- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Gov. Sam Brownback has filled a vacancy in a district court judgeship in southwest Kansas by promoting a local magistrate judge.

Brownback on Friday announced the appointment of Ricklin Pierce of Garden City as a new Finney County district judge. Pierce replaces Judge Philip Vieux, who retired last year.

Pierce has served as a magistrate judge in Finney County. He also is a former Finney County attorney, handling the prosecution of local criminal cases.

Brownback’s announcement cited Pierce’s experience as a magistrate judge and his legal background.

A magistrate handles small civil lawsuits, misdemeanor criminal cases and preliminary matters in felony cases.

A local nominating commission named Ricklin and fellow Finney County Magistrate Judge Christopher Sanders as finalists for the district court judgeship.

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