TOPEKA — Chief Judge Phillip M. Fromme, who has served in the 4th Judicial District for 34 years, will retire Nov. 30.

Fromme was named a district judge in 1996 and since 2003 has been chief judge of the 4th Judicial District, which is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin and Osage counties. He has overseen criminal and domestic cases primarily in Coffey and Osage counties.

"I've enjoyed working with staff, attorneys and court personnel and will miss the judge work, but I plan to stay active with hobbies such as hunting, fishing, gardening and travel," he said.

A native of Hoxie, Fromme earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Washburn University. He served in the Kansas National Guard from 1970 to 1977. He was Coffey County attorney from 1973 to 1983, when he was appointed a district magistrate judge.

He and his wife, Kathy, live in Burlington and have three children and two grandchildren.

Judges in the 4th Judicial District are appointed through a nonpartisan, merit-based selection system. The district's judicial nominating commission will announce when it is accepting applications for Fromme's successor. After interviewing candidates, the commission will forward the names of three to five finalists to the governor, who will appoint the next judge.

Each of Kansas' 31 judicial districts has a chief judge who, in addition to his or her judicial responsibilities, has general control over case assignments within the district, as well as general supervisory authority over the administrative and clerical functions of the court. They are appointed to two-year terms. The Kansas Supreme Court will name a new chief judge to serve Fromme's remaining term, which ends Dec. 31.