Two Oakland County judges and a magistrate were recently honored for their efforts to address domestic violence.
Judge Derek Meinecke of the 44th Royal Oak District Court, Judge David Law of Novi District Court 52-1 and Magistrate Karen Holt of Clarkston District Court 52-2 each received a 2021 award for the prevention of Oakland County Domestic Violence at a Ceremony in Pontiac, presented by the Oakland County Council Against Domestic Violence.
In naming Meinecke, Lindsay Garascia, HAVEN’s first response court lawyer, said: “Judge Meinecke is thorough in his explanations, so that survivors understand the process, feel validated and, most importantly, are treated with dignity. and respect. He finds a way to hold offenders accountable for the abuse they have chosen to inflict while providing them with the opportunity to change without endangering the survivor. Justice Meinecke keeps the rights and safety of survivors at the forefront of everything he does in his courtroom, and it has been an absolute privilege to work with someone who has worked so hard to make the safer things for survivors in his town.
Meinecke joined the bench in 2013 and previously served in the county prosecutor’s office, where he was a member of the special unit for victims focused on domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse and sexual assault. . As a judge, he is credited with implementing the Justice 101 school outreach program, as well as expanding Sobriety Court and establishing Operation Drive, a program that helps defendants reinstate their licenses after their suspension.
“Above and beyond his role”
Appointing Law, Oakland County Assistant District Attorney Endrit Topalli said: “I have worked closely with Judge Law for five years and have been continuously impressed with his understanding of the dynamics of violence. domestic worker and his compassion for the victims. It prioritizes the safety of survivors and sees survivors as more than just “victims of crime”. One thing that is unique about Justice Law is his deep understanding of how survivors sometimes end up in the role of the accused. He takes the time to have a holistic view of the survivor’s situation and has gone beyond his role to offer them resources and support.
Law joined the bench in 2015. Prior to that, he worked in the offices of the Oakland County District Attorney and Michigan Attorney General. He is also a former representative of the State. Law is also credited with creating the 52-1 High Risk Response Team, partnering with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and HAVEN in Oakland County to help prevent domestic violence and provide assistance to victims.
“Passion for change”
Appointing Holt, Emily Quigley, HAVEN’s first responder court attorney, said: “Shortly after his appointment to the bench, Magistrate Holt identified a critical gap in the way obligations were set in cases. domestic violence in Oakland County. She does essential work behind the scenes to make the criminal justice system better equipped to deal with domestic violence cases and continues to think of creative solutions when obstacles arise. Her passion for change is contagious and her vision will undoubtedly impact hundreds of survivors. While Magistrate Holt gets involved after a crime has been committed, the culture she works to create in court will help build trust with survivors and prevent future assaults.
Holt joined the bench in 2018 and previously served as both an assistant prosecutor and public defender in Oakland County.