Bittersweet retirement for Altus judge

Altus_A Jackson County Judge hangs up her robe today.  After sixteen years on the bench, Special District Judge Suzanne Mollison is retiring.  She was a special judge for Jackson County.  Instead of being elected, she was appointed to her position.  It was a bittersweet occasion for many of the people gathered to celebrate her retirement.  Officials from around the state congratulated her on a long and successful career.  Judge Mollison was a special judge for Jackson County.  Instead of being elected, she was appointed to her position.

"It's a very mixed day.  I feel great joy in having the opportunity to do other things but there's a great sadness," said Judge Mollison.

She has practiced law for over thirty years and says that even though it was one of the best decisions of her life, it's time for a change.   "I think there comes a time when one is ready to go into a new chapter of their life," Mollison said.  "I've been practicing law since 1974, 33 years, on the bench for 16.5, and now I would like to take some time and do some things I haven't had the opportunity to do in the past."

A Special District Judge is called an "Examining Magistrate".  They are the judges who determine if a case is valid and if there is probable cause that the accused party committed the crime, whether or not the case should proceed.  Molliston described her position as,"Kind of the gatekeeper of the constitution."

State Representative David Braddick and Senator Mike Schulz presented Judge Mollison with certificates of appreciation for her years of service to the district.  One of Judge Mollison's favorite duties as a judge was finalizing adoptions.  Even though she'll miss the bench, she says she's looking forward to traveling.

Judge Mollison says her career has been very satisfying.  But, it's time to move on. "It's the closing of one chapter and the beginning of a new.  I look forward to it," she said.