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2018-06-13 / News

District Court Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The 92nd District Court, which serves both Mackinac and Luce Counties, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this week with past and current judges, community leaders, court employees and local citizens.

Judge Gibson will welcome visitors from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Mackinac County Courthouse in St. Ignace Tuesday, June 19 and at the Luce County Government Building in Newberry Thursday, June 21.

The 92nd District Court joins district courts across Michigan that are marking the 50th Anniversary of the creation of district courts in Michigan. As required by the 1963 Constitution, legislation took effect June 17, 1968, creating district courts and abolishing justices of the peace and circuit court commissioners.

A list of the Judges and Magistrates of the District Court is listed below. Over the past 50 years there have been only four 92nd District Court judges, all of whom are living in the area. Judge Robert Wood, the original district court judge, still stop into the office a couple of times every year to check up on things.

“District Court is known as the people's court because millions of citizens interact with this court each year,” said Chief Judge Beth Ann Gibson. “Our court has been serving Michigan citizens well for the last 50 years by being fair, accessible and efficient.

“Our team at 92nd District Court is very proud of our service to people of Luce and Mackinac Counties and look forward to providing even better service in the years ahead.”

The District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all civil claims for damages up to $25,000, including small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, land contract disputes and civil infractions. The Court may also conduct marriages in a civil ceremony.

The District Court's small claims division handles cases in which the amount in controversy is $6,000 or less. The most common civil infractions are minor traffic matters, such as speeding, failure to stop or yield, careless driving and equipment and parking violations.

District Courts handle a wide range of criminal proceedings, including most misdemeanors, offenses for which the maximum possible penalty does not exceed one year in jail. In misdemeanor cases, the District Court Judge arraigns the defendant, sets and accepts bail, presides at the trial and sentences the defendant.

Typical District Court misdemeanor offenses include driving under the influence of intoxicants, driving on a suspended license, simple assault, shoplifting and possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The District Courts also conduct preliminary examinations in felony cases, after which, if the Prosecutor provides sufficient proofs, the felony case is transferred to the Circuit Court for arraignment and trial.

92nd District Court Judges

Robert A. Wood, January 1, 1969 – December 31, 1990

Steven E. Ford, January 1, 1991 – October 31, 2003

Barbara J. Brown, January 1, 2004 – December 31, 2004

Beth Ann Gibson, January 1, 2005 – present

92nd District Court Magistrates (M = Mackinac Co.; L =
Luce Co.; E = Engadine Office; C = Curtis Office)
Richard L. Fenner, M
Rosemary Kaminsky, M
Mary Jane St. Louis, M
John F. Clarke
Richard A. Bagbey
Harry L. Wickham, C
Clifford R. MacLean
Elmer Hetrick, L
Vicky Gould, ML
Debbie Luepnitz, ML
Robin Belonga, M
Kathy Blakely, L
Jerry Leaffers, E
Bill Edwards, E
Kay Pfeiffer, L
Jeanine Blakely, LM
Linda Livermore, EML
Judy St. Louis, ML
Joy Mouch, L
Danielle Brown, LM
Jill Davis, LM

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