On Wednesday, Aug. 15, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph announced that attorney Michael Frans is her choice to fill the Kent Municipal Court judge seat that will be vacant when Judge Karli Jorgensen retires at the end of the year.

The mayor’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Kent City Council at the September 18 council meeting.

If confirmed, Frans’ appointment will be effective January 1, 2019, and he will be sworn in as judge at the first council meeting of 2019. Frans will serve the remainder of Judge Jorgensen’s term. Between confirmation and January 1, Frans will work closely with the Kent Municipal Court and Judge Jorgensen to ensure a seamless transition.

Mayor Ralph said there were a number of qualified candidates for the judge vacancy, but Frans was the clear choice.

“I am very excited to bring Mike Frans forward to Council for confirmation,” said Mayor Ralph. “He is a team player, has a strong legal background, and has already demonstrated a dedication to the court by serving as a judge pro tem. He will be a great addition to our team.”

Michael Frans, 46, is a lifelong resident of South King County. He is an experienced trial lawyer in private practice for more than 18 years and has served as a judge pro tem in King County for the last two years.

“I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career and look forward to working hard for this great city. The position of judge affords me the opportunity to make a real difference every day, and that is what is most exciting for me. It is my goal to ensure that every person appearing before the court is treated fairly and with respect,” said Frans. “I look forward to working with the outstanding court staff to make Kent Municipal Court the very best it can be. It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve this city as municipal court judge.”

Scott Schaefer

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