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TOPEKA—District Magistrate Judge Paul Monty will retire January 11 after serving 14 years in Washington County.

He was appointed judge in the 12th Judicial District in 2007. He had been a private practice lawyer in Washington, Kansas, for 38 years.

The 12th Judicial District also is composed of Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, and Republic counties.

Monty grew up in Cloud County. He is a graduate of Concordia High School, Fort Hays State University, and the University of Kansas School of Law. 

During his years as a judge, he said he has strived to treat people fairly and with respect.

"Even when ruling against someone, you have to treat them with dignity and help make them see they had a fair hearing," he said.

He is most satisfied, he said, when he can help people resolve the problems that brought them to his court.

Monty said he also has worked to promote the importance of the judiciary.

"In my view, it is the most important branch of government, because without the judiciary, you don’t have government for the people," he said. "A close friend from Africa told me his country had as fine a constitution as the United States, but no one enforced it."

Monty and his wife, Gayle, have four daughters.

District magistrate judges in the 12th 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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