Friday, August 6, 2010

An Open Letter to Washington County Justice of the Peace James Shartel

You Sir, ought to be ashamed of yourself and should be impeached!

My name is Chris **** and I recently came to learn first hand the kind of shady shenanigans that go on in the name of the law at the Beaverton Justice Court of Washington County.

I was accused of speeding by a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy and I was guilty before I even stepped into your courtroom.

When I first appeared before you, Mr. Shartel, I asked you what the nature and cause of the accusation against me consisted of. You said you did not understand my question. Mr. Shartel, you should try reading the United States Constitution Amendment 6. So, to make it simpler, I asked you if the action being brought against me was criminal or civil in nature. I wanted to know so that I could begin to adequately prepare a legal defense. You told me the action was civil in nature. Therefore, I took to reading the code of civil procedure for civil cases.

Rule 62 of those procedures says that when a defendant requests a special finding of fact to be made by the court, the court is required to make its findings known. When I specifically requested this, you flatly refused. I asked you if I could record the proceedings so that I might have a record of what was said at trial, you again simply refused to honor my request. My motions were denied quickly and without any reason whatsoever. What are you afraid of Mr. Shartel? It seems to me that you hide behind the Revised Statutes of Oregon, but you blithely pick and choose which one’s you actually choose to follow.

The icing on the cake in my situation was the fact that the only witness for the prosecution directly contradicted himself (which should have indicated to you that he was either lying or completely incompetent), but he was allowed to have his testimony stand anyway.

I challenge you to officially make your court of no public record open so we can all learn first hand the number of declarations of guilty you pass on citizens of the community compared to the number of cases brought into your court. My guess is that ratio is overwhelmingly in favor of the plaintiffs. Please show us all otherwise.

You didn't even hide the disgrace of your biased representation as you mockingly disclosed to me that you represent the same party that was bringing the action against me. This is strictly prohibited in your code of judicial conduct, yet you again simply choose to ignore this breach of the public trust as you go on pronouncing guilty verdict after guilty verdict.

How do you sleep at night? Knowing that you openly refuse to follow the path of truth and justice in favor enlarging the coffers of Washington County.

Please do our community a great big favor and openly admit the miscarriage of justice you have overseen during your tenure and gracefully step down. I call for a suitable replacement to be found that is more interested in granting a fair and objective hearing to the accused in our community instead of helping the county grow its bottom line. Just because we may all have been suffering financially lately, doesn't mean you can take from me what little I have left without following the law and call it justice.

I hope you do excuse yourself soon, because I'm sure I am not alone when I say that I have grown weary of your shady charade.


Chris ****


  1. I, too, have been a victim of this judge's hostility toward the public. This court is inflexible, intolerant and a mere revenue builder for the county. It has no real intent in finding true justice. Judge Shart.. is a bully and coward.

  2. This judge doesn't care, seems to be agitated and in a hurry. If you observe his demeanor and body language you will see a judge who speaks and talks to the ticketing officer one way and to we the people who pay for his meals in a completely other way. He will mock you, and doesn't care how prepared you are. He will only allow what he wants. His ego is getting in the way of his profession. He is irritable and I think the power he feels he has is completely biased to the police. I would bet 99% of the cases he proceeds over all are in favor of making the county $$$. He will side with the police no matter what the truth is. He needs to be put to pasture. He is past his prime, doesn't give a shit and is a very shameful judge