The Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association was formed in 1965 by a small group of judges who realized the need for our courts to be more uniform and professional. At that time, there were over 900 known municipal courts throughout the State and probably many more that were not accounted for. The Association was originally called the Missouri Municipal and Magistrate Judges Association and was changed in 1979 to the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges' Association when the court reform act of 1978 abolished the old magistrate courts.
One of the founders and the first president of the Association was McCormick Wilson. "Mac" went on to become an Associate Circuit Judge in Cole County, retired at the age of 70 but was named as a Senior Judge by the Missouri Supreme Court. Mac passed away November 6, 2006, at the age of 80, however, his theories and values will always be a part of our Association. Lou Davis, a magistrate judge from Kansas City, was president in 1966 is now retired but still a member.
The purpose and objectives of the Association as set forth by the founders are contained in our present bylaws and are as applicable today as they were forty-two years ago. From the foresight and dedication of these few judges, we have grown into one of the largest and most prominent associations of municipal judges in the country.
In 1992, MMACJA adopted a resolution, sending it to the Missouri Supreme Court, wherein continuing legal education would be mandated for all municipal judges. From this resolution evolved Supreme Court Rule 18, which was adopted October 27, 1992 and became effective July, 1993, requiring municipal judges to report fifteen hours of continuing legal education credit each year. The Association provides the opportunity for judges to earn these hours by presenting an Annual Courts Conference each year offering 15 hours and Regional Seminars each spring offering 4 hours of CLE. We keep our conference fees to a minimum by using the expertise and talent within our own organization. We feel the education we have provided throughout the years has vastly improved our court system and made our profession an honorable one.
We have a Mentor Program wherein any new judge can be assigned a mentor to assist him/her with any questions or problems that may arise.
In addition, we have been instrumental in getting legislation introduced and passed that has enhanced the judicial system. In 1997 legislation was passed wherein $1.00 of the court costs on each case could be set aside for judicial education of the judges and other court personnel. In 1998, we were successful in obtaining legislation permitting municipal judges to solemnize marriages. This has not only lent more credibility to our office bringing it in line with other courts of the same jurisdiction throughout the country, but also has relieved some of the burden placed on our associate and circuit judges giving them more time to take care of their heavy dockets. The Association has set up guidelines and a voluntary code of ethics, printing them in booklet form, for judges solemnizing marriages. Municipal judges are authorized to solemnize marriages any place within the State of Missouri. Any judge who does not have a marriage booklet may contact the Executive Secretary of the Association and request same. We also have available a CD for new judges. A copy of this CD may be requested from the Executive Secretary.
If you are presently a member of MMACJA, we want you to know how much you are appreciated. You are what makes our association great! If you are not a member and would like to join, an application is included on this web site. The camaraderie and exchange of information with your peers cannot be equaled any other place.