Adair County Associate Circuit Judge-Kristie Swaim

Photo of Judge Kristie Swaim

Kristie J. Swaim
Associate Circuit Judge

Judge Kristie J. Swaim serves as the Adair County Associate Circuit Judge.  The circuit court system is the state’s single trial court.  Within the circuit court system, there are three main divisions:  circuit, associate, and municipal.  The constitution requires at least one resident associate circuit judge in each county.  Associate circuit judges have concurrent jurisdiction over all cases pending in the circuit court.

Judge Swaim hears associate civil cases (actions for the recovery of money when the amount in controversy does not exceed $25,000; landlord-tenant actions), associate criminal cases (felony preliminary hearings; misdemeanors; municipal certifications; traffic), domestic relations cases (divorce actions; paternity actions; protection orders), probate cases (decedent estates; guardianship estates; sexually violent predator cases), small claims cases, and DOR cases (chemical test refusals and license reinstatements).  Judge Swaim also hears all other cases assigned by court rules.

Judge Swaim is also the on-call duty judge for Adair County who reviews requests for warrants (arrest and search), involuntary civil commitments (96-hour holds), and protection orders (adult and child).  This duty includes both office-hour and after-hour requests.  It is not unusual for these urgent requests to come up during night and weekend hours.

Besides serving Adair County, Judge Swaim may be called upon by the Missouri Supreme Court to preside over cases in other counties.  At the present time, she is part of a judge transfer group who receives regular case assignments to St. Charles County.  She also has cases pending in several surrounding counties at any given time.

Education:  University of Iowa, B.A., Political Science, 1990; University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou), J.D., 1993.

Work/Public Service History:  Assistant editor at Missouri Supreme Court Publications 1991-1993.  Teaching assistant at University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy, 1992-1993.  Private law practice, 1993-2002.  Kirksville City Council, 1999-2002.  Adair County Associate Circuit Judge, 2003-present.

Awards & Honors:  West Publishing Award for Excellence in Research and Writing, 1990.  Richard J. Chamier Award in Public Speaking, 1991.  Fred L. Howard Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy, 1992-1993.  Board of Advocates Writing Director, 1992-1993.  Order of Barristers, 1993.  VFW Citation Award for Patriotic Service, 2006.  Nominee for Kirksville Women of Today Outstanding Woman Leader Award, 2006.  Nominee for Still Spirit Awards, 2006, 2007, 2010.

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