Nathan Carroz sworn in as associate circuit judge

Theo Tate

Nathan Carroz gets sworn in as associate circuit judge for the 12th Judicial Circuit on March 26 during a ceremony in front of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Holding the Bible is Carroz’s wife, Stacie. THEO TATE PHOTO

Nine years ago, Nathan Carroz was sworn in as prosecuting attorney inside the Montgomery County Courthouse.

When the Wellsville native was about to be sworn in as associate circuit judge for the 12th Judicial Circuit on March 26, he wanted to have his ceremony held outdoors.

It turned out to be a good move for Carroz. He was sworn in as associate circuit judge in front of more than 50 people – most of them were his family members and friends – under sunny conditions in front of the courthouse.

“It’s emblematic of new beginnings,” said Jason Lamb, 12th Judicial Circuit presiding judge. “We have a new beginning for Nathan, (wife) Stacie and all of us here in Montgomery County.”

Carroz was appointed as the new associate circuit judge by Gov. Mike Parson on March 11. He replaced Kelly Broniec, who worked as associate circuit judge for 14 years before being appointed as a judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, in October.

“I do have one request for you guys and that’s for you guys to pray for me as I take office,” Carroz said. “Pray for me that I have wisdom to make the correct decisions for the correct reasons. Making the right decisions for the right reasons is something I always try to pride myself on when I was a prosecutor. I will continue to do that as your associate circuit judge.”

Broniec administered the oath of office at Carroz’s swearing-in ceremony. She administered the oath of office when Carroz was sworn in as prosecuting attorney on Dec. 1, 2012.

Lamb said he has high hopes for Carroz in his new position.

“Nathan is extremely honest, earnest, forthright, trustworthy, hard working and even-tempered,” Lamb said. “He’s an all-around good guy. He embodies the traits and the aptitude that we strive for, look for and expect in our judiciary.”

Lamb said before the ceremony began, he and Carroz were discussing where it should be held at.

“It was all somewhat dependent on what operating phase our court was in, whether it’s in Phase 1 or Phase 2,” Lamb said. “I said, ‘Nathan, if we’re in Phase 2, we can have up to 25 people in the courtroom. How’s that sound?’ He said, ‘Well, that will take care of my first-degree relatives, but I don’t know what I would do without the second and third,  my wife’s family and everybody else whom I’m friends with.’ So he said, ‘How about outside?’ Fortunately, God has blessed us with a beautiful day.”

Carroz said he was amazed with the large turnout at his ceremony.

“My mom and dad are both the youngest of 11, so that’s why I have so many aunts, uncles and cousins,” the new associate circuit judge said. “It’s definitely exciting.”

Carroz used a special Bible for his swearing-in ceremony. It belonged to his grandmother, Elizabeth Carroz, who is deceased. Carroz used that same Bible for his swearing-in ceremony as prosecuting attorney in 2012.

“When I was sworn in as prosecutor, my aunt found my grandmother’s Bible shortly before that and brought it to me so I could be sworn in with it,” Carroz said. “I kept it at my desk ever since and I have it here still. We used it again today.”



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