County Court Judge Kent D. Turnbull of North Platte will leave the bench Aug. 31.
Turnbull has served in the 11th Judicial District since taking the bench on Oct. 22, 1999, according to a press release from the Nebraska Judicial Branch.
“It has been my distinct privilege to serve in this position for the last twenty-two years and words cannot describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve both my state, community, and the 11th Judicial District. It has been a blessing beyond measure to work alongside staff and my fellow judges, both in the 11th Judicial District and throughout the state. However, my time on the bench has come to an end,” Turnbull said in his letter to Gov. Pete Ricketts. “I look forward to returning to the practice of law in greater Nebraska, specifically North Platte, a community that I love and hope to serve in some small way going forward.”
Turnbull is a Nebraska State Bar Foundation Fellow, an honor bestowed by the legal community based on integrity and character. Fellows are accredited by colleagues as leaders of the legal profession who contribute to law-related charitable works and community education. Turnbull has served as a Nebraska high school mock trial attorney coach and competition judge.
After taking the bench in 1999, area voters retained Turnbull, most recently in 2020.
The first step in replacing Turnbull will be for the Judicial Resources Commission to call a meeting to determine whether his retirement creates a judicial vacancy on the County Court for the 11th Judicial District based on judicial workload statistics.
The 11th Judicial District contains the most counties — Arthur, Chase, Dawson, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Gosper, Hayes, Hitchcock, Hooker, Keith, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Perkins, Red Willow and Thomas counties. It is currently served by five county court judges and four district court judges.