The 9th Judicial District already is accepting applications to replace Judge Carl B Anderson Jr., who will retire on Friday after 36 years on the bench.
Applications must be submitted to the search committee by Feb. 1, Judge Richard Walker said.
The committee will be made up of two attorneys and two nonattorneys. The committee will meet Feb. 22 to interview potential candidates.
The committee will select at least two but no more than three names to submit to Gov. Sam Brownback. The governor will then appoint someone to take Anderson’s place.
Walker said he hoped the governor would make the appointment by April 1, and the new judge would take the bench in the three to four weeks that followed.
However, he said it has taken as long as seven months to replace judges who have retired on short notice.
Anderson recently announced his retirement due to health concerns.
Walker said the 9th District will bring in other judges to fill in while a new judge is being appointed.
Retired Judge William Lyle out of Reno County will fill in, as will Judge Steven Hilgers, who will be at the court two to three days per week.
In addition, Walker and Judge Joe Dickinson from Newton will travel to McPherson to preside over cases.
McPherson County Attorney David Page said there will be a time of transition, but he did not see any criminal cases being delayed due to Anderson’s retirement.
Criminal cases will take priority, but Walker said one civil case already has been postponed due to scheduling difficulties.