Joseph Toia Appointed Macomb County Judge By Governor

Aug 24, 2015 1109

Shelby Township attorney Joseph Toia was named by Gov. Rick Snyder today to fill the judicial vacancy on the bench of Macomb County Circuit Court. Toia, 61, received the telephone call from the governor in the late afternoon telling him that he was selected from a field of four finalists.

He will fill the vacancy left by Judge John Foster, who retired in April. "I am just so honored to have been chosen by the governor," a choked-up Toia told The Macomb Daily. "I look forward to serving the people of the county and state from the bench."Toia beat out two district court judges and an assistant Macomb County prosecutor.

"Throughout his career, Joseph has distinguished himself as an excellent lawyer and as a leader in community service," Snyder said in a prepared statement. "I am confident that his experience will prove to be a great asset to the Macomb Circuit Court." Toia, a lawyer for 31 years, operates a private practice from his Shelby Township hometown and is the prosecuting attorney for Orion Township in Oakland County. The governor's press release notes that Toia "has worked on a broad variety of legal matters throughout his career, with considerable experience in the areas of business, family, criminal and municipal law."

Toia also has been very active in the community. He served on the Shelby Township Planning Commission for eight years, four as chairman, served on the township Zoning Board of Appeals, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Utica-Shelby and the Fraternal Order of Police. His wife, Theresa, is the founder and director of the charitable organization, Friends of Foster Kids.

Toia said he understands what the law and courts can mean to people. "I have always felt that when people come to court, it's one of the most important days of their lives," he said. "They need a jurist who has life and legal experience." He said he did not know exactly when he will start in the post but that it will be within a few weeks. Toia will have to run for election in fall 2016 to fill Foster's term through 2020.

The new judge earned a bachelor's degree in finance at Wayne State University and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law. He has two adult daughters, Jessica and Marissa, and three grandchildren.

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