Ned Seubert, left, signs the oaths of office for the Tomahawk and Merrill Joint Municipal judgeship with Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Rob Russell.
Ned Seubert, left, signs the oaths of office for the Tomahawk and Merrill Joint Municipal judgeship with Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Rob Russell.
Ned Seubert of Merrill was sworn into office Wednesday as the first judge of the newly-created Merrill/Tomahawk Joint Municipal Court. Starting May 19, Seubert will be presiding over municipal court sessions for both cities.
A retired Merrill police chief, Seubert said he is looking forward to being part of the justice system again.
“I’m really excited about working with people again,” he said. 
Merrill municipal court will be held in the council chambers of Merrill City Hall, as it has been for the past 17 years. In addition, the 9th District Circuit Court has certified Tomahawk City Hall as a site to hold municipal court. Seubert said he plans to hold court in Tomahawk once a month.
“I definitely want to go to Tomahawk,” he said. “I don’t expect people to travel for court of they don’t have to.”
Merrill City Attorney Tom Hayden will serve as the prosecutor for the Joint Municipal Court. He filled that role with the former Merrill Municipal Court and has been handling the city of Tomahawk cases in Lincoln County Circuit Court for the past 18 months. 
“It’s going to be business as usual,” Hayden said.
Merrill Municipal Court clerk Rita Poyer and deputy clerk Nancy Baacke will continue in those roles for the new Joint Municipal Court.
“The staff has experience,” Seubert said. “I’m really happy with them.”
Seubert will take a week of training before taking the bench.
Jim Merle Sheridan, who served as judge for the now-disolved Merrill Municipal Court for 17 years, was recognized for his years of service at Seubert’s oath of office ceremony Wednesday. Seubert won the election over Sheridan in April.
Sheridan worked for Lincoln Hills School before being appointed to the Merrill Municipal Court bench in 1997. He was the only non-lawyer to apply for the position.
Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Rob Russell, who administered the oath of office to Seubert, said he had also applied for the position back in 1997.
“The best man was selected,” he said of Sheridan. “He showed that you don’t have to be a lawyer to be a good, effective municipal court judge.”
Sheridan said he is proud of what the Merrill Municipal Court accomplished.
“It has been a pleasure to serve the citizens of this community for 17 years,” Sheridan said. “I wanted to give something back and hopefully I have done that, hopefully we’ve made a difference in the lives of people.”
He also gave credit to Hayden, Poyer and Baacke for their contributions to the court.
“Why courts run well has everything to do with the court clerks,” he said. “I appreciate that from the bottom of my heart.”