West Linn Municipal Judge Bernstein files for reelection
West Linn Municipal Judge Rhett Bernstein filed for reelection on Aug. 16. Bernstein has served as municipal judge since 2013, when he was appointed by the City Council. He was elected to the position in November 2018 after running an uncontested race.
According to the West Linn City Charter, the city's municipal judge "has original jurisdiction over every offense that an ordinance of the city makes punishable." This means the judge has the authority to enforce forfeitures and sanctions per the city's ordinances, order arrests, issue jail sentences, set bail, compel witness testimony, enforce subpoenas and issue warrants, among other powers.
A West Linn native, Bernstein obtained his law degree from Lewis & Clark College. In addition to the city of West Linn, Bernstein has served as a prosecutor in Lake Oswego, Oregon City and Milwaukie and started his own practice as a defense attorney in 2005.
Perhaps one of the most notable moments of Bernstein's time in the judgeship was at the first council meeting of 2021, when he swore in Mayor Jules Walters and councilors Rory Bialostosky and Mary Baumgardner despite shouted interruptions from outgoing councilors.
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