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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Chief Judge Andrea Andrews Larkin has announced her retirement from the East Lansing 54B District Court, effective June 1, 2021.
Larkin was first elected to her position in 2012 and was re-elected in 2018. For most of her tenure, she has served as the court’s chief judge. Among her many achievements, Judge Larkin, together with the court’s probation staff, helped establish two specialized treatment courts during her tenure: a sobriety court in 2014 and a drug treatment court in 2017.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the City of East Lansing and the State of Michigan in this role. I have been inspired by the two treatment courts, which I had the privilege to preside over during my time as a judge. I am grateful for the dedication and hard work of the court staff; my mentor and colleague, Judge Richard Ball; and the court’s able administration. It was a bittersweet decision, but after much reflection, I have concluded it’s time to transition to this next phase of life,” said Judge Larkin.
“This court has benefited immeasurably from Judge Larkin’s leadership, professionalism and integrity for the eight years she has been here,” said 54B District Court Judge Richard Ball. “As her colleague, I will miss her presence and I know the devoted court staff will also be sorry to see her leave, but nevertheless we all wish her all the best.”
“Judge Larkin has provided exceptional service to the community in her role with the East Lansing 54B District Court,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “The treatment courts that she helped to establish and presided over during her tenure have helped numerous community members take important, life-changing steps toward recovery. We thank her for her service, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.”
“Throughout her tenure, Judge Larkin’s commitment to this court has been unwavering,” said East Lansing 54B District Court Administrator Nicole Evans. “I personally have appreciated her support over the years as we have worked to transition to online technology for many court services. As a result, we have been able to increase access to justice for court users and we were better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our court would not be as technology-progressive as it is today without having judges who are open to its benefits.”
Michigan's constitution requires Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to fill vacancies in judicial office by appointment. There will be an application process for Judge Larkin’s vacancy, with a posting listed online at https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90501---,00.html. Qualified candidates who merit consideration will be interviewed and rated by the State Bar's Judicial Qualifications Committee, which will conduct a thorough background check of the applicant's fitness to serve as a judge. Certain candidates may then be selected for further consideration by the Governor's Office before an appointment is made.
“I have every confidence the governor will appoint an appropriate successor,” said Judge Larkin.
The next election for the seat will take place in 2024.