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Judge Russ Ridgway


Marietta College, B.S.,
University of Houston, M.B.A.

Judge Russ Ridgway was unanimously appointed by Commissioners Court to serve as the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5, Place 1 on June 3, 2003. He was elected by a very significant majority of voters in November 2004 and re-elected in 2008 and again in 2012 to serve an additional 4-year term.  He is a longtime resident (41+ years) of Precinct 5 and worked for years as international energy consultant with experience in litigation support and mediation. 

Judge Ridgway has handled over 738,000 new cases including many criminal and civil jury trials through October 2013.   Judge Ridgway dealt with more than 99,000 new cases in his first 1½ years on the bench.  He also reduced serious inherited backlog to virtually zero on civil cases and completed a major 4-year effort to reduce criminal case backlog to virtually none before year-end 2007.

For the past 10 years, Judge Ridgway’s court has been one of the busiest in the State of Texas in terms of cases filed.

In November 2009 and in November 2010, Judge Ridgway was elected Presiding Judge of the 16 Harris County Justice of the Peace Courts. He previously was the co-presiding judge for three years was also the Chairman of two judicial committees, Clerk Professional Development and Technology.

Judge Ridway currently serves as Chair of the Technology Committee. He also serves on both the JIMS Executive Board and the JIMS Steering Committee. 

He has also taught training courses to new judges across Texas on backlog case management and to consumers on Small Claims Court at the University of Houston Law School.  He is also a frequent speaker to school and community organizations.

In July 2009 Judge Ridgway was awarded the National Courthouse Award by the National Association of Counties at their annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

As a consultant, he mediated disputes between governments and corporations as well as joint venture partners in multi-billion dollar disagreements.  Also, he previously provided contractual and operational analysis for numerous mergers and acquisitions, bank financing and performance audits as well as being an expert witness in major litigation cases. 

Judge Ridgway has an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College. He is active in several community groups and civic clubs and is a longtime member of Chapelwood United Methodist Church. He is also the former manager of Gas Transportation and Operations for a major corporation.  He also serves on the board of the Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and has received numerous awards.