Pierce County Superior Court Judge Position #9 – Scott Peters

Judicial Questionnaire 2022

Candidate Info


Candidate Name:     Scott Peters
Position Sought:     Pierce County Superior Court Judge Position #9
Are you an incumbent for this position?     Non-incumbent
Home Legislative District:     28

Campaign Info

Campaign Manager or Point of Contact:     same
Website     www.scottforsuperiorcourt.com
Facebook     Scott For Superior Court
Twitter     N/A

Part I – Candidate Background

1. Please describe your qualifications, education, employment, past community and civic activity, as well as any other relevant experience.

I graduated from Gonzaga University for my undergraduate degree and the University of Washington for my law degree. I have been employed at the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office for 20 years. During my time in the Prosecutor's Office, I have served in almost every criminal unit. I have served as the team lead of numerous units including: Property Crimes Unit, Identity Theft Unit, Drug Unit, High Priority Offender Unit, DUI Supervisor in the Misdemeanor Unit, and the Special Assault Unit. I have handled numerous homicides and high-profile cases during my time in the Prosecutor’s Office. I have provided numerous internal trainings and have provided numerous community outreach trainings. The attorneys in the Prosecutor’s Office are unionized into a Guild, and I currently serve as our Guild President. I also serve as a Pro Tem Judge with Olympia Municipal Court. I have covered numerous criminal and civil matters while serving as a Pro Tem Judge.
I am the chair of a non-profit called Lawyers Helping Hungry Children. I have been involved with the organization for over 10 years. Every year we hold an annual breakfast and bring together the legal and judicial community. We raise money and then donate the money to local food banks or programs in Pierce County that are dedicated to fighting childhood hunger.
After my cancer battle, my wife, daughter and I chair a Relay for Life team, to support others that are going through cancer battles, their caretakers, survivors and cancer research.
My daughter is involved in Girl Scouts and I volunteer to help support her troop.
My daughter is also involved in competitive gymnastics. Her program is at the Lakewood YMCA. It is a non-profit program that tries to support others with assistance so they are able to participate. I volunteer at their annual events and help raise money for their program.

2. What prompted you to run for this office?

In 2016, I was diagnosed with 2 separate cancers at the same time. I went through almost 2 years of treatment and have been in remission since 2018. That experience has greatly shaped and changed my life. After going through that experience, I became committed to achieving my goal of becoming a judge.

3. What do you believe are the most important qualifications for a judge or justice?

I think a judge needs to have extensive jury trial experience. There is a backlog of criminal cases and we need judges that have jury trial experience in order to work through that backlog and ensure that mistakes are not made. If mistakes are made they will cost all parties: defendants, the state and the community.

4. What priorities are you seeking to address with your campaign?

I think the most important priority is the backlog of current cases. This is causing congestion within the courts. My experience lets me hit the ground running. I will not need on the job training in terms of how a trial works and I am used to handling a large volume of work.
I think an additional issue is increasing technology and remote hearings within the courts. In talking with pro-bono attorneys, there is a demand for them to appear in several different locations at the same time. Increasing the ability to appear remotely, will increase their ability to represent more people in different locations.

Part II – Access to Justice

1. If elected, how will you work to improve access to justice, particularly for communities and constituencies that do not understand the American legal system?

I am currently on a working group trying to increase technology in the courtroom. The working group has members from the prosecutor’s office, defense attorneys, and court staff. Increasing technology is key because it helps people find greater access to pro bono or low-cost attorneys and those who have the ability to appear remotely and not in person.
I have experience working with victims of crimes including victims of sex related crimes. Some of these victims have been from marginalized communities. I have worked with groups like Rebuilding Hope to increase outreach and advocacy to marginalized groups. I believe I can take those experiences and translate them to the bench.

2. Is Washington relying too much on court fees to cover the cost of operating our judicial system? How do you believe our courts should be funded?

In criminal cases, there have been many changes to court costs and reducing and/or eliminating them. Courts should be funded through tax money collected by the county and state.

3. Would you, if elected, bring restorative justice as a goal to your court room? * If yes, describe how that could look.

I am in favor of the use of restorative justice and increasing the rights of victims. During my time with the prosecutor’s office, I have worked with victims and their families on some of the most challenging cases. I have tried to help them navigate through the criminal justice program.

4. What ideas can you offer to make our judicial system more open, transparent, and responsive?

I think having judicial officers reach out and be more involved in the community will help. I have been attending a number of Safe Streets meetings to explain how criminal cases are filed and handled. The public has been very receptive to having this information and I think it helps to better understand the system.

5. What are your thoughts on how our courts could permanently incorporate the growing virtual options after the need of the pandemic has passed?

I think we need to continue and increase, when possible, the use of virtual options for hearings when allowed by law. I think having this as an option will help increase access to pro bono attorneys.

6. Justice delayed is justice denied, what are your thoughts on how to catch up on the current backlog of cases awaiting trail? Additionally what changes to the current court system would you implement to insure speedy justice?

We need to have judges that have extensive experience in jury trials. We need judges that can handle large volumes of cases. I have that experience. This is the only way to work through the backlog and to keep it current. As a deputy prosecutor, I have been tasked several times with working through large backlogs of referred cases and have been successful every time.

7. What judicial reforms do you support to achieve greater equity and inclusion for BIPOC individuals in our communities?

I have been on a working committee for the last several years that has been working on bail reform and the impact bail has on BIPOC individuals. That work continues and I would like to continue with that work if elected.

By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name     Scott Peters
Date (mm/dd/yy)     04/28/2024

Comments are closed.