Judge Ardie Bland is a Municipal Court Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri – Kansas City Municipal Division. Judge Bland is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in 1988. Bland attended and graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics. After graduation, he attended Drake University Law School in Des Moines, IA, where he worked in the law clinic for the indigent and the Trial Advocacy Team. In 1995, he returned home to Kansas City, MO to practice law. While working at the Social Security Administration, he became extremely passionate and knowledgeable of the physical and mental health diagnoses and their impacts on an individual’s ability to function in society.
After later representing clients for a number of years in his law firm, Ardie Bland wanted to have a bigger impact on his community, and he sought the position of Judge to try to make a difference from the bench. In 2008, Judge Ardie A. Bland was appointed by Mayor Mark Funkhouser and the Kansas City Council, Division 205, for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri. In 2009, Judge Bland presided over the first Veteran’s Treatment Court in the State of Missouri which has worked in conjunction with the Veterans Administration to help hundreds of veterans in the greater Kanas City metropolitan area to deal with issues of substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment and mental health issues such as PTSD.
Judge Bland continued to make an impact throughout the community by also presiding over the Truancy Court from 2012 to 2015. Under his direction, more than 400 students from the various school districts serving Kansas City, Missouri successfully completed the intervention program which reports a 3 percent recidivism rate. Attendance rates for students completing Truancy Court increased between 5 to 25 percent. In 2015, he became presiding judge over the Kansas City, Missouri, Mental Health Court, where he was able to help individuals with mental illness connect with mental health service providers, obtain treatment, and stay medicated without being incarcerated in an attempt to reduce police interaction and harm to the individual or the community. Judge Bland enjoys his current work with both courts because he is able to focus on treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment.