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Supreme Court reappoints 27 chief judges

The Kansas Supreme Court has reappointed 27 chief judges in Kansas.
The Kansas Supreme Court has reappointed 27 chief judges in Kansas.(WIBW)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 3:35 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court announced on Monday it has reappointed 27 chief judges in Kansas.

Their terms are effective January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023.

1st Judicial District

Chief Judge David King was reappointed in the 1st Judicial District, composed of Atchison and Leavenworth counties. He has served as a district judge since 1986 and chief judge since 1990.

King received his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. He was Leavenworth County attorney and in private practice before being appointed judge.

2nd Judicial District

Chief Judge Jeffrey Elder was reappointed in the 2nd Judicial District, composed of Jefferson, Jackson, Wabaunsee, and Pottawatomie counties. He has served as a district judge since 2008 and as chief judge since 2020.

Elder received an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. He served as county attorney for Pottawatomie County from 1989 to 2001 and was in private practice before becoming a judge.

4th Judicial District

Chief Judge Taylor Wine was reappointed in the 4th Judicial District, composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties. He has served as a district judge since 2018 and chief judge since 2019.

Wine received an undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He was in private practice before he was appointed a district magistrate judge in 2011. He was appointed a district judge in 2018.

5th Judicial District

Chief Judge Merlin Wheeler was reappointed in the 5th Judicial District, composed of Lyon and Chase counties. He has served as a district judge since 1990 and as chief judge since 1998.

Wheeler received undergraduate degrees from Dodge City Community College and Emporia State University, and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. He served as city attorney for the City of Emporia from 1977 to 1980 and then joined the firm Perkins and Hollembeak, Chtd. He was owner of Merlin G. Wheeler, Chtd., from 1988 to 1990.

6th Judicial District

Chief Judge Amy Harth was reappointed in the 6thJudicial District, composed of Bourbon, Linn, and Miami counties. She has served as a district judge since 2004 and chief judge since 2015.

Harth received a law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1994. She worked as a prosecutor in Miami County and as a public defender.

7th Judicial District

Chief Judge James McCabria was reappointed in the 7th Judicial District, which is Douglas County. He has served as a judge since 2014 and chief judge since 2019.

McCabria received a law degree from the University of Tulsa School of Law in 1994. He was in private practice in Coffeyville from 1994 to 2000. From 2002 to 2006, he was an assistant attorney general for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. From 2007 to 2014, he was an assistant district attorney for the Douglas County Attorney’s Office.

8th Judicial District

Chief Judge Benjamin Sexton was reappointed in the 8th Judicial District, composed of Geary, Dickinson, Marion, and Morris counties. He has served as a district judge since 2001 and chief judge since August 2021.

Sexton received an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. He worked as a prosecutor and in private practice before he was appointed a district judge.

9th Judicial DistrictChief Judge Marilyn Wilder was reappointed in the 9th Judicial District, composed of Harvey and McPherson counties. She has served as a district judge since 2015 and chief judge since September 2021.

Wilder received an undergraduate degree from Taylor University and a law degree from Indiana University School of Law. She worked in private practice before she was appointed a district judge.

11th Judicial District

Chief Judge Lori Bolton Fleming was reappointed in the 11th Judicial District, composed of Cherokee, Crawford, and Labette counties. She has served as a district judge since 2012 and chief judge since June 2021.

Fleming received an undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. She worked as a prosecutor and in private practice before she was appointed a district judge.

12th Judicial District

Chief Judge Kim Cudney was reappointed in the 12th Judicial District, composed of Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Republic, and Washington counties. She has served as a district judge and chief judge since 2006.

Cudney received an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. She served as a research attorney for the Kansas Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court. She had a private law practice in Washington, Kansas, where she also served as county attorney.

13th Judicial District

Chief Judge David Ricke was reappointed in the 13th Judicial District, composed of Butler, Greenwood, and Elk counties. He has served as a district judge since 2004 and chief judge since 2012.

Ricke received an undergraduate degree from Wichita State University and a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.

14th Judicial DistrictChief Judge Jeffrey Gettler was reappointed in the 14th Judicial District, composed of Chautauqua and Montgomery counties. He has served as a district judge since 2015 and chief judge since 2018.

Gettler received undergraduate degrees from Independence Community College and Loyola University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. He was in private practice for over 10 years and also served as city prosecutor for the City of Independence, city attorney for the City of Cherryvale, and attorney for Unified School Districts 446 and 447.

15th Judicial District

Chief Judge Kevin Berens was reappointed in the 15th Judicial District, composed of Cheyenne, Logan, Sheridan, Sherman, Rawlins, Thomas, and Wallace counties. He has served as a district judge and chief judge since 2017.

Berens received an undergraduate degree from Fort Hays State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. He previously served as county attorney in Thomas and Cheyenne counties and city attorney for Bird City. He also practiced law in Kansas and Colorado.

