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After nearly five years presiding over the 1st District Juvenile Court, Judge Angela Fonnesbeck has been appointed to fill a vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Kevin K. Allen.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert appointed Fonnesbeck to her current position as juvenile court judge in 2014. Over the weekend, the Utah State Court system announced her new appointment to the district court.

“Judge Fonnesbeck has been a tremendous asset to the First District Juvenile Court and I have no doubt that she will continue to work energetically in this new position,” Herbert said. “Her vast experience and dedication to the law will serve her well.”

This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate, after providing the public with an opportunity to comment.

Those who desire to comment should contact Utah Senate Judicial Confirmation committee staff by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Utah State Capitol, House Building, Suite W210, PO Box 145210, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-5210. All statements should include the respondent’s name, telephone number and mailing address.

The Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee plans to hold a public hearing, then issue a recommendation to the full Senate. If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Fonnesbeck will fill the vacancy following Allen’s retirement on Oct. 16.

The 1st Judicial District covers Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties.

Fonnesbeck went to law school thinking she might develop a career in securities and commercial transactions, but while in law school, she said she discovered the human element to practicing law.

“It deals with people’s lives,” she said in a 2014 interview with the Herald Journal. “The smallest decision in the law is the biggest decision of their lives.”

Fonnesbeck established her own private practice in 2009. She also has a wealth of experience as a public defender. She holds a J.D. from the Washington College of Law at the American University and received a double B.A. in Politics and Asian Studies at Whitman College.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected by Gov. Herbert to serve as a judge in the First District Court,” she said. “It has been my pleasure to sit on the Juvenile Court bench and I’m excited for this new opportunity to continue serving the people of Utah.” Twitter: amacavinta

Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at

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