Governor Baker Appoints Clerk Magistrate Kelley to Associate District Court Judge
In full disclosure, the following is a press release from the Governor’s office submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker yesterday, Oct. 12, appointed Magistrate Clerk Michelle L. Kelley to serve as Associate Judge of the District Court.
“Clerk Magistrate Kelley’s valuable knowledge and experience in the District Court will serve him well in his new role if confirmed,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “We are proud to submit his candidacy for consideration.”
“Clerk Magistrate Kelley has years of experience in public service, which makes her a highly qualified candidate for this position,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said. “We eagerly await the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council on this nominee.”
The District Court hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other cases. The district court’s criminal jurisdiction extends to all crimes carrying a sentence of up to five years, and many other specific crimes with potentially greater penalties; all offences; and all violations of town and city ordinances and regulations. The District Court is located in 62 courts across the Commonwealth.
Judicial appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Candidates for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JNC) and recommended to the Governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, apolitical commission made up of volunteers drawn from a cross-section of the Commonwealth’s diverse population to review court applications. Twenty-one members were subsequently appointed to the JNC in April 2015.
Kelley began his legal career in 1995 as Executive Secretary to the Suffolk County Attorney. From 1995 to 2006, Clerk Magistrate Kelley was Deputy Clerk of Somerville District Court and from 2006 to 2016 Deputy Clerk of Wrentham District Court.
Magistrate Clerk Kelley then worked as Acting Magistrate Clerk for Uxbridge District Court before joining Wrentham District Court in 2016, where she has held the position of Magistrate Clerk since 2017.
Earlier in her career, Clerk Magistrate Kelley also worked in the Massachusetts Legislature as a page in the House of Representatives and later as a legislative assistant on the House Committee of Government Regulations. She also spent many years as a part-time professor at Curry College, teaching business law and employment law.
An active member of her community, she sits on the board of directors of the SAFE Coalition and volunteers with the Healthy KP Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, both of which aim to help individuals and families struggling with alcohol and substance addiction. She also volunteers at the Hockomock Area YMCA and King Philip Regional High School as part of the football program’s Gridiron organization.
She is also a member of the Tri-County Vocational Technical High School Advisory Board, where she assists students in the legal and protective services major.
Clerk Magistrate Kelley received her bachelor’s degree from Emerson College in 1990, her master’s degree in commerce from Suffolk University in 1993 and her Juris Doctorate from the New England School of Law in 1997.