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Judge Ritter to retire from Water Court at year's end

Tuesday, September 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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The Honorable Douglas Ritter will retire as associate water judge for the Montana Water Court effective Dec. 31, the Montana Supreme Court has announced. 

The Judicial Nomination Commission is now seeking from any lawyer in good standing who has the qualifications set forth by law for holding the position of associate water judge; the qualifications are the same as for state district court judge.

The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25; the commission will then announce the names of applicants, and a public comment period will begin. Applications, which are available electronically on the commission website, must be submitted electronically as well as in hard copy. 

The commission will forward the names of three to five nominees to Chief Justice Mike McGrath for appointment. The person appointed is subject to confirmation by the Montana Senate during the 2019 session. If confirmed, the appointee will serve the remainder of the term, which ends June 30, 2020. The annual salary is $132,567.

Judge Ritter was appointed associate water judge in 2013 when the Honorable Russ McElyea became chief judge. He was appointed to a new four-year term in 2016.

The 1979 Montana Legislature created the Water Court to expedite and facilitate the adjudication of over 219,000 state law-based water rights and Indian and federal reserved water rights claims. The court has exclusive jurisdiction over the adjudication of all water-rights claims in Montana.