As of Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Wasco County Circuit Court Judge Janet L. Stauffer has been appointed by Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer to become the next presiding judge of the Oregon Judicial Department’s Seventh Judicial District.
Judge Stauffer will serve a two-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. She has served as a circuit court judge since 2010. Hood River County Circuit Court Judge John Olson has served as the presiding judge for the district since 2014. The presiding judge is responsible for the district’s judicial administrative duties, such as overseeing court security and supervising the trial court administrator on budget and other matters. The presiding judge also continues to hear court cases.
The Seventh Judicial District includes four elected judges who preside over cases in the circuit courts of Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco, and Wheeler counties. The presiding judge is nominated by the sitting judges in each district and appointed by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.
Stauffer was elected to the bench in May 2010. She was the first woman to serve as circuit court judge in the district. Since then, she has presided over circuit court matters including civil, probate, family law, small claims, drug court and criminal cases in all five counties.
The bulk of Judge Stauffer’s work involves criminal and juvenile matters in Wasco County. Like the other judges in the Gorge, she travels to Sherman, Wheeler and Gilliam Counties and covers matters in Hood River County as needed.