Court dismisses suit by Michigan appeals judge trying for 2016 ballot

LANSING (AP) — A court has dismissed a lawsuit by a Michigan appellate judge who is trying to get around an age limit and stay in office.

Peter O’Connell cannot run for re-election in 2018 because he will be 70. So he sued the state to get his name on the ballot this year as an incumbent for another seat on the Court of Appeals, which would let him serve four more years.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens tossed the suit Tuesday, rejecting O’Connell’s argument that a 4th District appellate judgeship on the 2016 ballot is the same office he currently holds.

She says his term does not expire until 2019, and he is not an incumbent because he wants to vie for an office occupied by another judge, Michael Gadola.