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Van Buren County Courts

Vision Statement:

We will lead and serve together with integrity, vision, and innovative thought.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Van Buren County Courts is to deliver the highest measure of justice by subscribing to these core values:

  1. Provide equal justice for all through impartial application of law and procedure.
  2. Treat all court users with civility, honor, dignity, and respect.
  3. Inspire public confidence in the judiciary.
  4. Partner with judicial stakeholders to enhance public safety and build a better community.
  5. Ensure that our court is accessible for all users.
  6. Preserve the independence of the court as an institution and separate branch of government.
  7. Improve the quality of justice by using technology, innovation, and progressive approaches.
  8. Maintain transparency and accountability in the use of public resources.
  9. Build a unified court through teamwork and staff development.
  10. Consistently measure our performance and customer satisfaction to improve public service.


Please be advised the 36th Circuit Court and Van Buren County Probate Court will be holding an employee training off site on the afternoon of July 23, 2015.  The court will be closed for business from 12:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.  The County Clerk’s office will remain open to receive filings as needed.  The 7th District Court (East & West) will also be participating in this training, however, will not be closing their offices and will be operating under normal business hours.

For emergency matters in Circuit, Juvenile or Probate Courts that require judicial attention, please contact Craig Hess at 269-657-8200, ext. 2322.  Signs will be posted at these locations reflecting the same information.

Van Buren County Courts - Courtroom Decorum Policy

This page last updated on 11/24/2015.

36th Circuit Court

36th Circuit Court
Courthouse 2nd Floor
212 E. Paw Paw Street
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Hours M - F 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

 Circuit Court Judge Kathleen M. Brickley [Click here to view full size picture]   Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey J. Dufon  [Click here to view full size picture]

Judge Kathleen M. Brickley

Judge Jeffrey J. Dufon


Court Administrator
Frank Hardester
Phone: 269-657-8200 ext. 2340
Fax: 269-657-2613
Email: HardesterF@vbco.org
Judicial Secretary/Assignment Clerk
Criminal Division
Linda Sekula
Phone:  269-657-8200 ext. 2345
E-mail:  SekulaL@vbco.org
Judicial Secretary/Assignment Clerk
Civil Division
Margaret Grote
Phone:  269-657-8200 ext. 2342
E-mail:  GroteM@vbco.org
Deputy Court Clerk/PPO/ADR
Civil Division
Cathy Munther
Phone:  269-657-8200 ext. 2346
E-mail:  MuntherC@vbco.org
Deputy Court Clerk/Jury Clerk
Criminal Division
Melissa Williams
Phone:  269-657-8200 ext. 2211
E-mail:  WilliamsM@vbco.org

Law Clerk
Sasha Boersma
Phone: 269-657-8200 ext. 2396
E-mail: BoersmaS@vbco.org

36th Circuit Court - Friend of the Court

36th Circuit Court - Friend of the Court
Administration & Land Services Building, Lower Level
219 E. Paw Paw Street
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-7734
(269) 657-8282 FAX
Hours M - F 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

LynnAnn E. Bullard, Friend of the Court

Juvenile Court

Juvenile Court
Courthouse Annex, 2nd Floor
212 Paw Paw Street
Suite 240
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-8237
(269) 657-7573 FAX
Hours M- F 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Probate Court

Probate Court
Courthouse Annex, 2nd Floor
212 E. Paw Paw Street
Suite 220
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-8225
(269) 657-7573 FAX
Hours M - F 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Honorable David J. DiStefano, Probate Judge

Barbara Dundon, Register

Kelly Cowgill, Secretary/Court Reporter

Brandy Antonowitsch, Deputy Register

Heidi Winkler, Clerk

Vacant, Clerk/Receptionist


Probate Court [Click here to view full size picture]

Seventh District Court East Division

Seventh District Court East Division
Courthouse Annex, 1st Floor
212 E. Paw Paw Street
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269)657-8223 FAX
Hours M - F 8:30 A.M. - 4:45 P.M.

Honorable Robert T. Hentchel, District Judge

Craig A. Hess, Administrator/Magistrate

Susan Klein, Secretary/Court Recorder

Laurie Powell, Adult Probation Officer

Patricia Johnson, Probation Secretary

Lenore Orozco, Account Clerk

Shelly Sonnevil, Civil Clerk

Virginia Mattox , Civil Clerk

Kay Williamson, Deputy Clerk

Tabitha NealDeputy Clerk

Monica Marler,Deputy Clerk

Kathy McCloskey,P/T Deputy Clerk

Janie Soderlund, Deputy Clerk 

Probation Department:
Phone: (269)657-8247

Mon., Tues., Wed.
8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For Transcript Information
e-mail Susan at:

Seventh District Court West Division

Seventh District Court West Division
1007 East Wells Street
P.O. Box 311
South Haven, MI 49090
(269) 637-5258
(269) 639-4517 FAX
Hours M - F 8:30 A.M. -4:45 P.M.


Honorable Arthur H. Clarke III, District Judge

James R. Becker, Administrator/Magistrate

Laura Canaan, Secretary/Recorder

David Hill, Adult Probation Officer

Florencia Jackson, Probation Secretary

Dawn Borah, Finance Clerk

Isabel Galaviz, Civil Clerk

Wendy Meyer, Civil Clerk

Teryn Dotson, Deputy Clerk

Teena Harris, Deputy Clerk

Ronda Willett, Deputy Clerk

Kristi Mitchell, P/T Deputy Clerk

This site and its contents © 2012 Van Buren County
219 E. Paw Paw St. | Suite 303 | Paw Paw, MI  49079-1429 | 269-657-8200

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