Owdziej wins Washtenaw County probate judge race

Julia Owdziej defeated Tracy Van den Bergh Tuesday in the Washtenaw County probate judge race. Owdziej, who previously was sworn in on June 3, 2014, as Washtenaw County Probate Judge to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Nancy Wheeler, will serve a six-year term.

Owdziej, who earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University, and her J.D. from Detroit College of Law, has served Washtenaw County for 22 years. First, as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, she helped victims of crime by representing them in cases from assault and battery to murder. She served as a Juvenile Court Referee for 14 years and as the hearing officer for the Juvenile Drug Court for 7 years, a specialty court that assists teenagers who are struggling with substance abuse. Three years ago she was appointed Deputy Probate Register, legal counsel to the Probate Court.

Owdziej started her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General at the Lincoln Hall of Justice in Detroit. She worked in the Wayne County Probate Court on behalf of Michigan Attorney General Frank J. Kelley representing the Department of Human Services.

An active leader in 4-H, she has served on the Board of Directors of COPE, an alternative education program and sat on the Child Death Review Team of Washtenaw County. She is a member of the Michigan School-Justice Partnership, a statewide collaborative to prevent the school to prison pipeline.

Published: Tue, Nov 04, 2014