Today, at 3:00 PM at the Salt Lake City and County Building, Katherine Peters will be sworn in to fill the vacancy on the Salt Lake City Justice Court. Peters was chosen by Mayor Biskupski from a pool of five strong candidates recommended by the Salt Lake County Nominating Commission. The Mayor’s appointment of Peters was approved by the City Council on May 28th.
Peters is an experienced litigator and has been a full-time prosecutor with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office since 2002. During her time with the District Attorney, Peters prosecuted cases in the Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City Justice Courts; West Valley, West Jordan, and Salt Lake City District Courts; and has successfully argued before the Utah Court of Appeals.
“My experience in the courtroom and appearing in front of so many different judges throughout my career has given me a unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t work,” said Peters. “I have seen what happens in court when someone doesn’t get the attention and the services they need when they first enter the criminal justice system. I believe the Justice Courts are solution driven courts to get defendants back into the community as productive members of society, and it is this approach to justice that drew me to apply for this position.”
Mayor Jackie Biskupski praised Peters’ experience and indicated that it was her passion for justice reform and ensuring equity in the court system that ultimately persuaded her to select Peters. Mayor Biskupski is currently working with the Justice Courts on a new diversity initiative to ensure the court is addressing issues of implicit bias.
“Not only does Ms. Peters have an impressive resume and stellar recommendations, when you speak with her, you can feel that her passion for using the law as a tool for good is real,” said Mayor Biskupski. “She comes with background and temperament that I believe will be well matched for Salt Lake City’s Justice Court, where many Judges are already focused on issues of equity and reform.”
The Salt Lake City Justice Court handles misdemeanors, traffic violations, and small debt disputes. It is estimated that 80% of criminal cases filed are misdemeanor cases.
“It is at the misdemeanor level that minorities and underprivileged people get swept up into the system and stay,” said Peters. “I want to be a part of the change in that system actively working to promote solutions while balancing justice. The justice system was set up to right a wrong to the community and then have the citizen return as a functioning member of society. It doesn’t always work that was and I want to work to improve that and make Salt Lake City a model for the nation.”
Katherine Peters is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
This is the second vacancy Mayor Biskupski has filled on the court during her tenure. She previously selected Judge Clemens Landau to fill a vacancy in 2018.
What: Swearing in ceremony for Judge Katherine Peters
When: Monday, June 24th, 3:00PM
Where: Salt Lake City and County Building
City Council Formal Chambers
451 South State Street, 3rd Floor
Salt Lake City