Governor Laura Kelly Appoints Paula D. Hofaker to Fill New District Court Position in the
17th Judicial District

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today appointed Paula D. Hofaker of Logan, Kansas, to the new Seventeenth Judicial District judge position created through 2022 House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267, the bipartisan budget plan; and pursuant to K.S.A. 20-353 and Kansas Supreme Court Administrative Order 2022-JA-060, which eliminated a district magistrate position and adding a new district judgeship.

“Paula Hofaker has extensive legal experience, including nine years as a Magistrate Judge in the Seventeenth District” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Her expertise, service, and connection to her community will make her an even greater asset to the Seventeenth Judicial District as she undertakes the duties of district judge.”

Hofaker was the Phillips County Magistrate Judge for the Seventeenth District from 2013 to July of 2022. She is active in the legal community with her membership in 17th Judicial District Law Library Board, Northwest Kansas Community Corrections Board, and the Northwest Kansas Juvenile Services Board. Hofaker earned her juris doctor from the Washburn University School of Law.

“It’s such an honor to be appointed as the first Phillips County District Court Judge,” Hofaker said. “I think it is so important that when litigants come to court, they are treated with respect and that when they leave, they feel that the law was applied in a fair and impartial manner.”

District court judges in the 17th Judicial District are appointed by the governor and serve until a successor is elected and qualified at the next general election.

The other nominee was Magistrate Jessie A. Thompson.