Selection of judges in the Supreme Court, the Missouri Court of Appeals and six of the state's urban trial courts is governed by the merit-based nonpartisan court plan. In the remaining 109 counties, voters continue to choose trial judges through partisan elections. When an interim vacancy occurs in one of these counties, the governor appoints a judge to serve until the next election. For more information about this application process, click here: interim judicial vacancies in trial courts.
The process of filing vacancies under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan requires the governor to select judges from a panel of three qualified applicants selected by a nonpartisan commission of citizens, lawyers and a judge. Voters then decide periodically whether to retain nonpartisan judges. For vacancies on the Supreme Court of Missouri and Missouri Court of Appeals, the nonpartisan commission is called the Appellate Judicial Commission. The six circuit courts subject to the nonpartisan plan have their own circuit judicial commissions.
Current Nonpartisan Judicial Vacancies
- Sixth Judicial Circuit (Platte County):
- There currently are no vacancies in the 6th circuit.
- Seventh Judicial Circuit (Clay County):
- There currently are no judicial vacancies in the 7th circuit.
- 16th Judicial Circuit (Jackson County):
- Applications to fill the Messina circuit judge vacancy in Jackson County are due December 19.
- 21st Judicial Circuit (St. Louis County):
- 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis city):
- The commission rescheduled to January 7 and 8, 2015, the public interviews and meeting for the Grady circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis. Here is the demographic, interviewee and meeting information for this vacancy.
- Applications to fill the David circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis are due January 15.
- 31st Judicial Circuit (Greene County):
- The governor on November 14 selected Springfield attorney Andy Hosmer for the Fitzsimmons associate circuit judge vacancy in Greene County.
Missouri Court of Appeals
- There currently are no judicial vacancies on the Missouri Court of Appeals.
Supreme Court of Missouri
- There currently are no judicial vacancies on the Supreme Court of Missouri.