Judge Froehlich to retire from District Court

Alaska Judicial Council is taking applications to fill Froehlich's post

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2004

After 15 years on the Juneau District Court bench, Judge Peter B. Froehlich has filed notice that he will retire at the beginning of 2005.

He said that with his youngest son leaving soon for Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, "my wife and I are going to be empty-nesters." Froehlich said he plans to travel and enjoy some free time.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Judicial Council is taking applications for the appointment to Froehlich's post, as well as for district court openings in Anchorage and Valdez.

Those interested may obtain applications from the Anchorage-based judicial council. All applications for the positions must be in by 3 p.m. Aug. 12.

Froehlich, 57, said he wants to keep active. As the lone district court judge in Juneau, his opportunity to travel has been limited.

"This job doesn't have much mobility at all," he said.

Froehlich noted that he held the Juneau District Court post longer than anyone else.

District Court, he said, "is the court most people come to."

It has jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases, including most drunken-driving cases. It also has jurisdiction on small claims civil cases. Most felony criminal cases begin there before they are remanded to Superior Court.

"I have mixed feelings," Froehlich said. "I never know what happens when I go to work in the morning."

To be eligible for the judgeship, a U.S. citizen and Alaska resident must be at least 21 and have lived in the state for at least five years preceding the appointment.

The applicant also must have been engaged in the active practice of law for at least three years and be licensed to practice law in Alaska, or have served for at least seven years as a magistrate in the state.

Applications are reviewed by the judicial council, a seven-member agency that includes three attorneys, three private citizens and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court.

The governor appoints judges from a list of qualified applicants submitted by the judicial council. Judges are subject to periodic reviews by the voters, who may retain or remove a judge.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.

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