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Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench


July 1, 2021 



Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench 


LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointments of Marlena E. Taylor to the 36th District Court of the City of Detroit and Yvonna C. Abraham to the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County.  


"Today, I am proud to appoint two talented legal professionals who will bring a wealth of experience and passion for public service to the bench in Michigan," said Governor Whitmer. "Marlena and Yvonna both have deep roots in their communities that will help them serve the public effectively." 


36th District Court - City of Detroit 


Marlena E. Taylor currently serves as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Wayne County. She has been with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office since 2011, serving in both the juvenile and adult divisions and currently serves as a team leader of the General Trials Division. During her time with the Prosecutor's Office, Taylor worked with juvenile offenders as the senior assistant prosecuting attorney for the Right TRAC Diversion Program. 


Taylor earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She also holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Integrative Public Relations and Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University. Taylor is a Deacon with the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, a member of the University of Detroit Mercy Inns of Court program, and a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Marlena is a life-long resident of Detroit.  


"I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve, in this new capacity, the community where I was born, raised and educated," said Taylor. "My prayer is that my servant heart shows through, and I make my family, friends, and the city proud." 


This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o'clock noon on January 1, 2023, after Judge Deborah Lewis Langston stepped down effective July 1, 2021. If Ms. Taylor wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Langston's term, expiring January 1, 2025, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022. 


3rd Circuit Court - Wayne County 


Yvonna C. Abraham currently serves as the magistrate and director of probation for the 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights. She also serves as a faculty member for the Michigan Judicial Institute New Magistrate Training Seminar. Abraham previously served as a judicial attorney with the Wayne County Circuit Court and as a solo practitioner. She also served as an adjunct professor at Lawrence Technological University teaching courses in business law.  


Abraham earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is the President of the Michigan Association of District Court Magistrates, and a member of the State Bar Judicial Ethics Committee, State Court Administrator's Office court forms committee, and Women Lawyer Association of Michigan. She is also a member of the Henry Ford College Business Advisory Board, the Wayne Mental Health Advisory Board, the Arab American Women's Business Council Board, and HYPE Athletics Community Board. Yvonna lives in Dearborn Heights with her husband Marwan and daughter Lena. 


"I am honored and humbled to be chosen by the Governor to serve on the Wayne County Circuit Court bench," said Abraham. "As a magistrate, I understand the importance of fair and impartial proceedings and distributing justice with uncompromising integrity. I look forward to serving the people of Wayne County and the people of Michigan." 


This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o'clock noon on January 1, 2023, after Judge Lita Masini Popke stepped down effective March 15, 2021. If Ms. Abraham wishes to seek a full six-year term, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.