Circuit Court



           Janice K. Cunningham 


Judge Janice K. Cunningham was elected on November 6, 2012 as the first woman Circuit Court judge in Eaton County and took office on January 1, 2013. The Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction with the broadest judicial powers in Michigan. The Circuit Court handles all civil cases with claims of more than $25,000 and all felony criminal cases. The Family Division of Circuit Court handles cases regarding divorce, custody and support. The Circuit Court also hears cases appealed from the District Court, certain matters from the Probate Court and appeals of decisions from local and state administrative agencies.

In addition to her normal case load, Judge Cunningham believes in the importance of utilizing “problem-solving courts” as an alternative to traditional adjudication. These specialty courts represent a shift in the way courts are handling certain offenders and working closely with prosecutors, public defenders, probation officers, social workers, and other justice system partners to develop a strategy that has proven to be effective in pressuring offenders into completing a treatment program and abstaining from repeating the behaviors that brought them to court. Judge Cunningham presides over the SAFE-T Program, which works with individuals at risk of losing their children because of drug or alcohol problems and she is the judicial volunteer for SMILE, a mandatory program for all divorcing individuals that have minor children. Judge Cunningham presides over the Priority Drug Court, a community corrections program designed to work with individuals that may be going to prison because of substance abuse issues and also presides over the newly created Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, a community corrections program working with individuals that have substance or alcohol abuse issues but are not necessarily within the prison sentencing guidelines.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Cunningham had a distinguished career in private practice for over 25 years. The following is a list of some of her awards and accomplishments:

  • Received the highest ranking from judges and her peers for her legal ability and ethical standards.
  • Listed on the Martindale-Hubbell Register of Preeminent Woman Lawyers
  • Adjunct Professor of Law - Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • Frequent lecturer for judges throughout the state at the Michigan Judicial Institute
  • Frequent lecturer for attorneys at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE)
  • Member of the Legal Authors Society
  • Appointed by the Mich. Supreme Court to the Attorney Discipline Board
  • Appointed by the Mich. Supreme Court to the Friend of the Court Advisory Board
  • Appointed by the Mich. Supreme Court to the State Court Administrator's Office Forms Committee
  • Recipient of the prestigious 2010 Camille S. Abood Community Volunteer Award
  • Recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award from Cooley Law School
  • Recipient of the State Bar of Michigan’s 1992 Outstanding Young Lawyer
  • Recipient of the 1990 Enhancement of Women Award from National WBE Association
  • The first mid-Michigan attorney selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Delta Township Trustee - Elected in Nov. 1996. Re-elected Nov. 2000, 2004, & 2008
  • Founding member and Trustee of the Waverly Education Foundation
  • Served on the Board of Directors for Legal Aid of Central Michigan
  • Served on the Board of Directors for Sixty Plus Legal Clinic, Board of Directors





              John D. Maurer 


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