In 2017, the Montana Legislature created a new judgeship position for Fourth Judicial District (Mineral and Missoula counties). The Legislature provided that the position initially be filled through appointment.
The Judicial Nomination Commission now is accepting applications from any lawyer in good standing who has the qualifications set forth by law for holding the position of district court judge. The application form is available electronically at http://courts.mt.gov. Applications must be submitted electronically as well as in hard copy. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, at 5 p.m. The commission will announce the names of the applicants thereafter.
The public is encouraged to contact commission members regarding the applicants during the public comment period, which will begin Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, and close Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.
The Commission will forward the names of three to five nominees to the governor for appointment after reviewing the applications, receiving public comment, and interviewing the applicants if necessary.
The person appointed by the governor is subject to Senate confirmation during the 2019 legislative session. If confirmed, the appointee will serve for a term ending Dec. 31, 2020.
The position is subject to election in 2020, and the successful candidate will serve a six-year term to begin Jan. 1, 2021. The annual salary for the position is $132,567.
Judicial Nomination Commis-sion members are District Judge John Brown of Bozeman; Janice Bishop of Missoula; Karl Englund of Missoula; Elizabeth Halverson of Billings; Hal Harper of Helena; Lane Larson of Billings; and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.