A judge familiar to Saline County District Court is stepping down. According to the Office of Judicial Administration, Chief Judge Jerome P. Hellmer announced Wednesday that he is retiring, effective January 12th. Judge Hellmer has served 18 years on the bench in the 28th judicial district.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as judge in the 28th judicial district. I’ve enjoyed working with my fellow judges, my support staff and the people of this wonderful community,” Hellmer said. “I plan to continue to be active in law in some manner after I retire, but I also look forward to spending more time with my wife and our three children and five grandchildren.”
Hellmer added that he and his wife are Kansans by birth and Salinans by choice, and they plan to continue to be involved in the many activities and volunteer opportunities the community provides.
Hellmer was appointed district court judge in May 1996 by then-Gov. Bill Graves. In his time on the bench, he has had assignments in criminal, domestic, civil, probate, and juvenile cases, and he has also fulfilled administrative duties as chief judge.
Hellmer served on several committees and was named to the first federal audit commission that audited the state’s child welfare system. He served on the Client Protection Fund Commission for the Kansas Supreme Court, the Kansas Bar Association executive committee, and as a continuing legal education presenter for the Kansas Bar Association.
Before he was appointed judge, Hellmer spent 22 years in private law practice in Salina.