Gov. Jay Nixon today appointed the Honorable Janet Lee Sutton, of Liberty, as Division Two Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit in Clay County. Judge Sutton, who is an associate circuit judge on the Seventh Circuit, will fill the vacancy created by the appointment in April of the Honorable Anthony Rex Gabbert to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.
Judge Sutton has served as an Associate Circuit Judge for Division Seven in Clay County since 2003. In that position, she handled a portion of the associate criminal docket that included misdemeanor cases, probation violation hearings, and preliminary hearings, arraignments and other matters on felony cases. She also handled a portion of the associate civil docket on a variety of civil matters, and which included both bench and jury trials.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Sutton was the chief assistant prosecuting attorney for Clay County from 1999 to 2003, and was an assistant prosecuting attorney from 1990 to 1999. She earned her law degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law and her undergraduate degree from UMKC as well. Among her community and volunteer service activities, Judge Sutton has served as an advisory board member for the Children's Advocacy Center, and as a steering committee member for the Northland Greenbook Initiative, an effort to help communities reduce domestic violence.
"Judge Sutton is part of a family that has been a strong part of the legal community in Clay County for three generations, and has established herself in her own right over the past two decades as an able jurist and prosecutor," Gov. Nixon said. "I am pleased to elevate her to the position of Circuit Judge, and I am confident she will continue her outstanding record in serving the members of this community and the cause of justice."
Judge Sutton was one of three nominees for this judgeship submitted to Gov. Nixon by the Seventh Circuit Judicial Commission under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.