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Gov. Whitmer appoints new Barry County judge

Barry County Court Judge Michael Schipper (from left) with the governor's new appointee to the bench, Vicky Alspaugh of Hastings and Chief Judge William Doherty in court Wednesday. (Photo by Scott Harmsen)


Vicky L. Alspaugh of Hastings is Barry County's newest circuit court judge.

Alspaugh, a referee and magistrate in the trial court, was chosen by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who made the announcement Tuesday.

“We want every person who interacts with the judicial system to know that they will get a fair shot by an experienced and respected judge,” Whitmer said in making three judicial appointments: Alspaugh to the 5th Circuit Court in Barry County; Jacquelyn A. McClinton to the 36th District Court in the City of Detroit; and Anna M. Frushour to the 14A District Court of Washtenaw County.

"I am honored to serve the people of the State of Michigan and especially the people of Barry County in this new capacity,” Alspaugh said. “I look forward to working with the judicial counsel in facilitating the continued function of the unified trial court which has benefited the citizens of Barry County since it began.”

Barry County's unified trial court is served by Chief Judge William Doherty, Judge Michael Schipper and, as of Jan. 1, 2020, Alspaugh.

Alspaugh's predecessor, Judge Amy L. McDowell, resigned effective Oct. 15.

Whitmer's office said Alspaugh’s term will commence Jan. 1, 2020, and expire at noon Jan. 1, 2021. If she wishes to seek a full six-year term, she would be required to run for re-election in November 2020.

She has experience in domestic relations matters consisting of custody, parenting time, child support and medical enforcement. She has heard cases of delinquency and child abuse and neglect.

“Vicky will fit right in,” Doherty said. “She has so much experience in about every aspect of being a judge.”

In addition to her years of experience as a referee for Friend of the Court and juvenile court, “she's familiar with probate work, as well,” the judge said. “She has served in small claims in district court, and she's also had 10 years as a prosecutor before becoming a referee.

“She's familiar with just about all aspects of the court system and done an excellent job all the way around.”

Doherty said the public will be invited to the investiture when Alspaugh is sworn in early next year.

Alspaugh previously has served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ogemaw County Prosecutor's Office.

She is a member of the Barry County Bar Association and the Michigan Probate and Juvenile Registers Association. She earned her juris doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and bachelor of arts in criminal justice from Michigan State University.

Alspaugh, 56, and her husband, Micheal, have two daughters.

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