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Carbon justice court judge garners statewide award

Sun Advocate community editor

Judge Elayne Storrs is the recipient of the Utah 2004 Quality of Justice Award. Utah Supreme Court Judge Christine Durham presented the award to the local justice court judge at the annual state judicial conference.

The state courts presented Judge Elayne Storrs with the Utah 2004 Quality Justice Award during the recent judicial conference.

The award recognizes Storrs' tireless work to insure a fair judicial system.

Storrs has worked to improve the quality of Carbon's justice courts through educational programs and information sharing.

"Getting this award was a team effort," pointed out Storrs during an interview on Tuesday in her office. "The staff I have working for me, both in Wellington and at the county, make it possible for people like me to win awards like this."

For many people, a court is a court. But there are different kinds of courts, depending on the infractions or the types of cases heard. Storrs presides over mostly misdemeanor criminal complaints and small claims cases.

"One of the best things about this award for me is that it is a selection made by my peers," commented Storrs. "I was nominated along with some others by the other 144 justice court judges in the state. Then I was selected by the Judicial Council as the finalist."

Storrs has served for eight years on the justice court board as well as two terms on the judicial ethics committee and was appointed by the chief justice to serve on the small claims subcommittee for the Utah Supreme Court's advisory panel on the rules of civil procedure

Storrs' board duties included serving as education director for the justice court judges in the Utah. She also served as the editor of the justice court newsletter for many years.

Storrs is a graduate of the National Judicial College's Legal Institute and the Utah State Level 11 Legal Institute.

In addition, the local justice court judge has an associate's degree in law enforcement.

"My position is the equivalent of the old justice of the peace job people used to fill," explained Storrs. "You don't have to be a lawyer to qualify for this position."

Storrs was initially appointed to the position on the county's justice court by the Carbon commission. After being appointed to the position, the local justice court judge faces a retention election every four years.

The Utah Association of Justice Court Judges recently named Storrs judge of the year.

Storrs' peers indicate that the local justice court judge strives to do the right thing for the right reason, pointed out the state courts.

Storrs has worked to improve the quality of justice courts through education and by sharing information. She is also the source of answers to questions about small claims court.

During her years of service, Judge Storrs has improved the quality of justice in her courts and contributed to improvements statewide, according to the state court officials.

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