16th Judicial District

Chief Judge Laura Lewis was reappointed in the 16th Judicial District, composed of Clark, Comanche, Ford, Gray, Kiowa, and Meade counties. She has been a district court judge since 2019 and chief judge since 2020.

Lewis received undergraduate degrees from Dodge City Community College and Washburn University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. She was county attorney and county counselor for Meade County for 10 years and also had a private law practice.

17th Judicial District

Chief Judge Preston Pratt was reappointed in the 17thJudicial District, composed of Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Smith, Graham, and Osborne counties. He has served as a district judge and chief judge since 2011.

Pratt received a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. He practiced law in Oberlin before being appointed district judge.18th Judicial District

Chief Judge Jeff Goering was reappointed in the 18th Judicial District, which is Sedgwick County. He has served as district judge since 2004 and chief judge since 2019.

Goering received a law degree from Washburn University School of Law and worked as an assistant district attorney in Sedgwick County from 1991 to 1992. He was in private practice in Leavenworth from 1992 to 1996, during which time he also was municipal judge for the City of Leavenworth. He returned to Wichita and was in private practice from 1996 to 2005. During that time, he was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives and served from 2003 to 2004.

19th Judicial District

Chief Judge Nicholas St. Peter was reappointed in the 19th Judicial District, which is Cowley County. He has served as a district judge since 2004 and chief judge since 2010.

St. Peter received an undergraduate degree from Fort Hays State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law.

20th Judicial District

Chief Judge Steven Johnson was reappointed in the 20th Judicial District, composed of Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, Russell, and Stafford counties. He has served as a district judge since 2012 and chief judge since 2020.

Johnson received an undergraduate degree from Fort Hays State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. He was in private practice in Great Bend from 1985 to 2012.

21st Judicial District

Chief Judge Grant Bannister was reappointed in the 21st Judicial District, composed of Clay and Riley counties. He has served as district judge since 2016 and chief judge since 2019.

Bannister received an undergraduate degree from Fort Hays State University and a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1997. He was in private practice in Manhattan for 19 years and served as an adjunct professor teaching ethics in the College of Business at Kansas State University.

22nd Judicial District

Chief Judge James Patton was reappointed in the 22nd Judicial District, composed of Doniphan, Brown, Nemaha, and Marshall counties. He has served as a district judge since January 1995 and chief judge since 2001.

Patton received an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. Before becoming a district judge, he retired from the Kansas Army National Guard.

23rd Judicial District

Chief Judge Glenn Braun was reappointed in the 23rd Judicial District, composed of Ellis, Rooks, Trego, and Gove counties. He has served as a district judge since 2012 and chief judge since 2016.

Braun received an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in 1978 and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1981. He was in private practice until 2012 and served as Ellis County Attorney from 1989 to 1997, and as a city of Hays prosecutor.

24th Judicial District

Chief Judge Bruce Gatterman was reappointed in the 24th Judicial District, composed of Edwards, Hodgeman, Lane, Ness, Pawnee, and Rush counties. He has served as a district judge and chief judge since 2003.

Gatterman received an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. He served as a municipal judge for the City of Larned from 1980 to 2002.

27th Judicial District

Chief Judge Patricia Macke Dick was reappointed in the 27th Judicial District, which is Reno County. She has served as a district judge since 1989 and chief judge since 2007.

Macke Dick received an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.

28th Judicial District

Chief Judge Rene Young was reappointed in the 28th Judicial District, composed of Saline and Ottawa counties. She has served as a district judge since 2006 and chief judge since 2015.

Young received a law degree from Washburn University School of Law. She practiced law in Salina for 20 years before becoming a judge.

29th Judicial District

Chief Judge Robert Burns was reappointed in the 29th Judicial District, which is Wyandotte County. He has served as a district judge since 2004 and chief judge since 2019.

Burns received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1988 and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1991. He was in private practice from 1991 to 1995 and served as a legal department attorney for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, from 1996 to 2004.

30th Judicial District

Chief Judge William Mott was reappointed to the 30th Judicial District, composed of Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, and Sumner counties. He has served as a district judge since 2007 and chief judge since 2017.

Mott received an undergraduate degree from Friends University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1995. He practiced law in Wellington and served as Sumner County Attorney from 1997 to 2005. He was a special assistant U.S attorney in Wichita from 2005 to 2007.

31st Judicial District

Chief Judge Daniel Creitz was reappointed in the 31st Judicial District, composed of Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties. He has served as a district judge since May 2002 and chief judge since 2011.

Creitz received undergraduate degrees from Allen County Community College and Emporia State University and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law.

Chief judge role

Each of Kansas’ 31 judicial districts has a chief judge who, in addition to their judicial responsibilities, has general control over case assignments within the district, as well as general supervisory authority over the administrative and clerical functions of the court.

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