Melissa Hise and Ralph Van Pelt

Melissa Hise and Ralph Van Pelt

Summerville attorney Melissa Gifford Hise has announced her intention to seek the seat of Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court judge currently held by Ralph Van Pelt.

Hise is a former law clerk for the superior court judges of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker counties. The nonpartisan race will be decided May 24, during the state’s primary election.

“Together we can ensure that the rule of law and our community’s values are represented in our courts,” Hise said when urging voters to exercise their right at every election. Voting ensures that local values are represented in elected offices, she explained.

A 1986 graduate of Chattanooga Valley High School, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Mercer University and a law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

She began her career at the Watson and Dana law firm in LaFayette and founded Four Points Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt agency that provides services to families involved in domestic violence. After heading Four Points for 15 years, Hise joined the Walker County Magistrate Court as an associate judge.

In 2012 she returned to practicing law full-time at Palmour Law Firm in Summerville and is currently a part-time associate judge with the Walker County Magistrate Court. Hise has trial experience in both civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts.

Hise is an active member of the Rock Spring community. She is married to Mark Hise, plant manager for United Synthetics Inc., a division of Stein Fibers, in LaFayette.

The couple has two children who attend Oakwood Christian Academy. They attend South Seminole Baptist Church.

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