Lincoln – Judge of the District Court, Fifth Judicial District, Michael J. Owens, is retiring effective January 31, 2014.
In his letter of resignation to the Governor, Judge Owens noted, “I have had the great honor of serving as a district judge in the Fifth Judicial District for seventeen and a half years.” He continued, “My service to the eleven counties comprising this district has been rewarding and fulfilling.”
Judge Owens served on several Supreme Court Committees during his tenure as a judge. He participated on the Limited Scope Representation Subcommittee of the Court’s Pro Se Committee and with the Chief Justice’s Legislative-Judicial Visit Program. In support of community youth education, Owens has volunteered as a judge for the Law Day Essay Contest and coordinated the area mock trial project for several years. He is a Nebraska State Bar Foundation Fellow, a selection by colleagues in the legal profession based on integrity and character.
Also in his letter to the Governor, Judge Owens commended the district and county judges with whom he has served, as well as the court staff of each county for their untiring and sometimes unnoticed efforts to support the judicial system. He also commented, “I would be remiss in not commending the citizenry of Aurora and surrounding communities in their faith and acceptance of our unparalleled judicial system. It is important, I believe, to continue to provide quality legal service to the communities of rural Nebraska.”
After taking the bench in August 1996, Judge Owens was retained in his position by area voters in both 2006 and 2012.
The first step in replacing Judge Owens will be for the Judicial Resources Commission to call a meeting to determine whether or not, based on judicial workload statistics, his retirement creates a judicial vacancy on the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District.
Resources Commission Information: http://supremecourt.ne.gov/2546/judicial-resources-commission
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