Tyler Thompson sworn in as new probate court judge for Mecosta, Osceola counties

REED CITY  — Local attorneys, members of law enforcement, family and friends crowded into Osceola County’s 49th Circuit Court on Monday to watch a prosecutor make his transition to judge.

In front of a packed courtroom, Tyler Thompson, who has served as Osceola County’s

Prosecutor since 2012, was sworn-in as judge for the 18th Probate Court of Mecosta and Osceola counties.

As is customary during the swearing in ceremony, significant people in the judges life present him with a robe. In Thompson’s case, his parents, Jim and Sheri, helped him into his new attire. Afterward, Thompson took the oath of office. 

Once he was sworn in, judges from Mecosta and Osceola counties took turns giving remarks about Thompson, congratulating him and speaking of his qualifications, starting with Circuit Court Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy.

“I had the privilege of swearing in Judge Thompson as a lawyer some years ago and that was a great start,” Hill-Kennedy said. 

Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College in 2004 and his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. He joined the law firm McCurdy, Wotila and Porteous, PC, of Cadillac and Reed City, in 2007, where he worked on probate matters, including wills, estates and trusts, guardianships and conservatorships, juvenile and criminal defense, municipal law, real estate and general civil practice. During law school, he interned for the Michigan Attorney General’s Office of Opinions and Municipal Affairs and the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Of all those experiences, Hill-Kennedy noted Thompson’s work as prosecutor was a kind of “crowning jewel,” because of the significant and important work he put into the position.

“You know he had to deal with a lot of challenging things on behalf of the community, representing the people and he did it with dignity and honesty,” Hill-Kennedy said. “He was firm and did a great job, earning a lot of respect. That gives all of us great hope and expectation that we’ll have a great judge working in our community.”

Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Booher, who has been handling probate matters since the retirement of Thompson’s predecessor Judge Marco Menezes, also wished Thompson well and bestowed upon him the keys to his offices.

“Probably even more important than your robe are the keys to the castle,” she said, handing them over as the crowd chuckled. 

District Court Judge Peter Jaklevic and Judge Ron Nichols also spoke briefly, both believing Thompson is a proper fit for the position.

“It’s a good day for Mecosta and Osceola counties and I know he will do an excellent job,” Nichols said.

Following the judges’ remarks, Dave Porteous read a letter from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and also offered his own congratulations to Thompson. 

After short statements from his parents about how pleased and proud they are of their son, Thompson addressed the people in his life who had helped him get to his position. 

“I’d like to thank everyone who came here today to support me,” he said. “It means a lot for me to have a full courthouse on this special day, so thank you for participating in this with me.”

One thing Thompson said he needed to “get out of the way,” was having his younger brother, Trevan, address him as “your honor.” The courtroom erupted with laughter at the exchange, with Thompson promising never to make him do that again. He also later thanked his brother and sister, Tisa, for their encouragement, support and help when he was campaigning to become prosecutor.

Thompson also acknowledged the judges, staff at the prosecuting attorney’s office and the attorneys of the local bar. Lastly, he thanked his parents.

“They are the primary reason I’m standing before you today,” he said. “I’m very grateful for all the love, affection and pushing me to succeed that they’ve done along the way.”

In October, Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Thompson to the 18th Probate Court of Mecosta and Osceola counties. For his position as a judge, Thompson must seek election in November 2018 for a full six-year term.

Last week, Thompson won re-election as the Osceola County Prosecutor. However, he will not fulfill the current term or the new one. Until circuit court judges for Mecosta and Osceola counties select a replacement for Thompson’s previous position, staff from the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to fill in and perform all duties.