New judge appointed for 1st Judicial CircuitMagistrate Pat Kiner to be replaced by Gordon Swanson.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
Minnehaha County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Gordon Swanson will be the newest magistrate judge in South Dakota’s First Judicial Circuit.
In a news release issued Wednesday, First Circuit Presiding Judge Steve Jensen announced Swanson will fill the seat being vacated by current Magistrate Judge Pat Kiner, who is retiring March 8. Swanson’s appointment will become effective March 11.
Swanson’s office will be in Mitchell at the Davison County Courthouse. He will primarily handle cases in Davison, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, McCook, and Turner counties, but may handle cases throughout the First Circuit, which also includes Aurora, Bon Homme, Clay, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson, Union and Yankton counties.
Swanson will take the oath of office on March 11 and a swearing-in ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m. March 15 in the third-floor courtroom at the Davison County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend.
Magistrate judges are authorized to handle preliminary hearings for felony cases, all criminal misdemeanor cases, small claims cases, and civil cases of less than $12,000.
Swanson grew up on a farm near Dell Rapids and attended Brandon Valley High School before getting his undergraduate degree at South Dakota State University. After serving three years in the U.S. Army, Swanson went to law school at the University of South Dakota and graduated in 1992.
Swanson spent two years as law clerk for senior U.S. District Judge Andrew Bogue in Rapid City before moving on to a private practice in Sturgis with the firm of Hansen, Hubbard & Swanson. He went on to become state’s attorney in Meade County and then moved to Sioux Falls in 2003 to assume his current position as Minnehaha County’s chief deputy state’s attorney.