"I have over 30 years of experience both in front of the bench as an attorney and more recently on the bench as the Ottawa County 58th District Court Attorney Magistrate. These unique credentials make me the best candidate for Ottawa County District Court Judge. I respectfully request your vote." -Vern Helder
Born and Raised in West Michigan (resident of Holland for 26 years)
Graduate of Calvin Christian High School
Graduate of Calvin College, BA in Business Administration
Graduate of Michigan State University College of Law (formerly Detroit College of Law), J.D. Cum Laude
Research Attorney for the Michigan State Court of Appeals
Practiced Law for 18 years for Grand Rapids Litigation Firm
Michigan Bar Member for 26 years
Presently Ottawa County District Court Attorney Magistrate (last 13 years)
Neighbors Plus Board Member for 12 years; currently serving as President
District Court representative and charter member of the Ottawa County Cultural Intelligence Committee
Teen Court Coordinator for Holland Youth Advisory Council
Harderwyk Christian Reformed Church Deacon and Choir Member
Harderwyk Christian Reformed Church Member for 24 years
Kids Hope Mentor for 3 years
Coach for Holland Charter Township: Baseball, T-ball, and Soccer
Cadets Counselor at Harderwyk Christian Reformed Church
Married to wife Kim for 25 years
Two sons: Eric (22), graduate student at the University of Michigan, and Colin (19), Freshman at Ferris State University. Both are graduates of Holland Christian Schools.
Born and Raised in Wyoming (Grand Rapids), MI.
Holland resident for 26 years.
Hobbies include classic muscle cars and boating.
Vern is currently the Attorney Magistrate for the Ottawa County District Court. This position is similar to a judge in many ways. Responsibilities include:
Presiding over civil disputes/small claims cases (800 per year, over 9,000 total)
Traffic and ordinance violations (1,250 per year, over 9,000 total)
Signing arrest warrants (400 per year, over 3,500 total)
Signing search warrants (150 per year, over 1,300 total)
Accepting pleas on misdemeanor criminal charges (1,300 per year, over 12,000 total)
Setting bail bond amounts
Ability to marry couples (average of 200 couples per year)
Fills in for judges when they are unavailable
Additionally, Vern has had over 30 years of experience practicing law and working in and with the court system on both District and Circuit levels. His professional experience and ability to make discerning decisions allow him to effectively fulfill his responsibilities to his community. Please consider Vern for the position of 58th District Court Judge, and thank you for your consideration.