Central Point court may handle Shady Cove tickets

People who get a ticket from a sheriff's deputy in Shady Cove may soon have to drive to Central Point if they want to contest it in court.

A proposed intergovernmental agreement between Shady Cove and the Jackson County Justice Court is set to go before the Jackson County Board of Commissioners at 9:30 a.m. today at the Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford.

If the agreement is approved, the Justice Court in Central Point would handle city ordinance violations and traffic citations issued in Shady Cove by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, which contracts with the city to provide law enforcement. Tickets could still be paid by mail, but people who wish to contest the violation would have to appear in Justice Court in Central Point.

The agreement is expected to generate an estimated $10,000 in annual revenue, which would be split evenly between the county and the city, officials said. The agreement is modeled after one Jackson County already has with Central Point.

The agreement would go into effect immediately. It could be terminated with 60 days' notice.

More serious offenses that could land someone in jail would continue to be handled by the Jackson County Circuit Court.

"The sheriff's office is already providing law enforcement within the city," said Justice Court Judge Joe Charter. "(This) would only be their code violations. I don't think they're expecting to do much. It's much less volume."

Shady Cove requested the agreement to reduce overhead costs related to the city's municipal court, which is held in City Hall.

"We started hearing about Shady Cove about the same time we were talking about Central Point," Charter said.

The board approved the agreement with Central Point last month after the city's court clerk retired, coupled with scheduling conflicts with the city's municipal court judge.

County Administrator Danny Jordan said no other Rogue Valley towns have expressed interest in a similar partnership.

The Justice Court operates from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 505 Oak St., Central Point.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

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