Niles’ Schofield to run for circuit court judge

Published 7:22 pm Thursday, October 17, 2013

Judge Scott Schofield announced this week he would be running for the position of Berrien County Circuit Court judge in the November 2014 election.



Schofield, a longtime Niles resident, currently serves as a district judge in the family division of the Berrien County Trial Court in St. Joseph.

Schofield made the announcement at Monday’s Niles City Council meeting. He said he would not be running for re-election as a district judge.

“I will be asking for your support and the support of all of the citizens of Niles as I conduct my campaign,” Schofield said.

A circuit court judge is considered in higher standing than a district court judge, Schofield said. However, Berrien County operates under concurrent jurisdiction, meaning all judges essentially have the same power.

“For that reason I’ve handled felonies when I was in criminal division, multi-million dollar lawsuits when I was in the civil division, and now I handle divorces and other circuit court matters in the family division,” he said. “So I am a candidate for the circuit court basically because I’ve been doing a circuit court judge’s work for the last 16 years.”

Appointed to the district bench by Gov. John Engler, Schofield has been in office since 1997. Berrien County voters have returned him to office three times. Before taking the bench, Schofield was a member of general practice law firm in Niles for 21 years, assisting clients over a broad range of legal problems.

Schofield has lived in Niles for more than 37 years and saw his children graduate from Niles High School.

The judge said he is a proponent of making greater youth of the South County Building in Niles.