Annette Smedley assumes position as Muskegon County's first female circuit court judge

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LEGAL NEWS PHOTO BY DIANA L. COLEMAN

by Diana L. Coleman
Legal News

It was standing room only on December 28 at Annette Smedley’s investiture as Muskegon County Circuit Judge.  Friends, family, associates, and a large number of the judiciary were present for the ceremony.

Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters opened the ceremony by introducing the judges present. They included Judges Hicks, Marrietti, Ladas Hoopes, Pittman, Mullally, Ruck, Graves, and retired/visiting judge Pasarela.

Smedley, who has gone before Judge Cooper of Ludington many times defending clients, was waiting for him to arrive, but finally agreed to start the ceremonies without him.  Judge Cooper appeared when the ceremony was completed and said with a laugh, “I always thought that big stone building (Muskegon Public Schools Administration Building) looked like the courthouse, so I parked there and ended up walking to the real county building.”

Hon. Gregory C. Pittman performed the swearing-in ceremony while Smedley laid her hand on the open Bible held by friend and associate, Alvin Swanson.

Chief District Court Judge Maria Ladas Hoopes presented Smedley with her judge’s robe and David Waterstradt, Muskegon County Bar Association President, presented her with her gavel.
Judge Smedley addressed the crowd, letting them all know how much she appreciated their support through her campaign and election. She acknowledged retiring Judge Graves and his 36 years of service to the Muskegon County bench. 

Judge Graves received a standing ovation from all present in the courtroom.  Smedley said, “While I never could take his place, I will be taking his chair.”

A quick look around the courtroom and all those present to witness the swearing in of Muskegon County Circuit Court’s first female judge indicated that she will truly be the people’s judge.  

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