Homer meets first Superior Court Judge
After years of calling in judges from elsewhere or changing venues, Homer finally has a resident superior court judge.
Judge Bride Siefert was introduced to the public during an open house at the Homer Courthouse on Thursday.
“Historically, there's only been a district court judge here. Most people don't realize District Court judges can do a lot of things, but what they can't do are felonies. Some of the trials and larger dollar amount civil cases as well as some other civil cases,” said Siefert. “So what happens in the past, when any of those matters came in, we'd have to have a judge come down from Anchorage or Kenai now anything that comes through the door, whether it be district court or superior court that will come to me, and we won't have to outsource some of that to non local communities.”
Siefert, who was appointed by Gov. Dunleavey in December, said a brief learning curve will accompany the workload as she settles in.
“It will probably increase the workload a little bit because we'll be learning, both myself and the clerks, sort of the processing of a superior court case,” she said. “Again in the past when a judge came in from Anchorage or they came in from Kenai, they often had the case already worked up with maybe their judicial assistant or that staff, so we'll be learning that process here.”
Siefert is a 2010 graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota, and has worked in Alaska for over eight years.
“My first job in Alaska was in McCarthy for Wrangell Mountain Air, so I've lived in McCarthy, Juneau, north of the Brooks Range at a science camp, Bethel and Kotzebue,” she said. “And Homer, we hope, is our permanent home and we really look forward to being here.”
Thursday’s reception at the courthouse was co hosted by the Homer Bar Association.