State Supreme Court elects chief judge

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Timothy Hicks Courtesy MSC/Muskegon County Circuit Court

A new chief judge is presiding over Muskegon’s 14th Circuit Court.

 The Michigan Supreme Court appointed Judge Timothy G. Hicks as Chief Judge of the 14th Circuit Court in Muskegon County.

“I am honored to have been appointed and to have been able to kick off a new decade in the court,” Hicks said.

He also named Judge Annette R. Smedley, Chief Judge Pro Tem; and Judge Gregory C. Pittman, presiding judge of the Family Division, as new court leaders.

“The public deserves courts that are accessible to all, efficient and engaged in the community,” Hicks said. “Judges Smedley, Pittman and I will work with our outstanding court staff to ensure that by building on our successes and looking ahead to achieve new goals.”

Chief Judge Hicks said his goals include:

  • Encourage, publicize and utilize online alternative dispute resolution services
  • Implement a text reminder system for court appearances
  • Prepare for a leadership transition in 2022 when he and Judge Marietti will “age out” by working with judges, judicial staff and the circuit court records office
  • Prepare for an additional circuit judge, per the latest Judicial Resource Recommendations, by working with state and local officials
  • Cross-train employees so that they can work in different courtrooms when they are not needed in their "home" courtrooms
  • Plan some joint operations with the 60th District Court in things, such as text notifications, etc.

Hicks was elected to the bench in 1996. He is a member of the Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions, and he has been its chair since 2015.

He earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Central Michigan University and his Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Judge Smedley was elected the first female circuit court judge in Muskegon County in 2012. She has decades of legal experience, including being a public defender.

Judge Pittman was appointed to the bench in 1998. He served 22 years in the Family Division in Muskegon after working as a public defender, a magistrate and a private practice attorney.

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