June 23, 2024

25th Judicial District Nominating Commission to interview Garden City man for district magistrate vacancy

(Courtesy of the Office of Judicial Administration)

TOPEKA, Kan. — The 25th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene May 10 to interview one nominee to fill a district magistrate judge vacancy in Hamilton County.

The vacancy was created by the resignation of District Magistrate Judge Meghan Houtsma, effective May 1.

The commission will convene at 9 a.m. Mountain time on Friday, May 10 in the main courtroom of the Hamilton County Courthouse, Syracuse. The interview is open to the public.

The 25th Judicial District is composed of Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Scott, and Wichita counties.

The nominee to be interviewed is:

  • Christopher James Velez, attorney, Garden City.

A nominee for district magistrate judge must be:

  • a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent.
  • a resident of Hamilton County at the time of taking office and while holding office.
  • either a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas, or able to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court to become certified within 18 months. 

After the interview concludes, the commission may appoint the district magistrate judge.

After serving one year in office, the new magistrate judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

Supreme Court Justice Dan Biles is the nonvoting chair of the 25th Judicial District Nominating Commission. Members are Lucille Douglass, Gene Gaede, William Heydman, John Lindner, Zachary Schultz, and Thomas Walker, Garden City; Ralph Goodnight, Lakin; Ann Wiles, Leoti; Christine Cupp, Scott City; Robert Gale Jr. and Timothy Kohart, Syracuse; and Debbie Kuttler, Tribune.