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):
- The governor on February 10 appointed Jennifer Marie Phillips, a chief trial assistant in the Jackson County prosecutor's office, to fill the Messina circuit judge vacancy in Jackson County.
- 21st Judicial Circuit (St. Louis County):
- 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis city):
- Voting now open -- voting to fill the lawyer vacancy on the 22nd circuit commission created by the death of Michael B. Calvin is open until midnight Wednesday, March 11..
- The governor on February 10 appointed St. Louis Drug Court Commissioner James E. Sullivan to fill the Grady circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis.
- The commission has released demographic and interviewee information for the David circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis. Interviews for this vacancy will be held March 18 and 19 with the public meeting following.
- 31st Judicial Circuit (Greene County):
- There currently are no vacancies in the 31st circuit.
Missouri Court of Appeals
- Applications for the Norton vacancy on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, are due March 20.
Supreme Court of Missouri
- There currently are no judicial vacancies on the Supreme Court of Missouri.