SANDPOINT — Caldwell attorney Tera Harden was picked on Tuesday to fill a vacancy on the Bonner County Magistrate Court bench.
Harden will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Debra Heise, who has been approved for senior status after more than 32 years of service.
Harden, the daughter of retired magistrate court Judge Quentin Harden and a public defender in Canyon County, was selected to fill the pending vacancy by the 1st District Court’s Magistrate Commission, which conducted interviews of finalists for the position.
The other finalists included Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Valerie Fenton, Boundary County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tevis Hull and Kinzo Mihara, an attorney who works for Howard Funke & Associates in Coeur d’Alene.
Heise will continue to serve the Idaho judiciary as an advisor of judicial education for the Idaho Supreme Court.
The magistrate divisions of Idaho’s district courts hear probate matters, divorce proceedings, criminal misdemeanors, initial felony proceedings and civil cases in which disputes don’t exceed $10,000 in potential damages. Magistrate court judges also hear small claims disputes.
Nine attorneys from around the state were seeking appointment to the bench after Heise’s retirement was announced.
Heise’s retirement takes effect next month.