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 Judge Alyia Hakim is presented with her robe by her husband, Nijad Mehanna, and daughters, Emilien and Gisele, at her investiture as judge at Fraser High School Feb. 20.

Judge Alyia Hakim is presented with her robe by her husband, Nijad Mehanna, and daughters, Emilien and Gisele, at her investiture as judge at Fraser High School Feb. 20.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Investiture held for Judge Alyia Marie Hakim

By: Brendan Losinski | C&G Newspapers | Published February 25, 2020

 Judge Alyia Hakim is given the oath of office to officially become judge of the 39th District Court. The oath was administered by Judge George Caram Steeh III while Judge Annemarie Marino Lepore holds the Bible.

Judge Alyia Hakim is given the oath of office to officially become judge of the 39th District Court. The oath was administered by Judge George Caram Steeh III while Judge Annemarie Marino Lepore holds the Bible.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

FRASER — Members of the Roseville and Fraser communities, along with several notables from Michigan’s legal community, gathered at Fraser High School Feb. 20 to witness the official swearing-in of Judge Alyia Marie Hakim.

Hakim was appointed to the 39th District Court as judge by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November of 2019 following the retirement of former 39th District Court Judge Catherine Steenland in July. The swearing in, known as an investiture, marks Hakim’s ascendance to the position of judge.

“An investiture is the official ceremony for the swearing in (to) office for a judge,” explained Kay Reyes, the judicial administrative assistant to Hakim. “It’s a very important step for someone in the legal community. Those of us who know her are very proud of her.”

Reyes helped Hakim organize the event and said it was somewhat unusual for the investiture to take place so long after she was appointed to the court, but that it was simply a matter of getting the timing right.

“In regard to when she was appointed, it took some time,” said Reyes. “There was the holiday season. We wanted to make sure everyone we wanted to invite could attend and give people plenty of notice on their calendar. It’s just how it all worked out.”

Hakim served as a partner attorney with Hakim & Hakim PLLC and as counsel for Aloia & Associates PC. Her practice specialized in criminal defense, estate planning, juvenile law and family law. She expressed her gratitude for those who have helped her and supported her on the path to becoming a judge.

“I want to tell (those in attendance) tonight thank you for all their support and their faith in me to take on this responsibility and really serve the people of the community,” she said.

Hakim added that she is thrilled to be in this position.

“I really find it to be such a great responsibility, but I am so excited about it, because every day I feel like I am touching the lives of real people, touching real issues and making a difference just by listening to them,” she said. “The concept of knowing that you can have such an impact on people just by hearing their voice and really speaking to them is awe inspiring. I love that my career has brought me here. I am definitely where I want to be.”

Becoming a judge was not the career trajectory she envisioned when she became a lawyer, but she realized it was what she wanted.

“I kind of found this (career path) as I went,” said Hakim. “A few years ago, I realized what we could really do in district courts in terms of speciality courts and really helping people. Once I found that, I saw it was such a great avenue for me going forward. I thought it was a way I could excel and help people, so it became my goal to get there and take what I can provide to people to the next level.”

Hakim ran for an open seat on the 39th District Court bench last year. She finished second to Kathy Tocco in a five-candidate primary, then lost to Tocco in the general election. The term appointed to her by the governor will end Jan. 1, 2021; however, Hakim can run to complete the remainder of Steenland’s term, which ends Jan. 1, 2023, by running for the seat in the November 2020 election.

Judge Joseph Boedeker, the chief judge of the 39th District Court, said Hakim has thus far proven to be a good choice for the position.

“It’s great to have Alyia on the bench; we were short-handed for quite some time,” he remarked. “The governor took a while to make her decision because there were many qualified candidates, but ultimately she decided Alyia Hakim was the person for the job, and it has proven to be a good choice.”

Boedeker said it was Hakim’s work ethic and the impression she made running for the previous open judge position in the 39th District Court that made a strong impression on people.

“Her work ethic is certainly something that has assisted her in getting this position. She worked very hard on her campaign last year, and although she came in second place to Judge Tocco, she left her mark, and I believe Gov. Whitmer took notice of that. (Whitmer) knew that if (Hakim) were to take the bench, she would work just as hard.”

Hakim hopes to use her new position to improve the 39th District Court’s resources and accessibility.

“I am really interested in expanding the specialty treatment courts in 39th District Court,” she said. “Right now, we have a wonderful sobriety court, but there are other sorts of treatment courts I would like to explore. I would also like to explore the court’s technology resources. I think there is a great need for that. I think it provides much greater access to justice when we are improving people’s access to court and overcoming the barriers that keep people from coming to court.”

Those who attended the investiture expressed their support for Hakim.

“We have worked together side by side for many years,” said Reyes. “I believe she is firm, fair and she will take us into the future. So far, I think she has done an amazing job.”

Hakim wants those living in the 39th District to know that she will do her best to be the most fair and comprehensive judge she can be.

“The court is working for the community and the people before it,” said Hakim. “I find the greatest balance is by listening and tailoring to the needs of the people coming before the court. I want the court to be working for everybody.”