Judicial Vacancies

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

Circuit Courts

  • Sixth Judicial Circuit (Platte County):
      • There currently are no vacancies in the 6th circuit.
  • Seventh Judicial Circuit (Clay County):
        • There currently are no vacancies in the 7th circuit.
  • 31st Judicial Circuit (Greene County):
        • The governor on April 28 appointed Springfield Municipal Judge Becky Borthwick to fill the newly created associate circuit judge position in Greene County.
Missouri Court of Appeals
  • The Appellate Judicial Commission on May 10 released demographic, interviewee and meeting information for the Ellis vacancy on the Western District appeals court.
  • The governor on March 18 appointed St. Louis County Circuit Judge Colleen Dolan to fill the Cohen vacancy on the Eastern District appeals court.

Supreme Court of Missouri
  • There currently are no vacancies on the Supreme Court of Missouri.