Archived Story

Judge Dobrich seeks re-election

Published 3:48pm Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cass County Probate Judge Susan L. Dobrich announced today she will seek re-election. Her current term expires at the end of 2012. She succeeded Herbert E. Phillipson Jr. in January 1995.

Dobrich said her work has been primarily with juveniles who are abused, neglected or delinquent. This has been challenging, but rewarding, she said.

“It has been pleasure and privilege to serve the residents of Cass County, particularly our vulnerable population, including children, the elderly in Probate Court, mentally ill and developmentally disabled,” she said. “I have been fortunate to work with many talented and dedicated individuals in Cass County, dedicated judges here in Cass County and throughout the state, agency representatives and community volunteers.”

Dobrich said she believes the members of her staff are exceptional. As a result of their efforts, they have been able to develop many innovative and cost-effective programs for Cass County. She said she is most proud of two programs, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which began in 1997; and Family Treatment Court and having brought drug courts to the county and assisting in bringing drug courts to scale.

As a result, Cass County has been recognized for excellence in juvenile and probate court programming throughout the state.

To support the program, Cass County Probate Court obtained more than $1.5 million in federal and state grants.

“Working with youth and families is my passion,” Dobrich said. “Being a Probate Judge for Cass County is a wonderful opportunity to serve the public and use my passion and legal skills to provide the opportunity for families.”

Dobrich is also actively involved in her community, locally and at the state level.

She has served on numerous local committees, including Human Services Coordinating Council, Southwestern Michigan College Foundation Board and the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival music committee.

At the state level, Dobrich has been active in the Michigan Probate Judges Association, serving as its president in 2010; is treasurer of the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals; often serves as an adjunct professor for Michigan Judicial Institute; has served on the Governor’s Task Force on Child Neglect and Abuse, appointed by Gov. John Engler and reappointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm; and is currently serving on the Michigan Women’s Commission by appointment of Gov. Rick Snyder.

Dobrich has received awards for community advocate, including nomination for CASA Judge of the Year in 2007; Outstanding Asset Builder, Cass County Human Services Coordinating Council, 2003; Woodlands Community Mental Health Service Award, 2005; Woodlands Community Mental Health Service Award for Cass County Family Treatment Court 2009; Community Award, Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services, April 2009; and Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals Hero Award 2012.

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