As District Court Judge, I will give everyone an opportunity to be heard. Each person appearing in District Court has a unique background that shapes everything they do. It’s important the Judge recognizes that and takes time to learn about their unique background before making decisions in any case, whether civil or criminal. The phrase “there are two sides to every story” is absolutely true, and as District Court Judge, I will keep an open mind until I have heard all sides.
When I started my career, I served as the Law Clerk to Judge Kowalski and Judge Swallow in Alpena County. The 26th Circuit Court served Presque Isle, Montmorency, Alcona, and Alpena Counties at that time. For those two years, I researched countless civil and criminal issues, and provided that research and recommendations to the Judges. The civil law experience I gained through that job provides the background I need to handle the civil issues I will handle as a District Judge. Because of those experiences, I truly understand how important each case is to the litigants involved.
Since 2003, I have served Eaton County as an Assistant Prosecutor. When I first started, I worked in District Court for several years. After, I served as the Drug Prosecutor for about a year and half, followed by approximately 3 years as the Domestic Violence Prosecutor. In 2010, I started running a Circuit Court Docket. It was at that time that I also became our office’s primary Sexual Assault Prosecutor. For the last 10 years, I have worked with countless victims, in both general criminal cases and in sexual assault cases.
As part of that experience, I have worked in every specialty treatment court in Eaton County. I participated in the formation of the Domestic Violence Treatment Court with former Eaton County Prosecutor Jeff Sauter and Judge Julie Reincke, along with various other team members. I also participated in the formation and reorganization of the Jeffrey L. Sauter Veterans Treatment Court and the Swift and Sure Sanctions Program. I served as a team member on both the Sobriety Court and the Adult Circuit Drug Court, participating in the reorganization of both of those programs over the years. I have attended the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals conference numerous times, and am a member of that organization.
Because of this experience, I know treatment courts work, and I understand how and why they work. I believe treatment and rehabilitation are essential to the District Court’s work. Whenever possible, the District Court should be trying to prevent future criminal activity, and providing the tools needed to make that a reality.
I also recognize there are times when rehabilitation is not possible. The safety of our citizens is the highest priority. Treatment and rehabilitation only work if the public can also be safe. People must be held responsible for their actions. Any victim of crime must be made whole – they must receive restitution for any damage they suffer. Civil litigants should know the outcome of their cases will be fair and all arguments considered. All should receive adequate time to address the Court. As District Judge, I will balance all of these factors when citizens appear before me.
ABOUT KELLY MORTON
For over 16 years, Kelly Morton has served the people of Eaton County as an Assistant Prosecutor. Since 2007, much of her work has focused on cases involving violence against women and children. She participates as a Team Member on 4 Circuit Court Treatment Courts, and has been instrumental in the organization of 3 of those programs. She was also one of the original developers of the Domestic Violence Treatment Court in District Court. She sits on the Board of Directors for SIREN/Eaton Shelter, Eaton County’s Domestic Violence and Homeless shelter, and has served as Secretary since 2017. Kelly has a track record of experience, hard work, and fairness.
Kelly graduated Magna Cum Laude from Michigan State University Law School in June of 2000. She served as Law Clerk to the Circuit Judges of Alpena County for two years. In 2002, she began her career in prosecution with the Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office. In 2003, she was hired by former Eaton County Prosecutor Jeffrey L. Sauter and worked for him until his appointment to the bench in 2013. She continues her career in prosecution under current Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney Doug Lloyd. She has served as the President and Vice President of the Eaton County Bar Association.
Kelly lives in Charlotte with her husband Brent and their three children. She served on the Parkview Elementary PTO for 6 years, 3 as President. She is active in her church, Charlotte Assembly of God, where she has assisted in the nursery and children’s ministry. She enjoys spending time with her family, camping, and supporting her children in their extracurricular activities.
As District Judge, Kelly plans to continue using a treatment court model whenever possible. She sees District Court as an opportunity to help people and strengthen families in our community. She believes that a District Judge’s responsibilities include holding people accountable for their actions to ensure the safety of the public, and administering justice in a fair and balanced way.
Fair | Experienced | Firm
"As District Judge, I will continue using a treatment court model whenever possible. I see District Court as an opportunity to help people and strengthen families in our community. I believe that a District Judge’s responsibilities include holding people accountable for their actions to ensure the safety of the public, and administering justice in a fair and balanced way."
- Kelly Morton