Bladen’s Ussery appointed chief district judge

By: By Chrysta Carroll -

ELIZABETHTOWN — A Bladen County judge is moving up the judicial ladder.

Earlier this week, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin appointed Bladen County’s Distric Court Judge Scott Ussery as Chief District Court Judge for Judicial District 13.

”I’m humbled and honored to be able to accept this, knowing that many folks have supported me,” said Ussery. “I know I couldn’t do this on my own, and that the Lord has surely blessed me.”

On Friday, at the swearing-in ceremony for Bladen County magistrate and soon-to-be statewide Driving While Impaired Task Force member Gib Butler, Ussery recalled his own time serving as a magistrate.

“My experience as a magistrate and history on the bench will, I think, help me serve in this capacity,” he said. “I look forward to working with all parties and partnering to make sure the judicial process runs efficiently.”

In addition to his current responsibilities, as chief district court judge, Ussery will be responsible for supervising all the magistrates in the three-county area and setting the schedules for each of the courts. The day-to-day operations of all the district courts will fall under his purview beginning with the new year.

Though he will have some new responsibilities, he hopes to continue some of the same policies that have driven his tenure on the bench thus far.

“I’m the type of person that has an open-door policy, and I’ll listen to folks,” he said.

“Judge Ussery has served with distinction as both a district court judge and a magistrate judge,” said Chief Justice Martin. “I am confident that under his leadership, the district courts in District 13 will continue to operate with efficiency and fairness to ensure the proper administration of justice in our courts.”

Ussery will succeed Chief District Court Judge Jerry Jolly upon his retirement.

“(Jolly) has served as district court judge for quite some time, and I’ll have big shoes to fill,” said Ussery. “I hope to keep things on an even keel.”

Elected to the court in 2008, Ussery has since been re-elected two times and has now served on the bench eight years. Prior to serving as judge, Ussery worked as an assistance district attorney from 2007-2008 and as a magistrate from 1997-2000. He has also spent time working for the North Carolina Department of Corrections and serving on the Elizabethtown Town Council.

Ussery earned his bachelor’s degree in 2002 from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and his juris doctor degree in 2003 from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

By Chrysta Carroll