MICHIGAN COURTS: Leelanau County is one of 83 counties in this great State of Michigan. In 1818, a Court of Probate was established in each county, the members of which were appointed by the Governor and from which appeals might be taken to the Supreme Court. These Courts continued in operation until Michigan was admitted into the Union as the 26th state on January 26, 1837. The Constitution of 1963 provided for each county to have a Probate Court and that "...they shall have original jurisdiction in all cases of juvenile delinquents independence, except as otherwise provided by law...".
FAMILY DIVISION: As of January 1, 1998, the Legislature created the Family Division of the Circuit Court and moved what traditionally had been Probate Court matters of adoption, child protective proceedings (abuse and neglect), emancipation of minors, juvenile delinquency, name changes, and other ancillary family matters from the Probate Court to the Circuit Court - Family Division including Domestic Relations matters.
HONORABLE MARIAN KROMKOWSKI: Judge Kromkowski was elected as Probate Court Judge in 2018 and took office on January 1, 2019. In Leelanau County she also presides over the Circuit Court-Family Division.
Judge Kromkowski came to the bench with 39 years of experience as a lawyer. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1979 and from Indiana University in 1975. Prior to her election she was in private practice with her husband Matthew Posner in the firm of Kromkowski & Posner, PC. She specialized in criminal trial and appellate work, family law and domestic relations mediation. Judge Kromkowski was the first Domestic Relations Referee in the 13th Circuit and served from 1993 through 1997. In 1998 until 2018 she was a part-time referee in the 28th Circuit Court. Judge Kromkowski was also the first attorney in the 13th Circuit to be trained as Domestic Relations Mediator. She was also a Collaborative Divorce practitioner.
Judge Kromkowski and her husband Matthew Posner have three daughters. Matthew’s family has enjoyed ties to beautiful Leelanau County since 1947. The couple moved to Leelanau in 1987 and made Suttons Bay their home.
Joseph Povolo is the Family Court Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator. He formerly was a Juvenile Probation Officer for 25 years. Joseph has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, and a Masters in Science Degree from Central Michigan University. Prior to working for the Court he worked in residential treatment programs for emotionally impaired youth and for Grand Traverse/Leelanau Community Mental Health. When he isn’t working, you might find him on a golf course, on a bike, or in a kayak.
Therese Hahnenberg-Larson is a Juvenile Probation Officer working mainly with females. She was hired by the County in 1995. Previous to being hired full time, Therese volunteered her time with the Court as an Intensive Probation Monitor. Therese also served as the Council Director for Northern Lower Michigan’s Girls on the Run for 17 years, retiring in 2018. Therese was born and raised in Leelanau County. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Siena Heights University. Therese has two beautiful daughters and is married to Erik Larson.
Susan Richards is currently the Probate Court Administrator. She was initially hired by the county in 1987 as the Juvenile Register. Upon a retirement and restructuring of the office, Susan was promoted to her current position in 2011. She is also a Notary Public. Susan resides in Grand Traverse County with her husband, Boyd, and their two sons.
Ryan Douglass is the Substance Abuse Caseworker/Juvenile Probation Officer for the Family Court. He was hired for this position in 1999, and works primarily with males. Ryan resides in Grand Traverse County and has been a resident there since 1980. He received his Master’s Degree from Western Michigan University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Prior to working for the Court, Ryan worked as a counselor at Starr Commonwealth, Child & Family Services, and Northern Family Intervention Services.
John Boonstra is the Diversion/Prevention Counselor for the Probate and Family Court. He has worked for the Court since 2013. A lifelong resident of the Northern Michigan area, he currently residing in Traverse City with his wife and three daughters. John is a licensed professional counselor, a nationally certified counselor, and a certified prevention specialist. Prior to working for the Court, John has worked with runaway and homeless youth programs through Third Level, on the suicide prevention lifeline, as a member of children's crisis team, and as a youth camp director. He also currently works with Northern Lake Community Mental Health emergency services.
Josephine Lingaur is currently the Juvenile Register for the Family Court. She was initially hired by the Court in 1999 as Deputy Probate Register. Upon restructuring of the office, Josephine was promoted to Juvenile Register in 2011. She is also a Certified Court Recorder and Notary Public. Josephine became a permanent resident of Leelanau County in 1972. Josephine and her husband, Dale, have four adult children and are grandparents to four little girls.
Cassidy Fisher is a Youth Services Counselor for the Probate and Family Court. She was hired in 2016, and primarily works with females. She currently resides in Cedar with her husband and two sons. Cassidy has an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and a graduate degree from Western Michigan University in Clinical Mental Health. Cassidy is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Prior to working for the Court, Cassidy worked as a client advocate for the Women’s Resource Center supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and facilitating a dating violence prevention program for youth. Cassidy has also coached many young athletes in running and cross-country skiing.