Snyder apoints Kathy Hoogstra to Judge in the 14th Circuit Court, Muskegon County

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Kathy Hoogstra, currently Muskegon County Probate Court Administrator and Register, is the newly appointed 14th Circuit Court Judge at right Kathy Hoogstra and Marilyn Ruck at the Honorable John Ruck's recent official portrait unveiling and retirement ceremonies

Muskegon Country Probate Court Administrator and Register Kathy Hoogstra has been appointed as the 14th Circuit Court judge by Gov. Rick Snyder. She replaces the spot vacated by Judge John C. Ruck.

“Kathy Hoogstra is an accomplished and dedicated legal professional who has served Muskegon County residents for 20 years,” Snyder said. “Her qualifications and experience have prepared her to be an excellent judge.”

Hoogstra, of Muskegon, has served as probate court administrator and register since 2007. She previously served as the Muskegon County Family Court Referee and Contract Attorney/Public Defender, as well as a judicial law clerk for the Muskegon County Circuit Court. She is active in professional organizations, including the Muskegon Country Bar Association, where she has served as president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, trustee, and committee chair. Additionally, she has served as the president, vice president, and secretary of the Women’s Lawyer’s Association of Michigan, Lake Shore Region. Hoogstra is also active in community organizations, and was awarded the Greater Muskegon Women’s Club “Women of Accomplishment” award in March 2012.

Hoogstra earned a bachelor’s degree at Calvin College and a degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Hoogstra will finish the remainder of Ruck’s term, which ends Jan. 1, 2015. She has the option to seek election for a full six-year term in November 2014.

In addition to Governor Snyder’s press release above, Kathy Hoogstra has established a remarkable record of service and dedication in the legal community while also working diligently in the public domain and raising a family.

Some other accomplishments Hoogstra has in her resume include that she was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice to serve on the Limited English Proficiency Committee and served as a speaker to professional organizations for that committee. She was appointed by the State Court Administrator to serve on the SCAO forms committee. Locally, Hoogstra has served as Chair of the Muskegon County Public Safety Budget Team, served as a member of Muskegon County Commissioner’s Port, Rail and Transportation Committee.

Hoogstra also serves as an Adjunct Professor for Muskegon Community College, serves as a high school speaker for Muskegon Exchange Club’s Crime Prevention program, has served as Muskegon Christian School President, VP, board member and committee chair, and also as Chapel speaker for Western Michigan Christian High School.

Hoogstra sits on the Board of Directors for Love, Inc. of Muskegon County, and is actively involved in serving Calvin Christian Reformed Church in many capacities.

Hoogstra has worked long and hard toward her dream and goal of someday becoming a judge and is “over the moon” with her new position as 14th Circuit Court Judge. Hoogstra was instrumental in making Muskegon County Probate Court streamlined and efficient, getting probate forms online for customer usage and thereby eliminating some of the drain of manpower resources in the department allowing for better usage of staff time. She has been recognized many times for her exceptional administrative abilities.

As if Hoogstra is not busy enough, she is married to a prominent doctor and she and Dr. Hoogstra have raised two sons.  Hoogstra recently had the distinct pleasure of being able to recommend one of her sons to be admitted for the practice of law in Michigan. She moved for his entry in the bar as he follows in her footsteps in the legal field.

Governor Snyder appointed Kathy Hoogstra to complete Judge John Ruck’s term which expires January 1, 2015.  She has already made it clear that she intends to run for election to a six-year term in November 2014.

The Muskegon County Legal News extends congratulations to Kathy Hoogstra on her appointment to the circuit judgeship.  May your journey be rewarding as you bring your many talents and skills to Muskegon County’s Circuit Court.