18 November 2008
Elections for Lawyer Members of 31st Circuit Judicial Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18 November 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – On November 4, 2008, Greene County elected to fill vacancies for its trial judges using the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan. Pursuant to the plan the voters adopted, judicial vacancies will be filled when the governor selects one of three applicants nominated to the governor by the 31st Circuit Judicial Commission. The commission is composed of five members: two lay persons appointed by the governor, two lawyers elected by Greene County lawyers, and the chief judge of the Court of Appeals.
As provided in Supreme Court Rule 10.07, Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith has called an election to take place on January 21, 2009, to elect the two lawyer members of the commission. Steve Helms, the circuit clerk, will conduct the election as provided in Supreme Court Rule 10. One of the lawyers elected will serve a term until December 31, 2011, and the other lawyer elected will serve a term ending on December 31, 2013. Similarly, one of the two lay members appointed by the governor will serve a term ending on December 31, 2012, and the other lay member will serve a term ending on December 31, 2014. Thereafter, lay members and lawyer members will serve six year terms.
The fifth member of the commission is the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Southern District. The current chief judge is Judge Gary W. Lynch, whose term expires July 1, 2009.
Once the commission's membership is complete, the five members of the commission will nominate and submit to the governor names of applicants for appointment as judges for Greene County when vacancies occur. The commission reviews the applications, interviews the candidates and selects three nominees. The governor appoints one of the three nominees to fill the vacancy. After the judge serves at least one year, the judge’s name is placed on the ballot in the next general election, and the voters decide whether to retain the judge based on his or her performance.
For additional information please contact Steve Helms, the circuit clerk for Greene County.