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City judge accepts county position

Janice Zyryanoff, a Woodburn attorney who also serves as a municipal judge, has accepted a new position with Marion County, necessitating her resignation from service in the municipal courts of Aurora and Hubbard.

Her resignation was accepted by the Aurora and Hubbard city councils at their respective meetings earlier this month.

Zyryanoff has been a fixture in the local justice system for some time. Reached by phone, she said she joined the municipal court of Aurora in the late ’80s and Hubbard’s in the early ’90s.

She also currently serves as justice of the peace (an elected office) in the North Marion Justice Court, a part-time jurisdiction based in Woodburn. But this court, along with its east Marion County equivalent in Stayton, will close at the end of June in favor of a unified Marion County court based in Salem, which Zyryanoff will serve full-time.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” she admitted. “It’s very challenging, but it’s fun to have a new challenge.”

In letters to both boards, Zyryanoff thanked the cities for the opportunity to serve and admitted she has mixed feelings about accepting her new post.

“It is not without some degree of sadness that I (make) this decision,” she wrote in her letter to the Aurora City Council. “I have greatly enjoyed working with the court staff and the officers of the police department.”

She also serves as Woodburn’s municipal judge, but city Communications Coordinator Jason Horton said she will not be resigning from this position.

“She is just changing her schedule in Woodburn,” he said.

Whereas she currently hears cases on Tuesday afternoon and sometimes appears on Thursdays for trials, she will appear in Woodburn Municipal Court exclusively on Tuesdays after July 1.

Zyryanoff recommended the same individual to replace her in Aurora and Hubbard municipal courts: Lori Coukoulis, a McMinnville attorney who also currently serves as Woodburn’s municipal judge pro tem (meaning that she fills in for Zyryanoff when she is unavailable) and Hubbard’s city prosecutor.

“As prosecutor for the city of Hubbard, Lori appeared before me when she represented the city on traffic cases where the defendant had retained an attorney,” Zyryanoff wrote in her letter of recommendation. “She displayed an excellent knowledge of criminal and traffic laws. In addition, she exhibited great discernment in settling those cases that were appropriate to settle and trying those cases which were important to try.”

Coukoulis was appointed to serve as the new municipal judge for Aurora at the City Council’s regular meeting May 13.

“She has been working very closely with the judge and we expect no interruptions of the court schedule or the structure and dynamics at this time,” Aurora City Recorder Kelly Richardson said.



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  • 23 Oct 2014

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