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Spokane City Of Spokane Municipal Court Judge #1

Municipal courts are those created by cities and towns. Violations of municipal or city ordinances are heard in municipal courts. A municipal court's authority over these ordinance violations is similar to the authority that district courts have over state law violations. The ordinance violation must have occurred within the boundaries of the municipality. Like district courts, municipal courts only have jurisdiction over gross misdemeanors, misdemeanors and infractions. Municipal courts do not accept civil or small claims cases. As with district courts, municipal courts can issue domestic violence protection orders and no-contact orders. A municipal court can issue anti-harassment protection orders upon adoption of a local court rule establishing that process. More than two million cases are filed annually in district and municipal courts. Excluding parking infractions, seven out of every eight cases filed in all state courts are filed at this level. This is due primarily to the broad jurisdiction these courts have over traffic violations and misdemeanors.
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    Adam W. Papini (NP) Attorney

  • Tracy Arlene Staab (NP)

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

What are the major issues facing the court today?

How could the municipal court be made more efficient?

What particular skills will you bring to this position?

Phone (509) 499-6763
Email PapiniForJudge@gmail.com
YouTube Video https://youtu.be/N7rKcr7Jt8w?t=9m35s
Town where you live Latah
Experience (300 characters max) I have been an attorney for 18 years. I have worked as a prosecutor in the Spokane Municipal Court a majority of that time. I have been active in the DV Court, Mental Health Court and the Community Court. I am dedicated to serving the citizens of the City of Spokane.
To make a difference for the poor, the disadvantaged, the illiterate, the mentally ill and those who suffer from racial inequality. Making a difference means changing the status quo. Our criminal justice system is steeped in tradition and processing people in a manner that has not changed in centuries. The Spokane Municipal Court has made some innovative improvements, but my opponent has not been apart of those innovations. Specifically I would work to improve access to justice for those coming to the Spokane Municipal Court. That access means expanded court hours, expanded probation service hours, child day care closer to the courtrooms as well as improving the experience individuals have when appearing in court as the accused, the victim or the witness to a crime. My opponent blames the court employee unions for her failure to make these improvements the last nine years in office. I know the unions are not to blame. Tradition is to blame, and I aim to change the tradition.
The Spokane Municipal Court is facing a multitude of issues. Some of those issues are: 1. The deplorable courtroom facilities; 2. The underutilization of alternative hours of operation; 3. The inefficient management of criminal case dockets resulting month long delays in case resolution; 4. Underutilization of jail alternatives in both pre-conviction and post-conviction case status, resulting in higher costs to the citizens of Spokane. (Jail costs $130.00 per day for each person held on Municipal Court case. That translates into $3900.00 per person, per 30 days held in jail); 5. And finally and most importantly, the lack of a dedicated Domestic Violence Court wherein one judge is dedicated to hearing all domestic violence cases. (A dedicated Domestic Violence Court is imperative to increase the court's responsiveness to domestic violence and send a message to the community that violence will not be tolerated). If elected, I will tackle these issues and improve the court for all.
When the Spokane Municipal Court started 9 years ago, it heard 12,000 criminal cases a year. The Municipal Court Judges were paid approximately $119,000 per year. Today, the court handles between 6,000 to 7,000 cases per year. The Judges are paid approximately $154,000. In addition, the court administrators wage has increased from approximately $102,000 in 2013 to the proposed 2018 budget amount of $147,000. Furthermore, despite lower case numbers and fewer cases set for trial, my opponent has done nothing to change how cases are scheduled before her. Seventy (70) days have been set aside for cases to be heard for trial and only nine (9) days have been used. Inefficient case scheduling costs money. My opponent is closing her court for a week in December, which she has done nearly every year since holding office. This delays case resolution, causes larger court dockets in the future and delays the administration of justice. I will stop these practices, and be more efficient.
Innovation is the hallmark of my career. I am the co-creator of the Spokane Municipal Community Court. It was my innovations that led to this court being located at the Downtown Spokane Library. It was my innovation that led to the introduction and utilization of community service being used in lieu of jail in order to provide greater accountability of the offender and less cost to the citizens of Spokane. If elected I will continue my innovations. Specifically, I will advocate for night and weekend court so that the court will be more accessible to the public. I will advocate for expanded probation service hours so that department is more accessible to the public. I will advocate for the re-establishment of a dedicated Domestic Violence Court. I will review the scheduling of cases and the time between inception of a case and resolution to ensure that justice is not delayed. The evidence shows I have made a difference in the past and I intend to make a difference in the future.
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