Open race for at least 1 Livingston judgeship
Planned probate court retirement affects 1 of 4 seats up for election
Friday, January 20, 2006
BY TOM TOLEN
News Staff Reporter
For the first time since 1994, Livingston County voters will have four judgeships to decide in elections this fall.
The terms of 44th Circuit Judge Stanley Latreille, 53rd District Judge A. John Pikkarainen and Probate Judge Susan Reck will expire at the end of the year. Additionally, District Judge Theresa Brennan, who was appointed last year after the death of Judge Michael Hegarty, must now run for election for the remaining two years of his term.
Brennan, 48, confirms she will run for the seat. "I love my job here, and I hope to remain as district judge,'' she says.
Not enough attention is paid to judicial races. The most important contest for those concerned with liberal judicial activism is the Circuit Court race as they have the most power. Judge Latreille is a straight shooter who follows the law as judge, and he will have my vote if he runs again.
The Circuit Court seat should be conservatives' number one priority of all local races in Livingston County. They have a lot of power and handle all major cases and most injunctions. We do not need our own version of Stephen Reinhardt here.
District Courts have more limited roles. The district court handles small claims, civil cases under $25000, landlord/tenant, misdemeanors, felony arraignments, civil infractions, weddings, and divorces without children. Most of those are straightforward cases, and have less room for judicial activism.
Probate Court has jurisdiction and supervision in the administration of estates and trust of deceased persons. The Court also hears cases pertaining to guardianships; conservatorship for adults and minors; the commitment for hospitalization and or treatment of mentally ill persons, the mentally handicapped, and addicted persons.
Bob Parker and Bobbi Vaughn are running for probate judge. Parker ran and lost his race for circuit judge against Dave Reader in 2004. Vaughn is a Hamburg Township trustee and is a Republican.
As soon as I find out who has filed and running for re-election, it will be posted here.