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Russell County district magistrate judge receives statewide award
District Magistrate Judge Marty Clark

TOPEKA — District Magistrate Judge Marty Clark of Russell County received the Lee Nusser Award for Outstanding Magistrate Judge of 2020. 

The Kansas District Magistrate Judges Association presented the award to Clark at its annual meeting in October. Clark serves in the 20th Judicial District, which also includes Barton, Ellsworth, Rice and Stafford counties. 

“It’s an honor to receive this award knowing the quality of judges who have received it in previous years,” Clark said. 

Clark served the past year as president of the association. 

Judges have faced new challenges during the pandemic, such as working remotely and using video-conferencing for court proceedings. Clark said he and the association’s executive committee fielded questions from other judges, offered advice and shared best practices. 

“Although it was a challenging year, I enjoyed serving as president of KDMJA the past year and will work to support the newly elected officers,” he said. 

District Magistrate Judge Douglas Bigge presented the award to Clark. Bigge serves in Rooks County of the 23rd Judicial District. 

Bigge, a past recipient of the award and past association president, cited Clark’s longtime service on the association’s executive committee and on other judicial committees. 

“He has been a great example for other judges to follow,” Bigge said. 

District Magistrate Judge Jenifer Ashford, who is the new association president, added, “Judge Clark is an ardent advocate for the association.” Ashford serves in the 10th Judicial District, composed of Johnson County. 

Clark is a Smith Center native and has been a magistrate judge since 1998. He graduated from Fort Hays State University in 1989 with a degree in sociology and an emphasis in criminal justice. He currently serves on the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission and the judicial branch’s Judges Assistance Committee. He is a member of the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board. 

He was named Kansas CASA Judge of the Year in 1989 and nominated twice for the National CASA Judge of the Year. 

The Kansas District Magistrate Judges Association award is named for Judge Lee Nusser, who served as a district magistrate judge in Stafford County from 1976 to 1999. He died in 2003.