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This profile was last updated on 2/1/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Elected Judge

Island County District Court

Employment History

  • District Court Judge
    Island County
  • District Court Judge


  • bachelor's degree
    The Evergreen State College
31 Total References
Web References
Island County District Court Judge ..., 1 Feb 2013 [cached]
Island County District Court Judge Peter Strow is retiring in March after 16 years on the bench. He reflected this week on those years and how he came to be in the position. - Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times
Island County District Court Judge Peter Strow is retiring in March after 16 years on the bench. He reflected this week on those years and how he came to be in the position.
Peter Strow will take off his judge's robe at the end of March and may never put it back on.
Strow surprised many when he announced earlier this year that he will retire in the middle of his four-year term.
He is the elected judge for Island County District Court and also acts as the Municipal Court judge for Oak Harbor, Coupeville and Langley. He adjudicates misdemeanor crimes and civil matters.
With his gravelly voice and gruff manner, Strow was well known on Whidbey Island during his 16 years on the bench. Strow noted that no other elected official has as much interaction with the public as he does.
And he takes that responsibility seriously.
"It's really important to have a good judge on the bench. It's incredibly important to the community," he said.
"Peter has a reputation that extends beyond Island County of being good, dependable, reliable and fair. He's very bright and intellectually honest," he said. "He's just a decent human being and one of my favorite people."
Strow, a Langley resident, said he decided to retire for several reasons. At 71, he said he's getting on in years. He and his wife both have health concerns.
After 24 years of active duty, Strow retired from the Navy. He worked for a year as the prosecutor for a regional drug task force in Wenatchee and then went into defense work in Seattle for a year.
Maggie Paczkowski was court administrator for just two years before Strow took the bench.
On the bench, Strow said he strives to treat everyone with "the respect they deserve," he said. He makes sure to have as much information as possible - from criminal backgrounds to records of court hearings - on each defendant who comes before him.
"I've learned that most criminals just want to be listened to," he said.
On the other hand, Strow can be impatient, particularly with some of the young attorneys who come before him, said collegues.
HeraldNet - Candidate filings [cached]
Island County District Court Judge: Peter Strow, NP
The Island County commissioners will ..., 1 Feb 2013 [cached]
The Island County commissioners will publicly interview seven candidates next week to replace District Court Judge Peter Strow.
Strow, who has held the bench since 1997, recently announced that he will be retiring at the end of March. The non-partisan position carries a four-year term and Strow was last elected in November of 2010.
The job pays $141,710 a year, a sum set by the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.
Because Strow is stepping down mid-term, his replacement must be appointed by the commissioners.
Kipling has been practicing law for more than 25 years and has spent past nine as the Island County District Court commissioner - essentially a fill-in judge appointed by Strow.
Island County District Court Judge ..., 2 Jan 2012 [cached]
Island County District Court Judge Peter Strow, 59, was injured when his motorcycle hit a deer on Highway 20 north of Coupeville.
whidbeyisland, 27 Jan 2006 [cached]
The son of Island County's District Court Judge Peter Strow, his roots on Whidbey stretch back to his teenage years when he attended Oak Harbor schools.
In 1994, Strow joined the congressional staff on Congressman Jack Metcalf, and was a transition advisor before becoming deputy chief of staff.
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