Judge O'Brien to retire July 1South Dakota's Judicial Qualifications Commission is reviewing applications and will recommend potential replacement candidates to Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
First Circuit Judge Sean O’Brien will retire effective July 1. O’Brien, 58, serves Davison, Aurora and Hanson counties. When he announced his retirement to the Unified Judicial System recently, the Judicial Qualifications Commission began accepting applications for the position.
“That closed on May 15,” said Greg Sattizahn, legal counsel for UJS. “The group will now have the applications and go through the process of screenings and background checks.”
Eventually, the commission will recommend two or more applicants for Gov. Dennis Daugaard to appoint, he said.
There is no specific deadline for Daugaard to appoint a judge.
In the meantime, judges within the circuit may have to pick up O’Brien’s caseload once he retires, or Chief Justice David Gilbertson could appoint a retired judge or an out-of-circuit judge to fill in, Sattizahn said.
The applicant appointed will serve out O’Brien’s term, which ends in 2014.
Applicants must be members of the state bar association and be in good standing. Judges’ terms run eight years, Sattizahn said.
O’Brien was not immediately available for comment.