Probate Judge Elwood Brown is retiring after 24 years


St. Clair County Probate Court Judge Elwood Brown retired last week after 24 years on the bench.

Brown was first sworn in on September 24, 1999 after serving as St. Clair County prosecutor since 1993. Before that he was chief of the Sanilac County Drug Task Force.

“I’m still getting used to the idea of ​​not having to go to work every day,” Brown said of his retirement. “I’ve been practicing law since 1979, and this is unusual.”

St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling worked with Brown before he took the bench, and said he was always a fair judge.

“I’m sorry to see him leave,” Wendling said.

As a probate judge, Brown heard cases involving the enforcement of wills, estates, child custody, and guardianship.

Brown has three years remaining in his term as probate court judge, but said he feels it is time to retire. He informed the Michigan State Bar of his plans in December, and requests to replace him have already been filed.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could appoint a replacement for Brown who will serve as probate judge until November when she should be elected to fill the rest of Brown’s term, which expires in 2026.

Brown advised anyone sitting on the bench to watch and listen before making decisions.

“There is a lot that goes on in family court that goes unnoticed and impacts the community,” Brown said.

Contact Jonathan Hogan at

This article originally appeared on the Port Huron Times Herald: Probate Judge Elwood Brown is retiring after 24 years

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