lawyers? and 2) Have you had any experience with a Justice Court in Oregon that is worth telling?

I'm also curious if enough people even read this for me to get a real response here.


Chuck Butcher said...

Baker Co had the same Justice Court Judge for years, he just retired. Judge Cole married my wife and I 15 years ago, about 8 years after we were married my wife got a ticket for no seatbelt. The first question out of the judge was, "Are you still married?" The capper was the lead up to the fine, "Considering the line of work your husband is in, you ought to appreciate the value of safety equipment," yep, max fine on a perfect driving record. (not too long after I'd roofed the tallest building E of the Cascades) She had it coming and I told her so - as I wrote the check to cover it.

You sure don't do much better than Larry Cole. But you could ask the Assn' of Justice Courts about that.

The free site meter I have on my site is pretty good, read FAQ though.

Cwech said...

Thanks for the input, my sitemeter is fine, that last line in my post was just a throwaway.