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 vacancies in the 7th circuit.
- 16th Judicial Circuit (Jackson County):
- The governor on July 26 appointed Deputy Probate Commissioner Mark A. Styles Jr. to fill the Forsyth circuit judge vacancy in Jackson County.
- 21st Judicial Circuit (St. Louis County):
- The commission has released demographic, interviewee and meeting information for the Dueker associate circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County. Please note the updated meeting location.
- The commission on August 11 nominated John Borbonus III, Brian May and Stanley Wallach for the Cohen circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County.
- The governor on August 8 appointed Family Court Commissioner Margaret Donnelly to fill the Dolan circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County.
- 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis city):
- The governor on August 3 appointed Assistant Circuit Attorney Timothy Boyer to fill the Bryant associate circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis.
Missouri Court of Appeals
- 31st Judicial Circuit (Greene County):
- There currently are no vacancies in the 31st circuit.
Supreme Court of Missouri
- The governor on July 15 appointed Edward R. Ardini Jr. to fill the Ellis vacancy on the Western District appeals court.
- There currently are no vacancies on the Supreme Court of Missouri.