New chief judge named for District Court

District Judge Arthur Ritchie Jr., the presiding judge for Family Court, has been named new chief judge for the District Court.

Ritchie, who will begin serving Jan. 1, will be the first district judge from the family court division to serve as a chief judge. He will replace current Chief Judge Kathy Hardcastle, who said Wednesday that she chose not to run again.

“I’m very honored to be selected by my peers,” Ritchie said Wednesday. “I hope to continue our good work for the community.”

Chief judges are chosen by other district judges and serve two-year terms. Ritchie will be responsible for overseeing the District Court budget, setting policy, assigning cases and working with the Legislature.

Ritchie will continue serving as a Family Court judge. Former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Ritchie to the bench in 1999.

Hardcastle served as chief judge for two terms. Chief judges are limited to four terms.

During her terms, Hardcastle presided over the District Court relocation to the Regional Justice Center, an increased number of judges and a consolidation of the Justice Court system with District Court. She said she will return to handling a full criminal caseload.

“It’s been a privilege and a challenge to be chief judge,” she said.

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