UPDATE: 1:05 p.m. - March 3, 2021
MISSOULA - Missoula Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Jenks has announced her plans to retire at the end of her term on Dec. 31, 2021.
Judge Jenks has served as a judge for 10 years and has been elected twice. She says she's looking forward to traveling and enjoying her hobbies in retirement.
Jenks says she's proud of all the changes she's seen in the courtroom, from updating the sentencing process to digitizing records and going virtually paperless.
For the future, she hopes that all incoming elected judges will be able to work together and that things get easier with COVID-19.
She says she's thankful for the community's trust and recounted one of her favorite memories.
"The first time I was sworn in -- Judge McLean swore me in and said a few words afterward about always remembering that the people in front of us are somebody's family member -- they could be our family member, they could be us -- and they should be treated with respect. I've really tried to do that."
Jenks will serve as a judge until her term ends in December when she says she expects to shed some tears. She's announcing the decision early so other candidates have a chance to file to run for the position.
(first report: 9:43 a.m. - March 3, 2021)
Missoula Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Jenks has announced her plans to retire at the end of her term, on Dec. 31, 2021.
“At the end of this year, I will have served as Missoula Municipal Court Judge for 10 years. The citizens of Missoula have elected me for this position twice, and I am so very grateful for their trust,” Judge Jenks said in a statement.
“The court has made tremendous changes and improvements while I have been here, but now it is time for me to move on. I will not run again in 2021. “I have enjoyed my time in the court very much, and I will be ending my term with a great deal of sadness, but I am also looking forward to retirement," the statement continued.
“I am announcing my retirement early because I want to give interested candidates time to make a decision about running before the candidate filing date in April,” the statement added.