Long time 15th District Court Judge Elizabeth (Libby) Pollard Hines announces her November 1 retirement


ANN ARBOR- Fifteenth District Court Judge Elizabeth (Libby) Pollard Hines announced Sept.1 that she will retire from her position as district judge, effective November 1, 2020.

Judge Hines was elected to the position and has served since January 1, 1993.

“I have enjoyed coming to work for all of the 28 years. It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Ann Arbor and the citizens of the state of Michigan. I will miss the important work I do each day with my colleagues, but I will fill my time by enjoying my family, especially my grandsons,” she said.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack said, “It has been a privilege—both personally and professionally—to have known Judge Libby Hines since 1998. As a state supreme court justice, I work with and watch many judges. Judge Hines’ judicial portfolio, both as an individual jurist and during those times when the Michigan Supreme Court designated her as chief judge of her multi-member trial court, bears the excellence hallmark. My deep appreciation for Judge Hines’ ongoing contributions and selfless service grows with each year. She is a quiet treasure, and will be greatly missed in our judiciary.”

“Libby was the colleague on the district court bench that I turned to regularly for advice and guidance. More than any judge I have ever worked with, she is connected to the community and understanding of the challenges faced by the people who appeared in her courtroom. There is no better judge and no better person on the bench. I am privileged to call her both a mentor and a friend,” said state court administrator and former district judge, Tom Boyd.

Judge Hines ran for the open judgeship after Judge S. J. Elden announced his retirement in 1992. She was re-elected in 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016 without opposition. She has been active in the American Judges Association and the Michigan Judges Association. She is often called upon to serve as faculty for judicial trainings throughout the nation.

In addition to her traditional judicial duties, Judge Hines presides over a specialized domestic violence docket. She also initiated a Street Outreach Court that uses a team approach to deal with issues of homelessness while addressing criminal issues. Her approach has been modeled by other courts throughout the nation.

Elected to the Board of Governors of the American Judges Association (AJA), Judge Hines is currently co-chair of the AJA Domestic Violence Committee, past chair of the AJA Access to Justice Committee, and a past member of the AJA Executive Committee.

She is active in her community and has received numerous awards including the "Patriot Award" from the Washtenaw County Bar Association, and the "2008 Distinguished Service Award" from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). In 2011 and 2014, she was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts. In August of 2011, she was awarded the first annual "Judicial Excellence Award" by the Michigan District Judges Association.

In 2012, the AJA created a new award to be bestowed on a judge in the U.S. or Canada for significant contributions for an effective response to domestic violence. Judge Hines was the first recipient. This award is now given annually by the AJA and is called the "Judge Libby Hines Award.”

In 2018, the NCSC awarded Judge Hines the "William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence." In a ceremony at the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., this honor was presented to Judge Hines by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will appoint a new judge to fill the vacancy caused by Judge Hines’ retirement.   


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