Ashland resident heads back to the bench on Jan. 5
Joe Charter, who retired earlier this year from the bench in Jackson County Circuit Court, was named Wednesday as Jackson County Justice of the Peace — a position he has held before.
Charter will succeed Damian Idiart on Jan. 5, 2024. Idiart announced his resignation effective on that date so he could serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico City with his wife.
Gov. Tina Kotek called Charter “an experienced adjudicator and a dedicated member of the Jackson County community” in a news release Wednesday.
“I look forward to seeing his work as Justice of the Peace,” Kotek said.
In a prepared statement in response to an interview request, Charter wrote, “I’m grateful to the Governor for another opportunity to serve and I look forward to the challenge. Sometimes life isn’t a straight line.”
In his role as Justice of the Peace in Jackson County, Charter will be based in Central Point, handling traffic court and municipal code violations throughout the county, with the exception of Medford and Ashland.
Charter was Jackson County’s Justice of the Peace from 2004-19. In 2020, after trying five times to be elected a Circuit Court judge, Charter won over incumbent Lisa Greif, who has since stepped down and works as a defense attorney. While Charter was a Circuit Court judge, he oversaw Recovery Opportunity Court until his retirement April 30.
Charter earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley, according to the governor’s news release.
His community volunteer work includes the Oregon Justice of the Peace Association and the Jackson County Bar Association, the release said. In retirement, he also has written an occasional column, “People on the Move,” for the Rogue Valley Times. His column will end before he rejoins the bench.