Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
The Family Court Division
Each year thousands of families in Michigan become the victims of crimes at the hands of juvenile violence. These acts are just as devastating to the victims as those perpetrated by an adult. Equally shocking are the number of children who are neglected or abused by their adult caretakers.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Kalamazoo County recognized a need in this area and to that end created a Delinquency/Neglect Service Unit. This Unit is charged with the responsibility of bringing cases of juvenile delinquency, child abuse or neglect to the attention of the Circuit Court.
The division was merged with the Child Support Unit in 1997. Family Support personnel file civil actions to establish paternity and set child support. The Unit is responsible for orders amounting to over two million dollars per year.
The past ten years has reflected a dramatic increase in the number of delinquency cases handled by this Unit. In 1987 the Unit focused on the juveniles who demonstrated a pattern of criminality or had engaged in more serious conduct. Recent changes in the law have assisted in our continued focus on these juvenile criminals.
In the prosecution of abuse and neglect cases the Unit has likewise seen an increase within the last ten years. To secure permanency for severely neglected and abused minor children the Unit annually files 40-50 petitions seeking the termination of parental rights.
To ease the victim/citizen participation in the court process the Victim Assistance Program was added to the Unit's delivery of services. The Victim Advocate aggressively pursues restitution and help for our victims.
The Family Court Division is made up of the following employees:
Chris Ann Johnson - Division Leader
Family Court Assistant Prosecutors
Kenneth N. Barnard
Jennifer M. Granzow
Cory W. Johnson
Jason W. Werkema
Daniel M. Zomer
Family Court Investigation Unit
Kenneth J. Alofs
Gregory A. Hatter
Steve S. Ouding
Marcy Cheatham - Legal Assistant
Stella Chivikas - Victim Advocate
Manda Evans - Legal Assistant
Michelle Romstadt - Legal Assistant
Kelly Wahlfield - Legal Assistant