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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Senior Oakland County Family Court Judges to Retire

Judge Joan E. Young
Judges Joan Young and Elizabeth Pezzetti are spending their final days on the bench at the Oakland County Family Court. The two senior jurists will retire in January and, in each case, will be sorely missed.

In 1984, this blogger spent the summer as a legal intern in Joan Young's office. Back then, she was the court administrator for the Oakland County Circuit Court; long before there was a family court division.

A Wayne State Law graduate, Judge Young was first elected to the Oakland County Probate Court in 1988; she was later appointed by Governor Engler to the circuit bench in 1997, where she was elected to three consecutive 6-year terms.

When the Michigan Legislature created the county family courts in 2000, Judge Young served as chief judge of the circuit court and was instrumental in creating the family law division within the Oakland Circuit. Also, Judge Young presided over the adult drug treatment court from its inception in 2002 until just last year.

In 2002, when the circuit court announced the implementation of e-filing and a push toward a paperless electronic court filing system, Judge Young was the one making the announcement. She provided very strong leadership in these key service areas of the court.

Judge Pezzetti (R) with Referee Betty Lowenthal
For her part, Judge Elizabeth Pezzetti also was appointed by Governor Engler, in 2001, to the probate court. Like Judge Young, Judge Pezzetti spent the her tenure on the bench at the dawn of the family court and during the transition to an electronic filing system.

This blogger has had the distinct pleasure to serve along with Judge Pezzetti on the Citizens Alliance Committee, the advisory board for the circuit and probate courts of Oakland County.

Judge Pezzetti has always had a probate component to her docket; even when serving as a family court judge. As such, she is accustomed to resolving disputes involving families that are under great stress, or families that have members at odds with one another.

The principle manner in which Judge Pezzetti has served our local court over the past 16-years has been through her consistent, patient and studied approach to the many many cases that have flowed through her courtroom. Like Judge Young, she will be very difficult to replace.

In Michigan, judges are elected thus, both seats will be filled by the winner of the non-partisan election on November 8th. Don't forget the non-partisan ballot; it is on the back side of the partisan ballot, so be sure to flip your ballot over to vote for judges.

The candidates running for Judge Young's open seat are Oakland County Friend of the Court Referee Lorie Savin and West Bloomfield attorney Victoria Valentine. The candidates running for Judge Pezzetti's open seat are Clarkston lawyer and Public Administrator Jennifer Callaghan and Collin Einhorn lawyer Karen Geibel.

Post #564

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