Paul Kraus sworn in as county’s new family law judge


“I did not know that intended running for choose sometime,” he mentioned, just several hours ahead of his swearing-in ceremony at the Ottawa County Circuit Courtroom, where he’ll specialize in spouse and children regulation.

Kraus, a senior prosecuting attorney, was sworn in Friday, Dec. 9, after getting elected to serve the county by dealing with circumstances of baby abuse, adoption, custody and additional.

Kraus explained his marketing campaign brought “tremendous worry of very long nights, speaking at public functions, making your way throughout all of Ottawa County.”

“It puts a toll on a loved ones to be capable to do it suitable and to be in a position to get out there and actually meet the public,” he mentioned. “It’s critical for Ottawa County citizens to know their elected officials, to be able to have a dialogue with individuals looking to serve and to come to feel relaxed with them.”

Kraus mentioned he frequented 26 villages, cities and townships all through his campaign, chatting to people and hearing about their experiences with the court method.

“I spoke numerous instances in all of those people places so that everybody — not just those people in our populated centers — would know about our marketing campaign and would experience cozy with me as an elected official,” he claimed. “I’ll carry with me the tales and details that citizens shared with me.”

From speaking to a mom who felt she was treated wrongly in a different county, to listening to a current widower talk of his late spouse, Kraus stated he options to take those stories, and listening techniques, to the bench.

“For me, it’s pausing and reflecting on the information and facts that comes in advance of me,” he claimed. “Not staying rash in judgment or striving to promptly arrive to an response with no a finish set of information and facts before me.”

Far more:Ottawa County Loved ones Justice Middle kicks off design

With the election of Kraus and the design of the new Household Justice Middle in West Olive, the Ottawa County Loved ones Courtroom will have a a person-decide-per-loved ones design. Cases will keep with a one judge by all proceedings to retain consistency.

“You quickly recognize that absolutely nothing is black and white in the legislation, and just about every case and relatives needs to be seemed at individually with a individual interest to element,” Kraus said.

As a father of two, Kraus claimed he can empathize and relate to mom and dad in a way he couldn’t at the beginning of his profession.

“Having my possess little ones provides me great comprehending of what households knowledge on a day-to-day foundation,” he said.

Kraus stated, when desired, he’ll get the job done to connect family members to means.

By way of the conclusion of December, Kraus will end his work with the county prosecutor’s office environment, the place he’s used yrs functioning on baby abuse and kid welfare. Before that, he was a household law attorney with Cunningham Dalman in Holland. In his vocation, he also served as an assistant lawyer normal handling kid abuse cases in Iowa.

Kraus strategies to attend a “judge camp” delivered by the Michigan Supreme Courtroom, and has been assigned a seated decide as a mentor.

“Long expression, I strive to be a statewide leader on problems similar to little one welfare and its intersection with the court technique,” he explained.

Recognizing that prison kid sexual abuse reviews are escalating each individual calendar year in Ottawa County, Kraus said leaders in the authorized, psychological health and social operate communities are attempting to comprehend how and why these crimes proceed to transpire.

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“My doing the job principle is the abuse has always been in this article, but based on our initially-course Children’s Advocacy Center we have in Holland and much better reporting procedures … we have small children that truly feel relaxed sharing and disclosing as survivors of the abuse,” Kraus mentioned.

“It’s heading to consider a deep dive by a quantity of pros to genuinely recognize all of the dynamics … but it is undeniable that there is at the very least an increase in court docket conditions and prosecution.”