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TOPEKA—The 31st Judicial District Nominating Commission is seeking nominations to fill a district magistrate judge vacancy in Woodson County created by District Magistrate Judge Thomas Mikulka’s January 8 death.

The 31st Judicial District is composed of Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties.

Justice Evelyn Wilson, the Supreme Court departmental justice responsible for the 31st Judicial District, said individuals can apply or be nominated, but nominations must come on a nomination form and include the nominee's signature.

The annual salary for a district magistrate position in 2024 is $76,601. The annual salary is expected to increase by 25% on January 1, 2025.

Eligibility requirements

Kansas law requires that the district magistrate judge be:

  • a resident of Woodson County at the time of taking office and while holding office;

  • a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent; and

  • either a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas or able to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court to become certified within 18 months.

The commission selects who is appointed to fill the district magistrate judge vacancy.

Nomination process

Nominations must be accompanied by a nomination form available from the clerk of the district court in Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties, the clerk of the appellate courts in the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka, or online at

Nominations may be submitted electronically or by paper copy. The deadline to submit a nomination with supporting documents is noon Friday, March 22.

Paper submissions require one original and nine copies of the completed nomination form, a like number of supporting documents, and one executed release form to be delivered to:

Justice Evelyn Wilson, Chair
31st Judicial District Nominating Commission
301 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612

In lieu of submitting paper copies, the nominee may submit one copy of the form and attachments electronically as instructed on the nomination form to

Public interviews

A date to interview nominees will be scheduled later. Interviews are open to the public.

Term of office

After serving one year in office, the new district 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.

Nominating commission

The 31st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Evelyn Wilson as the nonvoting chair; Richard Pringle, Chanute; Nancy Burns and John Chenoweth, Fredonia; Robert Johnson II, Iola; Douglas Depew, Neodesha; Craig Mentzer, Neosho Falls; Shelia Lampe, Piqua; and Donald Greg Taylor, Stark.

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