"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. I have presided over more than 30,000 civil and criminal cases. These unique credentials make me the best candidate for Ottawa County District Court Judge. I am running for judge to continue making a positive difference in our community, and I respectfully request your vote." -Vern Helder
Practiced law for 18 years with Grand Rapids litigation firm of Muller, Muller, Richmond, Harms & Myers
Research Attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals
Michigan Bar Member for 30 years
Graduate of Michigan State University College of Law (formerly Detroit College of Law), J.D. Cum Laude
Graduate of Calvin College, BA in Business Administration
Graduate of Calvin Christian High School
Born and Raised in West Michigan (resident of Holland for 26 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 of the University of Michigan, and Colin (19), student 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.
What does a Magistrate do?
Vern is currently the Attorney Magistrate for the Ottawa County District Court. This position is similar to a Judge in many ways, and Vern even performs judicial functions when the Judges are unavailable. Vern has presided over more than 30,000 civil and criminal cases, making him the only candidate with judicial experience. His position is closest to that of a judge without actually being one, and he has experience in nearly every type of case the District Court sees. As Magistrate, his 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 and imposing sentences on misdemeanor criminal charges (1,300 per year, over 12,000 total)
Setting bond and bond conditions on criminal cases
Ability to marry couples (average of 200 couples per year)
Filling in for judges when they are unavailable
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, ability to balance compassion and accountability, and desire to continue serving his community make him the best candidate for 58th District Court Judge. Please consider Vern for the position of 58th District Court Judge, and thank you for your support!
Primary Election - Tuesday, August 2, 2016 General Election - Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Paid for by The Committee to Elect Vern Helder 1989 Tiffany Ct., Holland, MI 49424