Judge Thomas Davies, Class of '63, Returns to Bench
Original Article - KVRR News - April 17, 2012
A long–time municipal court judge in Fargo made a courtroom comeback after battling a deadly illness for nearly a year.
Judge Thomas Davies has been on leave since last May due to a severe case of pancreatitis, but put on his robes for the first time again Tuesday.
Judge Davies was welcomed back to the bench after a year–long fight.
"It was like a train on the tracks. I went from being somewhat quiet to, 'Here I come! Get out of my way! I'm coming back folks!" he said.
There he was surrounded by all of the lives he's touched in his 40 years of service.
"It was an exciting day coming back. I walked into a courtroom full of people, packed with defense attorneys, attorneys, and police officers. They all stood and clapped when I came in. It blew me away."
By the looks of his high spirits, you'd never know Davies was stuck in a hospital bed for six months, two of those in an induced–coma, battling pancreatitis.
"It really was like coming back from the dead because my family was informed that, on a number of occasions, it didn't look like I was going to make it."
But after a lengthy fight, he's come out as positive as ever.
"When I couldn't talk they knew it was something serious, but I'm feeling great now," he said.
He's happy to be back, "There's a higher power and there's a reason I'm here. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm going to find out," and he is eagerly filling his time with what he loves most before retirement in June.
"Trials. I love the trials. I love the interaction with lawyers and I love the interaction with defendants," he said.
His interaction has left such an impact, that defendants send him letters years later expressing their gratitude.
"At the time they thought I was miserable, but they say, 'That sentence and the way you talked to me and the way you treated me caused me to change my life.' All I need is one of those every five years and it makes life worthwhile," he said.
A life he had to fight for, now full of entirely new meaning.
"One of the things this does for you is it gives you a whole new outlook on life, to know that people care, that they think you're doing a good job."
Judge Davies is set to retire at the end of his term this June, but hopes to serve as deputy judge.
He is the son of Federal Judge Ronald Davies, the namesake of Davies High School.