Governor selects Iron County prosecutor to serve as juvenile court judge

Stock photo | St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Gov. Gary Herbert last week selected Iron County’s chief deputy attorney to fill a vacancy on Utah’s 5th District Juvenile Court.

Troy Little will replace retiring juvenile court Judge Thomas Higbee.

I believe Troy Little will be an exceptional addition to the Fifth District Juvenile Court,” Herbert said in a statement. “His hardworking nature and dedication to the law will serve him well in his capacity on the bench.”

Little graduated from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah in 2000. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration and a degree in nursing, both from the University of Utah. He has been chief deputy in the Iron County Attorney’s Office since 2003, and was an adjunct professor at Southern Utah University until 2014.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed by Gov. Herbert to serve as a Fifth District Juvenile Court judge,” Little said. “I have great respect for this judicial office. I have a special interest in the welfare, protection and success of our children and youth.”

Little was selected from five names forwarded to Herbert by the 5th District Judicial Nominating Commission. Other nominees were Jack Burns, attorney, Burns Law Office; Eric Gentry, deputy county attorney, Washington County Attorney’s Office; Julie Nelson, assistant attorney general, Utah Attorney General’s Office; and Jay Winward, attorney, Winward Law PLLC.

According the Utah Courts website, the purpose of the juvenile court is to:

Promote public safety and individual accountability by the imposition of appropriate sanctions on persons who have committed acts in violation of the law. The Juvenile Court also promotes rehabilitation, re-education and treatment. This is accomplished by protecting the best interest of the minor and preserving and strengthening family ties where possible. The Juvenile Court is a court of record. The Juvenile Court is of equal status with the district courts of the state.

This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.

Ed. note: This article originally reported there were six names submitted to the governor’s office when there were actually five. This has been corrected.

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

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