Government, Human Resources, and Law

Michigan Supreme Court appoints chief judge of 20th Circuit Court

November 16, 2016
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Jon Van Allsburg
Jon Van Allsburg. Courtesy Ottawa County

A judge has been appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to fill a leadership vacancy at the 20th Circuit Court.

Judge Jon Van Allsburg of the 20th Circuit Court in Grand Haven was named chief judge of the court this month.

He’s replacing Judge Edward Post, who’s retiring.

Van Allsburg’s term ends Dec. 31, 2017.

“I am grateful to the Michigan Supreme Court for providing this leadership opportunity, and I look forward to continuing a collaborative relationship with our outstanding judges and court employees, as we tend to the legal needs of the public,” Van Allsburg said.

The role

The chief judge has “administrative superintending power and control over the judges of the court and all court personnel,” according to Michigan Court Rule. 

He will supervise caseload management, monitor judicial workloads, assign the business of the court, develop policies and oversee court finances.

"Well-respected" judge

Ottawa County Court Administrator Kevin Bowling said Van Allsburg is expected to do well in the post by all concerned.

“He’s well-known and well respected,” Bowling said. “I think he’ll do a fabulous job. He’s been with the court for over 10 years. He’s served as the chief judge pro tem for several years, who can stand in for the chief judge in (his) absence. He’s also actively involved in the Michigan Judges Association and is aware of what’s going on legislatively throughout the states.”

Bowling said under Michigan Court Rule, there's a “clear expectation” chief judges will be well-versed in the business aspects of running a court, including human resources management, budgeting and facility issues, and Van Allsburg fits the bill.

“There are a variety of good reasons he’ll do fine,” Bowling said.

Van Allsburg

Van Allsburg, a 1980 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law, joined the Circuit Court in 2005 after a 25-year career practicing law.

He has served in the Family Division of the Circuit Court and as the 20th Circuit Business Court judge.

He also serves as a director and officer of the Michigan Judges Association. Previously, he served as board chairman of the then Holland Area Chamber of Commerce and on the Family Violence Board of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

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