RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Starting a job in the middle of COVID-19 can be a challenge. Take it from new Randolph County District Judge Alex Bigger.
“It was definitely like being out of the frying pan into the fire,” Judge Bigger said.
After Bigger was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in May when longtime judge John Throesch resigned, he immediately had to deal with a backlog of court dates, due to COVID-19.
“For the most part, since late February, through March and April, there wasn’t any court being held at all,” Bigger said.
Judge Bigger then had to catch up on the backlog as part of his first few weeks and months on the job.
“The docket we had Wednesday was twice the ordinary amount and that’s how the last several trial days have been,” Bigger added.
That schedule has helped Judge Bigger and the District Court catch up on the backlog, and the court cases are fully caught up as of this week.
Judge Bigger says with the increased agenda, it has been hard for him to take it all in.
“I don’t know that I’ll process until we get to Christmas break and we can kind of relax,” Judge Bigger said with a laugh. “Each day, I have to really think about ‘am I improving? Am I learning? What do I need to look forward to the next week?’ My experience has been very, very quick, but full of lots of information.”
Bigger says the transition to his new role has been a group effort.
“It’s been somewhat surreal, and it’s a lot harder than what it looks, but I think we’ve carried it through successfully,” Judge Bigger said. “I couldn’t have done this without the help of my clerks and support staff and county staff. It’s a group effort.”
Bigger will remain the Randolph County District Judge until the start of the new year, where he will be elected to serve Lawrence, Randolph, and Sharp counties in the state’s new district court system.