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Riley gives funds for 3rd district court judge

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

There is now an opening for a district court judge in Morgan County.

Gov. Bob Riley announced Tuesday that he plans to fund the judgeship, which will give Morgan three district court judges.

"It gives me great pleasure to be able to announce that funding is available for this judgeship," Riley said. "Sen. Arthur Orr has been working with my office to secure this funding, and I thank him for all his hard work. He's a strong advocate for his constituents, and he made sure this vacant judgeship got the attention it deserves."


Riley will appoint someone to fill the post and his office will begin taking applications immediately.

Rep. Bill Dukes, D-Decatur, introduced the legislation, and he and other local delegates got the bill approved in 2000.

Until now, no funding has been available.

The beginning judge's salary is $114,892.30, and a judicial assistant's salary is $28,914.60, according to the state Administrative Office of Courts. Total costs for the office are about $270,000, Orr said.

"During his time in the state Senate, Tommy Ed Roberts worked hard to bring this judgeship into existence, and I am proud to have continued his work to its completion," Orr said. "Gov. Riley and his staff also deserve a great deal of thanks because this would not have happened without their direct involvement. It was a pleasure to work with them so closely on this project."

The local legislators got the third judgeship
approved because of a high number of cases the two district judges handled.

The most recent statistics show that last year Morgan district judges disposed of 16,488 cases, including traffic, criminal, small claims and civil.

Maintenance employees are building a courtroom to make room for the new judge. District Judge David Breland shared some of his office space for a conference room adjacent to the new courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse.

The new judge and a judicial assistant will have offices inside District Judge Shelly Waters' office.

Attorneys interested in the judgeship should submit applications to Riley at 600 Dexter Ave., Montgomery, 36130.

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