At 11 a.m. Friday, Royce McCarty became the new Hamilton Municipal Judge. McCarty was confirmed earlier this week by the Hamilton City Council on September 20, and the swearing-in ceremony was at the Hamilton Justice Center.

McCarty, a long-time Hamilton attorney, replaces Ryan Archibald, who was judge for a year until he recently resigned to move to the Ravalli County Public Defender office. McCarty, meanwhile, is leaving his position with the Ravalli County Attorney's Office, where his main duties included advising the County Commissioners.

McCarty started in private practice after graduating from Law School in 1989, 32 years ago. He joined the Bell and Bell law firm in Hamilton and practiced law there until he took the deputy county attorney assignment.

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Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf administered the oath of office Friday. He said that McCarty will start presiding as city court judge in the first week of October. He will serve as judge until he faces election in the next municipal election. That will be in two years, since the current city election is already underway.

McCarty said, "I always thought about being a judge, but I didn't know if it would ever happen. This opportunity came up and I applied for the job." He was introduced at the ceremony by his daughter Molly McCarty, who is also a lawyer, working for the Montana Department of Corrections. McCarty's family, along with court staff and Hamilton law enforcement officers, attended the event. The swearing-in took place in the recently completed City Courtroom of the new Hamilton Justice Center on West Main, across the street from the Bitterroot College University of Montana.

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