Bullhead City's Weiss named presiding judge
KINGMAN - A Mohave County Superior Court judge from Bullhead City was chosen as the new presiding judge.

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch appointed Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss, 54, as the new presiding judge. Weiss who commutes to Kingman's Division 6 court replaces Judge Randy Bartlett who is stepping down as presiding judge as of Jan. 31, but will remain on the bench in Lake Havasu City. Bartlett took over as presiding judge from former Judge Robert Moon in February 2005.

The presiding judge handles the administration duties of the Superior Court including the court's budget, personnel and most recently handled the search for a new Moccasin Court in the Colorado City area. Presiding Superior Court judges serve five-year terms.

Weiss, who grew up in upstate New York, graduated with a bachelor's degree from Northern Arizona University in 1977 and a law degree from NAU in 1980. His term will expire at the end of January 2012.

In 2004, former Gov. Janet Napolitano appointed Weiss to sit on the bench in the newly established Division 6 serving as presiding juvenile judge. He had been the pro-tempore judge since 1998 hearing criminal and juvenile cases.

Weiss handles mainly juvenile dependency and delinquency cases. Juvenile cases are more geared to rehabilitation rather than punishments that adult defenders face. Weiss still handles about a dozen adult criminal cases left over before he was the presiding juvenile judge. Most of the cases are probation violation hearings.

Superior Court currently has six judges including Judges Steven Conn, who is presiding criminal judge, and Rick Williams, both who handle adult criminal cases. Judge Lee Jantzen handles civil, criminal, probate, mental health issues, adoptions and domestic relation cases. Court Commissioner Derek Carlisle handles mostly juvenile and some adult criminal cases and Family Court Judge Julie Roth handles divorces or dependency cases in Kingman.

Judge Charles Gurtler handles civil and domestic relation cases in Bullhead City and Bartlett handles civil and domestic relation cases in Lake Havasu City.

So far, the incumbent judges running again for the 2010 election include Conn, Gurtler, Bartlett, Jantzen and Weiss. Williams also from Bullhead City won his election in November 2008 and is serving a four-year term on the bench. Williams replaced Moon who stepped down from the bench at the end of December 2008.
Originally published Monday, January 18, 2010