Honorable Michael J. Nolan, 60th District Judge, retires



By Diana L. Coleman
Legal News

The Charles D. Hammond Fraternal Order of Police Lodge was crowded with well-wishers, smiles, and lots of good stories Friday, June 6, for the send-off retirement party of the Honorable Michael J. Nolan.

Local circuit, district, probate judges and magistrates, and other judges from all around West Michigan were out in force. Many members of the bar association, court staff, law enforcement officials, friends, and family also attended — filling the building with fun and laughter.

The party was planned by Judge Nolan’s wife from top to bottom while Mike Flannery and others helped with decorations and getting the hall ready. Judge Nolan gave his lovely wife full credit for the outstanding party. Food, beverages, and huge plates of cookies were quickly taken care of by those present.

Presentations to Judge Nolan were made by the State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO), Hon. Maria Ladas Hoopes, D.J. Hilson, and the Fraternal Order of Police. A representative of the SCAO spoke about Nolan’s many accomplishments and how he became close to Judge Nolan when assigned to this region. He read a resolution from the Michigan Supreme Court and joked, “It’s the first time the Supreme Court has made a unanimous decision.”

Hon. Maria Ladas Hoopes made a presentation on behalf of the district court judges: a collage of photos from events, gatherings, and times shared with members of the court and their families, and bar association members. The President and Vice Present of the Fraternal Order of Police presented Judge Nolan with a “Gold” pass card. He is now a life associate member and will be exempt from paying annual dues, but will have all the privileges of the order for the rest of his life.

D. J. Hilson gave a remarkable history of Judge Nolan from childhood to retirement, including his many accomplishments. Hilson announced that Judge Nolan will be able to continue his participation in the Muskegon County Veteran’s Treatment Court as a visiting judge. This project is close to Judge Nolan’s heart. Muskegon County has the first certified Veteran’s Treatment Court in the State of Michigan.

Judge Nolan took the podium after the official unveiling of his portrait to hoot and holler, raising his arms high in celebration.  He thanked all those he worked with through the years including staff, law enforcement, attorneys, and those in the justice system that many never see, but who make the work flow smoothly.

“I am looking forward to retirement,” said Nolan.  “Let’s get started now.”

On his first day of retirement, Judge Nolan found out that he is facing a serious health issue; people are encouraged to keep the judge and his family in their thoughts so that he may enjoy this retirement he worked so diligently to attain.

Watch for an interview with Judge Nolan once he has recovered.