NewsLocal NewsKent


Kentwood's first and only District Judge in court's history retires after 42 years

Posted at 4:59 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 19:56:33-05

KENTWOOD, MICH. — A judge who has been working in the same courthouse for four decades is retiring.

William Kelly served as District Judge for the 62B District Court in Kentwood since the court's inception. Prior to being elected to the position in 1978 when the court was formed, his dad was the only other judge for the Kentwood area serving as a municipal judge.

"It's been my honor, it's been my privilege to serve here," District Court Judge William Kelly said.

Serve currently, at the Kentwood Justice Center. But Kelly was around before the building was built.

"We started here in 2002," Kelly said.

Part of his efforts in the new justice center was upgrading courtroom technology, for which he is known across the state for. That technology proved to be handy in 2020. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker saying 62B had the easiest time transitioning to the court during the pandemic to a digital model.

Kelly looks forward to serving as the fill-in judge while his replacement is going to school to learn how to fill his shoes. Amanda Sterkenburg will take over mid-January.

"I think that judge Sterkenburg is going to be a great judge. She's going to be one who is fair, who's going to give people their voice. Who's going to be neutral, and trustworthy," Kelly said.

SEE MORE: Kentwood celebrates Judge William Kelly's 42 years of service