POCAHONTAS, Ark. – The vacated Randolph County District Court judge seat was officially filled on Monday as Alex Bigger, the former city attorney for Pocahontas, was sworn in.
“I’m excited to get started early,” Bigger told NEA Report. “I’m looking forward to the new state district court system next year. This will help me get ready to take on that endeavor.”
Bigger was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to fill the vacant seat. He will serve out the rest of the term, which is the remainder of 2020.
Randolph County District Court will be replaced in 2021 by the newly created 11th Judicial District for State District Court. Bigger and Sharp County Judge Mark Johnson both were elected to those positions. The 11th Judicial District for State District Court covers Lawrence, Sharp, and Randolph County.
The “local district court” judge position will be eliminated after this year as the State of Arkansas moves to a “state district court” system. The goal is to have a unified system for the court. Instead of having part-time district judges handling misdemeanors, the state district court will be full-time and more consistent across the state. In addition to misdemeanor criminal cases, state district judges will be taking on some of the jurisdictional duties of circuit judges, including civil cases. That will leave circuit judges to focus of the more serious criminal cases that often include jury trials.
The vacant Randolph County District Court judge seat was left open by ex-judge John Throesch who resigned in an ethics probe to avoid charges.
Featured photo shows Alex Bigger (left) being sworn in by Judge Rob Ratton (right). Photo taken by Graycen Colbert Bigger.