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Newly-minted District Court Judge John Hays was sworn in Monday at the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice, and since his position 3 seat was previously unfilled, he will take the bench immediately.

He is one of three brand new judges that will form the District Court Bench in 2019, along with Debra Burchett and Jamie Imboden. The District Court’s two longtime sitting judges are both retiring at the end of the year. Current judges David Koss and Ed Putka will leave behind a combined four decades of experience.

The other two new judges will officially sit the bench starting Jan. 14, after Putka and Koss retire from their seats. Burchett will be sworn in Friday, and Imboden will be sworn in Jan. 7.

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