Commission names nominees for retiring 5th District Juvenile Court judge’s seat

5th District Court | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – With the pending retirement of 5th District Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Higbee on the horizon, the 5th District Judicial Nominating Commission has named five nominees for the position for the governor’s consideration.

Higbee was appointed to the Utah’s 5th District Juvenile Court in January 2001 by former Gov. Michael O. Leavitt and currently serves as the presiding judge. He will retire at the end of April.

The nominees being considered by Gov. Gary Herbert include:

  • Jack Burns, attorney, Burns Law Office.
  • Eric Gentry, deputy county attorney, Washington County Attorney’s Office.
  • Troy Little, chief deputy attorney, Iron County Attorney’s Office.
  • Julie Nelson, assistant attorney general, Utah Attorney General’s Office.
  • Jay Winward, attorney, Winward Law PLLC.

The 5th District Court and Juvenile Court cover Beaver, Iron and Washington counties.

The following is taken from the Utah Courts website.

Judge Higbee received his law degree from the University of Utah Law School in 1980. Prior to his appointment, Judge Higbee was in private practice for 20 years. He was the senior partner in the law firm of Higbee & Jensen and a trustee of Southern Utah University at the time of his appointment.

Judge Higbee currently serves on the Utah Judicial Council. He has served as a board member and chair of the Board of Juvenile Court Judges, the co-chair of the Judicial Council’s Standing Committee on Children and Family Law, and on several other committees.

Written comments may be submitted to the 5th District Judicial Nominating Commission Chair Cindy Bulloch at or to the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, P.O. Box 142330, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2330.

The deadline for written comments is noon Jan. 15, 2018. The Nominating Commission may request further information or conduct an investigation of the nominees after reviewing public comments.

After the public comment period, the names will be sent to the governor, who will have 30 days to make an appointment. Herbert’s appointee is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.


Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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