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Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench
March 31, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2022
Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointments of Christopher M. Blount and Susan Dabaja to the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County, Matthew P. Sabaugh to the 16th Circuit Court of Macomb County, Raeigen L. Evans to the 36th District Court of the City of Detroit, and Angela T. Ross to the 61st District Court of the City of Grand Rapids.
“I am so pleased to appoint these five Michiganders to the courts in Wayne, Macomb, and Grand Rapids,” said Governor Whitmer. “They all bring decades of legal experience and a wide range of expertise to the bench, and I know they will uphold the rule of law and put Michiganders first.”
3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County
Christopher M. Blount currently serves as a judge with the 36th District Court in Detroit. As a judge, he is cross designated for the district and circuit court and is one of the presiding judges over the Street Outreach Court. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Blount was a private practice attorney specializing in probate and misdemeanor and felony defense matters. He also served as a deputy defender with the State Defender Office focused on felony defense and criminal trial practice.
Judge Blount earned his Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School. He also holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design and a Master of Urban Planning from Wayne State University. He is a member of the executive board for the Wayne State University Law School Black Law Alumni Council and the Association of Black Judges of Michigan. Additionally, Judge Blount serves as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Wayne County Community College and as a member of the Michigan State Court Administrator Office Judicial Usability Workgroup. Christopher is a life-long resident of Detroit.
“It is with humility and thanks that I accept this appointment from Governor Whitmer to serve the citizens of Wayne County,” said Judge Blount. “I look forward to presiding over an accessible and transparent courtroom that treats all citizens equitably and with respect.”
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which will commence on April 18, 2022 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2023, following the appointment of Judge Noah Hood to the Michigan Court of Appeals. If Judge Blount wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Hood’s term, expiring January 1, 2027, he would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.
Susan Dabaja is currently a solo practitioner and owner of the Law Office of Susan A. Dabaja, P.C., where she has zealously represented clients for the last 17 years. In her practice, she specializes in family, civil, real estate, contracts, immigration, landlord-tenant, criminal, and bankruptcy law. Dabaja offers pro bono services for single and abused mothers, nonprofit institutions, and juveniles. Dabaja also serves as a mediator and as an appointed guardian ad litem for children.
Dabaja holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, graduating magna cum laude, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She previously served as the president of the Dearborn City Council for 8 years and is the current co-chair of the Dearborn Education Foundation. Dabaja is an appointee serving on the Michigan Commission of Middle Eastern American Affairs and she also serves as chair of the Local Community Stabilization Authority. Susan lives in Dearborn with her husband, Majid, and their three children.
“I am humbled and grateful to Governor Whitmer for entrusting me with this great responsibility,” said Dabaja. “I am confident that everything I’ve gained from my personal and professional lives — the balance, the perspective, the work ethic, the empathy, the passion, the humility, the strength of character — has prepared me for this position. As judge, I promise to remain dedicated to ensuring equity in our courts with equal access to justice for all regardless of their background. I look forward to serving the citizens of Wayne County and the State of Michigan.”
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which will commence on April 18, 2022 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2023, following the retirement of Judge Bruce Morrow effective January 31, 2022. If Ms. Dabaja wishes to seek a full six-year term, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.
16th Circuit Court of Macomb County
Matthew P. Sabaugh currently serves as a judge with the 37th District Court of Warren and Center Line. He also serves as the chief judge pro tem, the presiding judge of the Treatment Court, and he started Macomb County’s first eviction diversion program. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Sabaugh was an assistant prosecutor for Macomb County where he was assigned to the circuit court, district court, and consumer protection division. He successfully prosecuted cases from misdemeanors to capital felony cases in circuit court. He attended law school at night while working as a legislative assistant to then State Representative Paul Wojno.
Judge Sabaugh earned his Juris Doctor degree and Bachelor of Science in Resource Development from Michigan State University. He is a current member of the Warren Kiwanis Club and Macomb Homeless Coalition. Additionally, Judge Sabaugh serves as an adjunct professor for the paralegal program at Macomb County Community College. Matthew lives in Warren with his wife, Rachel and their three children.
“I am honored to accept this appointment from Governor Whitmer,” said Sabaugh. “I promise to provide fair, efficient, and accessible justice to all the citizens of Macomb County. I will continue to be a judge who listens respectfully to all sides in the courtroom. Everyone who appears before me can be assured that I will decide their case without fear or favor and according to the law.”
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which will commence on April 13, 2022 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2023, following the retirement of Judge Carl Marlinga effective February 25, 2022. If Judge Sabaugh wishes to seek a full six-year term, he would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.
36th District Court of the City of Detroit
Raeigen L. Evans currently serves as a referee with the 3rd Circuit Court in the Family Division Juvenile Section. She has held this role since 2011 presiding over juvenile delinquency matters ranging from truancy to armed robbery. She also has experience presiding over child abuse and neglect bench trials. Evans previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office where she tried numerous felony bench and jury trials and prosecuted cases ranging from assault to homicide.
Evans received her Juris Doctor degree and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Wayne State University. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and serves on the Executive Board for the Renaissance Head Start Organization. Raeigen lives in Detroit with her husband, Paul, and their children.
“I want to thank Governor Whitmer for this opportunity to serve the city of Detroit in this capacity,” said Evans. “It is truly an honor to be appointed judge in the city where I was raised and am raising my children. I promise to serve my fellow citizens of Detroit with a heart for all people, respect, and fairness.”
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which will commence on April 18, 2022 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2023, following appointment of Judge Kristina Robinson Garrett to the Michigan Court of Appeals. If Ms. Evans wishes to seek a full six-year term, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.
61st District Court of the City of Grand Rapids
Angela T. Ross currently serves as the director of enforcement for the City of Grand Rapids City Attorney’s Office. In this role, she manages the criminal enforcement division and prosecutes criminal ordinance violations and housing, zoning, and tax code violations. Prior to assuming her current role in 2017, Ross was a solo practitioner practicing in family, criminal, and business law. She has also worked as a weekend referee in the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center. Ross previously worked as an associate with Smith, Haughey, Rice & Roegge, as an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University, and as an assistant federal public defender.
Ross earned her Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. She is the current president of the Floyd Skinner Bar Association, a trustee with the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and co-chair of the Grand Rapids Bar Minority Clerkship Committee. Angela lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Darel, and their three children--Erykah, Darel III, and Jayden.
“Grand Rapids has helped shape the person I am today,” said Ross. “I am truly honored to have been appointed to the 61st District Court by Governor Whitmer. It is humbling to be able to serve the city I have grown up in, the people I cherish, and the justice system I continuously strive to better.”
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which will commence on April 18, 2022 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2023, following the retirement of Judge David J. Buter effective April 1, 2022. If Ms. Ross wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Buter’s term, expiring January 1, 2027, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.
Judicial appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.