Honorable Kathleen G. Galen
Judge Kathleen G. Galen graduated from the University of Detroit with a bachelor of science degree in 1986. She received her law degree in 1989 from the University of Detroit School of Law.
Judge Galen was elected to the 38th District Court for the City of Eastpointe in November 2020 to serve a six-year term. She is the Chief Judge and presides over the following types of cases: civil suits involving up to $25,000; adult criminal misdemeanor offenses; felony preliminary examinations; setting bail in felony and misdemeanor cases; civil infractions; landlord / tenant disputes, small claims, ordinance and charter violations; and land contract forfeitures.
Judge Galen previously worked in private practice specializing in family law, criminal law, and general area’s of practice. She served as Assistant City Attorney for Warren.
Judge Galen is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Macomb County Bar Association and Michigan District Judges Association.
The 38th Judicial District Court is a limited jurisdiction court serving the city of Eastpointe. The Court has jurisdiction over criminal misdemeanors, civil cases in which the amount in dispute is $25,000 or less, parking violations, traffic violations, and other civil infractions, landlord-tenant disputes, and small claims matters. In addition, the Court has initial jurisdiction on criminal felony cases to determine probable cause.
The Mission Statement of the 38th Judicial District Court is to ensure the proper prompt and fair adjudication of all cases and to improve public confidence in the Courts through accessibility, communication, and education.
The Court is served by one elected judge and one appointed magistrate. District Judges are elected on non-partisan ballots for terms of six years. The Magistrate of the 38th District Court is the Honorable Mark Makoski. He's duties include conducting arraignments, setting bail, conducting informal traffic hearings, search warrants, and performing marriages. The court has one administrator / Clerk of the court Awa Sarr. The court is located on the corner of Gratiot and 9 Mile in the city of Eastpointe. The court share building with the Police Department.
Administration: Responsible for administrative management of all non-judicial functions of the Court, including: personnel and fiscal management, juror coordination, case flow management, and other administrative areas. The court administrator and clerk of the court is Awa Sarr.
Misdemeanors/ Felony Division: Maintains records on all misdemeanor and felony offenses and is responsible for the processing, scheduling, and noticing of these cases.
Civil Infractions/ Parking Division: Maintains records on all traffic civil infractions and parking violations and is responsible for the processing, scheduling, and noticing of these cases.
Civil Division: Maintains records on general civil, landlord-tenant, and small claims cases and is responsible for the scheduling and processing of these cases. (Civil cases are all non-criminal and non-traffic matters.)
Probation Department: Responsible for the supervision, counseling, and referral of defendants placed on probation. The Probation Department also performs alcohol assessments and pre-sentence investigations.
The 38th District Court provides programs and services which are indicative of its active and responsible role in the administration of justice.
Community Dispute Resolution: The Community Dispute Resolution Act was passed in 1988 and provides for the implementation of community-based programs to voluntarily resolve disputes as an alternative to the judicial process. The representatives from the Macomb Mediation Center used mediation and conciliation as a means of solving problems and focuses on resolutions that are satisfactory to both parties.
Educational Group Visits/ Tours: The 38th District Court encourages the community to learn more about its operation and jurisdiction through special educational tours/ visits offered by administration. Visiting groups tour the facility, receive an orientation on local operations, observe courtroom proceedings, and meet with the judge, if time allows. For more information, call Judicial Secretary Heather Froias at (586) 445-5020 X3015.
Law Day Program: Each year, May 1 is proclaimed "Law Day" to encourage citizens to learn about their rights and our legal system. The 38th District Court Judge will speak at schools and community organizations and participate in a variety of programs including "Lawfair," Bar Association events and educational programs for attorneys and the general public.
U of D Law Clinic: In 2009 Judge Gerds contacted U of D Law School to see if they would be interested in implementing a law clinic at the court. This law clinic allows third year law students to practice under a licensed attorney. Since then the law clinic has handled over 1,700 cases.
Warrant Detail Program: In 2014 the court initiated a Warrant Detail Program to collect outstanding moneys owed to the court. In working with the City of Eastpointe the city converted a city vehicle into the 38th District Court Warrant Detail vehicle. A Collections Officer then reviews outstanding cases and tickets and tacks “Warrant Notices” at their last known address. This “Warrant Notice” notifies them that there is a outstanding warrant for their arrest. The program has yielded over $100,000 since April 2014.
Garnishment Program: In 2013 the court began the task of garnishing defendant’s income tax returns from the State of Michigan. These particular cases involve intensive work in obtaining Social Security Numbers. The court relies on other entities to assist in obtaining Social Security Numbers so that they can be entered in the collections program. Since implementing this program the court has been able to collect over $68,000.
Felony Plea Pilot Program: 16th Circuit Court contacted our court at the end of 2012 to ask if we would be willing to pilot a program for accepting felony pleas here. After several meetings between the 16th Circuit Court and the 38th District Court the felony plea program was developed. Since implementing the pilot program 75 defendants took part in felony pleas being taken at the 38th District Court.