Bethany Currie appointed new magistrate judge


Marshalltown attorney Bethany Currie of Peglow, O’Hare and See, PLC., is Marshall County’s newest, and third magistrate judge.

She has been a general practice attorney about 11 years.

Currie previously clerked two years for a federal judge.

She was sworn in at the courthouse by Marshall County District Court Judge James Ellefson last month and will begin duties Aug. 1.

“I am excited,” she said.

Currie was selected over other applicants by a Magistrate Appointing Commission.

A judge, two lawyers and three lay persons made up the commission.

“I have been seeking judicial appointments for several years,” said Currie, in explaining her motivation to seek the post. “I had applied for various district associate positions.”

A magistrate handles all initial appearances for those accused of a crime that must see a judge, Currie said, and rules on mental health and substance abuse committal cases. There are rulings on small claims and forcible detainer actions and traffic tickets.

Previously, Marshall County District Court Judge Kim Riley supervised initial appearances, but will no longer since Currie’s appointment.

She joins colleague Kevin O’Hare and attorney Barry Kaplan, both of Marshalltown.

“The (third magistrate) position was created as a result of an audit which revealed how busy various counties are,” Currie said. “It was determined Marshall County needed to have a third magistrate. Three counties statewide gained a magistrate, and three counties lost a magistrate. My appointment is budget and revenue neutral.”

The new magistrate is following a family tradition. Her late grandfather was a Central Illinois judge and he influenced Currie to attend law school.

She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, YMCA-YWCA Joint Board of Governors; YWCA Board of Governors; Iowa State Bar Association Board of Governors; and Marshall County Bar Association.

Currie is married to attorney Mike Marquess; they have two children.

“I am looking forward to helping the people of Marshall County,” she said.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or