General Election: November 3, 2009

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James Docter


Bremerton Municipal Court

James DocterWhat background and experience do you bring to this office?

I am proud of my reputation for providing full, fair and impartial hearings in one of the busiest criminal courts in Washington State. As leader of the Bremerton Court since 1998, I have made many valuable improvements in court operations, including establishing a superb probation department, courthouse security, and greater protection for domestic violence victims. With over twenty years of criminal law experience, I am prepared for every plausible legal argument raised in my court. Throughout my judicial career, Iíve worked hard to administer justice with dignity and respect for all who appear before me. Statewide, I facilitate the training of other judges and was twice named Judge of the Year. With your support, I promise to continue to serve Bremerton citizens with the distinction and honor they deserve.

What is your philosophy about the role of a Municipal Court Judge?

In single judge courts like Bremertonís, the judge performs two separate functions: in court and outside the courtroom. In court, the judge is responsible for conducting hearings properly, upholding rights, and ensuring due process for every person who appears in court. He must favor neither side. If laws are violated, he must impose effective sentences and ensure full compliance with their conditions. Outside the courtroom, the judge is the "voice" of the court and must guarantee it operates efficiently, effectively and completely independently of the other branches of government. The judge must ensure the court has the necessary tools, staff and resources to fully hear and decide all cases fairly. For the past twelve years I have worked diligently as your elected judge to equip your court with these essential components, and always applied them to administer justice fairly and effectively. My dedication to fairness and customer service in the Bremerton Court is well documented. I hope you will re-elect me this fall. For more please see

Official web site:  
Opponent: Ed Wolfe
See Kitsap Sun Guide to the Candidates
Candidate ratings:

Kitsap County
Bar Association
(Membership Poll)
1st Choice: 46 1st Choice: 13
Women Lawyers
Well Qualified
[Did Not Participate]

Important note! Each of these organizations uses its own standards and rating terms when evaluating candidates; please check their pages for further information.


Newspaper endorsements (click paper for details):

Kitsap Sun  

New Page 1 Finance report:

James Docter 11/02/2009 $34,126.65
(Personal Funds $8,918.94)
Ed Wolfe 11/02/2009 $29,087.89
(Personal Funds $100.00)

Media stories:
    October 28, 2009
Kitsap Sun   Bank building eyed as new home for Bremerton Municipal Court
    October 25, 2009
Kitsap Sun   In Bremerton, how visible should a judge be in the community?
    September 27, 2009
Kitsap Sun   Kitsap attorneys' bar poll: 'popularity contest' or useful voter tool?, P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
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As the election approaches, will include ratings and endorsements from numerous organizations. We provide this information so that voters will be better informed about the candidates. We do not rate or endorse any candidates; the ratings and endorsements of organizations included at this site reflect the views of those individual organizations and not necessarily the views of or its sponsors.