The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would allow local magistrate judges to hear more cases in hopes of saving the courts money. The bill would allow certain divorces to be handled by magistrate judges instead of district court judges. Judge Sheila Hochhauser (HOCK-how-zer), a magistrate judge in Riley County, says this would free up more time for district court judges to handle other cases.
But because not all magistrate judges have formal legal training, District Judge Thomas Foster questions if they should be handling divorce cases. The committee is likely to consider amendments that would address that issue.