62-B District Court Kentwood
Judge Amanda Sterkenburg made history in 2021 by becoming the first woman to take the Kentwood 62-B District Court bench.
She was elected to a six-year term after former 62-B District Court Judge William G. Kelly retired. He was the first 62-B District Court judge and served for 42 years.
Sterkenburg presides over matters such as drunk driving, domestic violence and retail fraud of less than $1,000. The court settles disputes, processes criminal charges and manages legal appeals.
Since her tenure began, the court established an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) plan that allows individuals to settle disputes outside of the courtroom through mediation.
ADR also is designed to reduce client costs and allow a mediator — a third-party individual — to resolve differences and help individuals reach a mutual agreement.
“Court cases involve a significant financial and emotional investment,” Sterkenburg said. “I am proud the 62-B District Court is offering this plan as a way to save time and money for those seeking resolution, preserve relationships and help each party walk away more satisfied.
“Another beneficial aspect of ADR is each party gets the opportunity to have their voice heard in a safe and neutral environment. Being able to express themselves empowers the parties to work past the conflict and seek resolution.”
Prior to becoming a judge, Sterkenburg focused on family law, including custody and parenting time modifications, divorce and paternity. She also provided legal services on matters concerning landlord and tenant assistance, contract drafting, business incorporation and dissolution, bankruptcy and estate planning.