Dwayne Christopher
Dwayne’s Judicial Philosophy for Municipal Court:
  • EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE:
    The role of the judge is to ensure that true justice has been achieved within the confines of the law. Although justice is and should be blind on the individual level, it is impossible and irresponsible to ignore the social and economic challenges within our civil and criminal justice system. Judges must directly address issues of social justice related to the systemic inequalities. The issues can be addressed by first acknowledging their existence then determining what appropriate training and subsequent policies would bring forth awareness and solutions. As a Judge, I will be a champion in leading this discussion with the judiciary. There must be equal access to justice for all, regardless of race, gender, language barriers or financial circumstances.
  • ALTERNATIVES TO FINES:
    Legal financial obligations are an important part of accountability. When addressing the issue of legal financial obligations, you must first distinguish between those who consciously choose not to pay versus those who are truly unable to pay. Many individuals who come before the Court find themselves earning an income well below the poverty level. When a person is incarcerated, interest continues to build upon the principal amount, thus causing the debt to increase without a viable solution. As a Pro-Tem Judge, I consider current and future ability to pay when ordering discretionary fees and assessments.  There are alternatives to fines such as work crew and community service that I offer to defendants who cannot afford to pay their fines.
  • THERAPEUTIC COURTS:
    The role of the Court is not simply that of mandating incarceration.  The role of the Court is to seek justice, which means doing all within our ability to address criminal behavior.  Thus, I wholeheartedly support criminal justice alternatives.  Alternatives such as drug court and mental health court have proved to decrease recidivism by seeking to address the underlying root issues of criminal behavior.
  • FAIRNESS:
    I grew up in the South End of Tacoma, where we came from many different backgrounds and were raised to accept each other regardless of race or financial status.   It is because of this upbringing that all people in my court will be treated with respect, fairness, and will have an equal opportunity to be heard.
    Dwayne's Experience

    Legal/Judicial Experience:
    Over 17 years of experience; Litigates Plaintiff’s personal injury, employment and other complex civil cases; Worked closely with the Honorable Brian Tollefson for nine years as a Judicial Assistant in Pierce County Superior Court.

    Other Professional Experience:
    Established Law Office of Dwayne Christopher;  Mary E. Owen and Associates;  Cole, Wathen, Leid and Hall; Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association Trustee.

    Education:
    Seattle University School of Law, JD; Morehouse College, BA; Wilson High School; Baker Jr. High; Birney Elementary.

    Community Service:
    Palmer Scholars board member; City Club of Tacoma; Werlin Reading Program; YMCA volunteer; March for Babies; MESA Program; Tacoma Rescue Mission; Paint Tacoma Beautiful; Serve the City.

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