Probate and Juvenile Court Staff
Honorable Judge Jan A. Miner
Judge Miner was raised in Bay County and graduated from Bay City Central High School in 1984. In 1988, she graduated cum laude from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science in Scientific and Technical Communication.
She graduated from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1995. Judge Miner is also licensed to practice in the Federal Court, Eastern District and before the United States Supreme Court. For 13 years she worked as a partner in the family law firm of Miner and Miner PLLC with her father before shifting to the Bay County Public Defender’s office in 2008. There she specialized in juvenile justice, child welfare and family law.
Judge Miner was elected to the bench in November 2016 and re-elected in 2018. She is the presiding Probate Judge and is assigned to the 18th Judicial Circuit Court – Family Division – Juvenile Section.
Her professional memberships include State Bar of Michigan Elected, 18th Judicial Circuit Representative Assembly Member from 2010 through 2016, Member of the Bay County Bar Association, Michigan Probate Judges Association (MPJA), Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM), Michigan Tech Presidential Council of Alumnae and a Certificate holder in Family Law since 2008. Judge Miner was also a member of the Editorial Advisory committee for the Adoption Proceedings Benchbook – Third Edition.
Judge Miner believes strongly in community service. Her community service includes 20+ years with the Disability Services Resource Center, Sadie Toeppner Garden Study Club, the Bay City Lions Club, AAUW and the Wildlife Support Team member. Judge Miner is also a frequent presenter for PRIDE which stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education, a program used to prepare and educate families interested in foster care or becoming adoptive homes for children in the foster care system.
Court Recorder: Mechelle Wittbrodt
The primary Court Reporter serves for all hearings scheduled in the Court. General duties involve recording all testimony taken at Court proceedings including delinquents, child protection, estate, mental health proceedings, and all other matters coming before the Court.
Referee Janice Donor
Referee Donor is responsible for presiding over a variety of non-jury juvenile delinquency and child protective proceedings and hearings within the Family Division of the Circuit Court..
Referee Maureen Fitzgerald
Referee Fitzgerald is responsible for presiding over a variety of non-jury juvenile delinquency and child protective proceedings and hearings within the Family Division of the Circuit Court.
Deputy Court Administrator: Britney Reed
The Deputy Court Administrator oversees and manages the day-to-day functions of the court including: working as a court liaison, developing budget and case management procedures, and directing the employees.
Administrative Assistant: Lori Fisher
Administrative assistant is responsible for managing technical and professional court positions in the Juvenile and Probate Court.
Probate Register: Nancy Backiewicz
The Probate Register is responsible for the performance of quasi-judicial and non-judicial acts required of the Probate Court.
Juvenile Register: Pam Lynch
The Juvenile Register oversees and participates in the clerical and administrative support services of the Juvenile/Family Division of the Circuit Court in matters of delinquency and adoptions.
Deputy Probate Register: Sue Jane
The Deputy Probate Register is responsible for the performance of a variety of data entry and clerical support tasks in the Probate Court.
Deputy Juvenile Register: Katie Spyhalski
The Deputy Juvenile Register is responsible for the performance of a variety of data entry and clerical support in matters of juvenile delinquency, neglect abuse, adoption, and minor personal protection files.
Chief Assignment Clerk: Karen Mika
The Chief Assignment Clerk is responsible for the dependent neglect area of the Family Division of the Circuit Court and serves as a technical support staff in the Probate Court, including mental health and developmentally disabled proceedings.
Casework and/or Probation Services
Lynn Szczypka - Court Intake Officer/Non-Attorney Referee
Allen Nelson - Intensive ProbationOfficer
Zachary Harris - Intensive Probation Officer
Kristin Laroche - Intensive Probation Officer
Casework and/or probation services perform casework and/or probation services involving delinquent youth, investigate the background of delinquent youths, supervise and counsel assigned juvenile probationers and attempt to modify or eliminate behavioral problems.
Drug Court Coordinator Juvenile/Family: Sarah Super
The Drug Court Coordinator is responsible for facilitating a participant’s access to relevant and effective services and resources, as well as monitoring, connecting and synchronizing service efforts.
Youth and Family Counselor: Laura Kukla
The Youth and Family Counselor provides counseling, crisis intervention and family support services to youth and their families involved in the court system. Counseling is based on the youth’s needs with focus on the family unit.
Probation Officer/Guardianship/Adoption Investigator: Cindi Hanson
The Probation Officer/Guardianship/Adoption Investigator oversees casework and/or probation services involving delinquent youth, investigates the background of delinquent youths, supervises and counsels assigned juvenile probationers and attempts to modify or eliminate behavioral problems. This position may also provide client-family intervention, direct other correctional services, including out-of-home placement for delinquent youth and analyze behavioral problems in order to make appropriate community referrals.
Juvenile Treatment Programs
Lana Kalinowski - GREAT Program Coordinator
Christina Rivera - GREAT Program Assistant
The GREAT Program Coordinator and Assistant are responsible for implementing gender specific programs for female juvenile offenders aged 11 – 17. This position acts as a role model to the youth in the program and identifies and reinforces program goals of the youths in the program. The program is known as the GREAT (Girls Rebuilding Expectations & Aspirations in Themselves) Program.
Jeff Strohpaul - Day Treatment Coordinator
Chris Foret - Day Treatment Assistant
The Day Treatment Coordinator and Assistant are responsible for overseeing the The Day Treatment Program, which provides services to adjudicated youth and their families. These services provide young men and women with the tools needed to make positive choices. This program prevents delinquency by strengthening education and promoting a positive work ethic. Treatment activities address the needs of the participants in the areas of counseling, substance abuse, anger management, self-esteem, conflict resolution, and recreational therapy. Family participation is required in this court ordered program.