Shalina Kumar was sworn in as a United States District Court judge

Shalina Kumar officially became the most recent U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan on Thursday, officials said.

The former Chief Justice of the Oakland County Circuit Court was sworn in before U.S. District Chief Justice Denise Page Hood at the U.S. Courthouse Theodore Levin in Detroit. She is the first person of South Asian descent to be nominated for a federal judge position in Michigan.

“We are so glad to have you,” Hood told Kumar before taking the oath. “I know you will be great.”

Kumar was confirmed by the US Senate on Friday. President Joe Biden signed his commission on Tuesday.

“I am deeply, deeply humbled by the faith and confidence that the President and the Senators have placed in me for this very important role and I am very honored to join this incredible bench,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to this. The next chapter in my work as a public servant and I am committed to ensuring that all members of my court are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

In June, Biden appealed to Kumar, who was unanimously deemed “well qualified” by the American Bar Association, to fill a vacant position.

Kumar replaces U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts, who moved from active to senior status in February.

The Birmingham resident will be based at the U.S. Flint Courthouse, one of five federal courthouses in the Eastern District, which covers the eastern part of Michigan from the Ohio border to the Mackinac Bridge, according to the court.

She was appointed to Oakland County Circuit Court, Michigan’s second-largest trial court, which has 20 judges, more than 400 employees and an annual budget of $ 72 million, by the Michigan Governor of the era Jennifer Granholm in August 2007.

Elected to six-year terms in 2008, 2014 and 2020, Kumar handled civil and criminal cases and presided over nearly 10,550 cases, including 99 jury or court trials that resulted in a verdict or judgment.

The lawyer also served as chairman of the Adult Treatment Court for five years, which aims to treat and divert defendants from prison.

The Michigan Supreme Court appointed its chief justice in 2018 after serving as chief justice pro tempore.

Shalina Kumar

She was born in Royal Oak and raised in Bloomfield Hills. Her father, who is from India, is a doctor and Kumar, from Detroit, was a housewife, officials said.

After graduating from Andover High School, she attended the University of Michigan and received a BA in Psychology with Distinction in 1993.

Kumar graduated from the Mercy School of Law at the University of Detroit in 1996, officials said.

She worked as a substitute teacher for the Bloomfield Hills School District and was elected to Sylvan Lake City Council.

After graduating with her LLB in 1997, Kumar worked as a partner in four Oakland County law firms over the next decade, dealing primarily with personal injury litigation.

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