Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – Kevin Nowicki and Loxie Morley were sworn in Thursday as judges pro tem for Kingman and Cerbat Justice Court with dozens of family, friends and court staff attending the ceremony.
Nowicki and Morley were selected from a pool of applicants who went before a five-person review committee made up of attorneys, judges and citizens. As judges pro tem, they’ll handle weekend cases and fill in for other judges in their absence.
The committee made its recommendations to Mohave County Superior Court Presiding Judge Charles Gurtler, and final approval came from the Board of Supervisors.
Nowicki, retired from Sacramento (California) Police Department, has been a court mediator for eight years, settling cases before they get to court and saving the county an estimated $100,000 a year in court costs.
He said he would sometimes clear as many as three cases a week, or about 150 cases a year.
Morley was a probation officer in Mohave County for 11 years and worked with prosecutors for 14 years.
“It just seems like the next natural progression,” Morley said of her appointment to Justice Court judge. “I can contribute and give back to the community while doing something I think I’m going to enjoy.”
Judge Dave Huerta read the oath that was repeated by Nowicki and Morley, and witnessed their signing of the oath, along with Judge John Taylor.
Between Cerbat and Kingman, the court consistently ranks as the second- or third-busiest court in the state, Huerta said.
“A lot of people think John and I only do weddings, which we do, but we also do both civil and criminal, we sign search warrants and we do initial appearance before the preliminary hearing. So this court is fairly busy,” Huerta said.
The court also handles 16,000 to 17,000 juvenile cases each year, Taylor added.
“I know it means a lot for Kevin and Loxie to have their family here and we appreciate them helping the court to operate more efficiently,” Huerta said.