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TOPEKA—District Magistrate Judge Blaine Carter will retire December 8 after 26 years of service in Wabaunsee County.

He was appointed judge in the 2nd Judicial District in April 1994. Carter oversees traffic, criminal, probate, juvenile offender, child in need of care, and civil cases in Wabaunsee County and traffic, misdemeanors, and preliminary hearings in felony cases in Jackson County.

Wabaunsee and Jackson counties are part of the 2nd Judicial District, which also is composed of Jefferson and Pottawatomie counties.

Carter worked as a court services officer and deputy sheriff before becoming a judge. He said he was fortunate to spend his entire career working with people involved in the judicial system.

"As a judge I have worked hard to view each case upon its merits, with understanding, compassion, and fairness," he said.

Carter said he also saw his role as a judge to help educate people about the courts.

"I have enjoyed working with local schools to conduct mock trials so students get a better understanding of our judicial system," he said.

Carter is a graduate of Kansas State University and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.

Before he was appointed judge, he was a management analyst and charter member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission. He helped develop guidelines and procedures, drafted the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act, and was lead staff member of several task forces researching criminal justice issues.

Carter was president of the Kansas District Magistrate Judges Association in 2010 and received its top honor, the Lee Nusser Award, in 2011.

He served in 2011 on the Kansas Supreme Court's Blue Ribbon Commission, which reviewed state court operations and structure to find improvements in the way the courts serve Kansans. He has served on the Kansas Tribal State Judicial Forum since its founding.

He received the Outstanding Court Services Officer of the Year award in 1988.

Carter also is municipal court judge for eight cities in northeast Kansas. He will retire from five and continue to be municipal judge for the cities of Wamego, Onaga, and Havensville.

He and his wife, Lynda, live at Lake Wabaunsee and have two daughters.

District magistrate judges in the 2nd Judicial District are appointed following a merit selection process. State statute requires a nominating commission to accept nominations, interview nominees, and appoint a replacement. After serving one year in office, the new magistrate judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

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