39th District Court judge steps down

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 7, 2019




MACOMB COUNTY — Judge Catherine Steenland, of the 39th District Court in Roseville, stepped down from her position as of July 19.

Steenland, 51, came under scrutiny in 2017 after she was charged with one count of failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, and one count of failure to report an accident following a traffic incident on Sept. 25, 2017. 

“The only thing I received was an email — in which I was included — including a letter to the state court administrators stating she was resigning effective July 19,” said 39th District Court Judge Joseph Boedeker. “It was a one-page document, and beyond that, I know very little about her choice to resign.”

Her attorney, Brian Einhorn, had no comment on the matter, although he did say that her retirement had nothing to do with her court case.

She pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charges and was given a suspended sentence on Nov. 30, 2018, in addition to probation, paying fines and court costs, and performing 100 hours of community service.

In an email, Steenland confirmed that her choice to retire at this time had nothing to do with the legal case.

“I chose to retire effective July 19, 2019,” she wrote. “My retirement request was accepted by Governor Whitmer and she congratulated me and thanked me for my many years of service by way of a letter. I chose to retire and am looking forward to a new path in my life (as I am sure Judge Davis and Judge Michael Maceroni are due to their recent retirements from the bench). I look forward to spending more time with my three children and hope to be a grandmother soon!”

Whitmer now will appoint a replacement to fill Steenland’s seat.

“The application deadline for her seat was July 18, so anyone who is interested would have had to file an application for the appointment by that day. Other than that, we’re not sure how long that will take,” explained Boedeker.

Steenland was scheduled to complete her term Dec. 31, 2022, and a permanent replacement will be elected to finish the term.

“The replacement selected by the governor would sit in (Steenland’s) seat until the next general election,” said Boedecker. “There has to be an election for the position at the next general election, which is November of 2020, so they will have to run for her seat to finish her term, which ends in 2022.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.