Hon. Susan M. Svetkey See Rating Details
Circuit Court Judge
Circuit Court
Multnomah County
Judicial District 4
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   2.9 - 6 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 3 rating(s)
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Only items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating.

General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)

Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)

Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)

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What others have said about Hon. Susan M. Svetkey



Comment #: OR315
I have watched this Judge in action as a by-stander in a recent court case. Her bias against the defendant was shocking. She allowed the prosecutor to disparage and discredit highly qualified expert witnesses and sworn testimony of numerous lay witnesses in closing arguments WITHOUT substantiation in record. She then wrote an opinion in which she made her own psychological assessments of the defendant based on "appearances" and "defendant's reactions" during court hearings... NONE of it substantiated by professional expert testimony. I have covered many court hearings as a journalist and this display of bias was the worst I have seen.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: OR309
This judge is heavily biased in favor of male litigants, ignores domestic violence, and puts children at great risk by ignoring evidence, witness and expert testimony, and silencing the litigant she disfavors.

Her demeanor is dramatic and unprofessional, and her orders are emotionally based and dangerously incomplete to the point of civil rights violations.

This judge needs to find another profession where she can lord total control over others without endangering people.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: OR307
very biased in favor of the male. Does not follow judicial protocol. Once asked the male litigant's attorneys if they planned on objecting. She screams at witnesses, refuses to allow experts to testify if they are on the female's side. She is very hostile toward the female litigant and all those supporting her. She considers all women liars. She doesn't believe men can be abusers. She is married to a criminal defense attorney who takes high profile cases, some involving crimes against children. Her behavior is unethical and in violation of judicial practice as well as the Oregon State Bar practice standards. She refuses to recuse herself and does not abide by the law. She gives custody to the father despite CPS findings of spousal and child abuse. Many children and DV victims have been revictimized at her hand. Terrible judge!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: OR306
Extremely biased toward men in family law cases, with a marked pattern of ignoring or silencing female litigants and their attorneys. Will take over the questioning and lead the male litigant (and their counsel) to a winning line of argument, which she will then use to rule in favor of the male litigant. At the same time, Svetkey is often hostile to witnesses, including experts, appearing on behalf of Mother.

Is extremely reluctant to uphold domestic violence restraining orders when the victim is female. Has been overturned on appeal for vacating a domestic violence restraining order where the man physically attacked the woman on the courthouse steps.

In my opinion it is borderline malpractice for an attorney representing a female client to fail to affidavit Judge Svetkey.


Comment #: OR280
Judge Svetkey presided over a parenting agreement modification initiated by myself. I was merely attempting to clean up my agreement as the mother had been taking liberties and changing the agreement at will. The mother began by falsifying statements (always, never statements etc), the judge then seemed to ignore my response statements. Her demeanor seemed biased, sided and almost sexist as she seemingly disregarded my rebuttals. Is there an oversight or accountability board for rulings in family law court? She did not seem fair at all and contrary to the other views I was not accused of being an abusive male.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: OR204
Biased in favor of men. Has caused harm in domestic violence situations.

Court Staff

Comment #: OR203
Extremely biased in favor of abusive men. I have seen her silence women and refuse to admit evidence in hearings for restraining orders when there was abuse and award custody to men who also abused the children. There is nepotism with her choice of court appointed experts, and amongst certain firms, increasing litigant costs for profit. She has caused needless harm, has been intentionally cruel, and does not deserve her post.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: OR184
Judge Susan Svetkey has no control over her emotions and her rulings are evidence of her extreme biases. She often yells at witnesses in her courtroom and uses corrosion to force them into compliance and acceptance that she is "the strong arm of the law". Judge Susan Svetkey has used tampered witnesses and "experts" whom are appointed by her as board of directors for her various family law non-profits. She has even heard cases where her husband Steven Houze has represented one of the parties. This is a gross conflict of interest and illegal to the oath she swore. Judge Susan Svetkey and her accomplices have created a social injustice within the family courts and that has had a great effect on the lives of children and their parents. Judge Susan Svetkey does not look out for the children's best interest; Judge Susan Svetkey looks out for the interest of her power and control over the empire she has created.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: OR70
It is a joy to appear in her court.