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46th District Court (Incumbent seat)

In this race, an incumbent judge is running against five non-incumbent challengers for a six-year term. Choose one.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Cynthia M. Arvant

  • Candidate picture

    Kameshia D. Gant

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Biographical Information

This race includes incumbent and non-incumbent candidates. We have different questions based on incumbency status The first 10 questions are for the non-incumbents candidates in this race.

List all courts and agencies in which you are currently admitted to practice.

Describe your previous legal experience, listing the names of your previous employers and any areas of the law in which you specialize. What percentage of your practice is civil? Criminal?

How often do you to appear before the court to which you seek election?

Describe your three most recent trials/cases and list the names of the presiding judge and opposing counsel in each.

Describe any pro bono legal services you have provided in the last 5 years.

Have you ever been admonished, reprimanded, suspended or otherwise disciplined by attorney or judicial disciplinary authorities in Michigan or any other jurisdiction? If yes, provide details.

Please list organizations or political action committees that have endorsed your candidacy or asked their members to donate to your campaign.

What factors would you consider in deciding what sentence to hand down in a criminal case?

If you observed a party in your courtroom being poorly represented by counsel, how would you address the situation?

10. Under what circumstances, if any, would you feel obligated to disclose to opposing counsel that a lawyer appearing before you had donated to your election campaign?

The following questions are for the incumbent candidate in this race.

Describe your legal experience prior to assuming judicial office, including the name of any law firm or organization that employed you.

Describe the three most recent trials you presided over and list the names of the attorneys who appeared before you in each of those cases.

Describe the most recent instance in which one of your decisions was overturned by an appellate court.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you feel obligated to disclose to opposing counsel that a lawyer appearing before you had donated to your election campaign?

Have you ever been admonished, reprimanded, suspended or otherwise disciplined by attorney or judicial disciplinary authorities in Michigan or any other jurisdiction? If yes, provide details.

Please list organizations or political action committees that have endorsed your candidacy or asked their members to donate to your campaign.

What factors would you consider in deciding what sentence to hand down in a criminal case?

If you observed a party in your courtroom being poorly represented by counsel, how would you address the situation?

List any corporations and/or organizations in which you have served as an officer in the last 10 years.

City of residence Beverly Hills
Age 45
Military service None.
Degrees earned B.A. - Michigan State University, 1992; J.D. - Michigan State University College of Law (formerly Detroit College of Law), 1995
Vehicles owned GMC Yukon
Incumbent? true
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Campaign Website http://JudgeArvant.com
Current occupation Judge of District Court, 2015 to present
Other relevant professional experience Magistrate, 46th District Court, 2010-2015; Court Administrator, 46th District Court, 2012-2015; Research Attorney, 46th District Court, 2009-2012.
Current or previous elected office No prior elected offices; appointed to current position in 2015.
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Court Administrator, 46th District Court, 2012-2015; Magistrate, 46th District Court, 2010-2015; Research Attorney, 46th District Court, 2009-2012; Special Assistant Attorney General, State of Michigan Dep't of Attorney General, 2006-2009; Assistant Attorney General, State of Michigan Dep't of Attorney General, 2000-2005; Associate Attorney, Mooney & Condino, P.C., 1996-2000; Law Clerk/Research Attorney, Michigan Legal Services, 1994-1995
Presided over a bench trial in a case where defendant was charged with domestic violence. The prosecutor was Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Meagan Hanna, and defense counsel was Michael Baldwin.

Presided over a jury trial in a case where defendant was charged with four counts: domestic violence, assault and battery, malicious destruction of property, and disorderly conduct. The prosecutor was Assistant City Attorney Bonnie Fitch, and defense counsel was Wyatt Harris.

Presided over a jury trial in a case where defendant was charged with domestic violence. The prosecutor was Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Jacob Stamell, and defense counsel was Harrison Munson.
I have not yet had one of my decisions overturned by an appellate court.
I do not believe disclosure of a small contribution made to my campaign is warranted. Many attorneys contribute to the campaigns of judges, and such disclosure is not required to assure they do not receive favored treatment. Where larger amounts of money are concerned, I consider disclosure on a case by case basis.
No.
Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 80; South East Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police; Greater Detroit Building Trades Council; Pipefitters Local 636; Michigan Maritime Trades Port Council; Detroit Plumbers Local 98; Sheet Metal, Air Rail, and Transportation Workers Local 292; Iron Workers Local 25l Roofers Local 149; Southeastern Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police

When fashioning a sentence in a criminal case, I want to ensure that my sentencing goals are met: imposing an appropriate punishment for violation of the law, preventing recidivism, and protection of the public. To determine an appropriate sentence in any particular case, the factors I consider are: 1) the nature of the charges; 2) defendant’s history – including criminal, personal, educational, substance use/abuse, mental and physical health; 3) what programs I can put in place to prevent recidivism, such as counseling, therapy, substance abuse treatment, substance screening, support group meetings, educational programs, or victim impact panels.
I would not permit an attorney who was unqualified or unprepared to proceed in a matter. I would assess whether the poor representation is due to lack of preparation, or lack of the knowledge and skill necessary to effectively represent the party. If it were lack of preparation, I would evaluate the circumstances and determine if a brief adjournment may be warranted so as not to prejudice the party. If it were lack of knowledge or skill, I would appoint new counsel or co-counsel to assist. If it were a case where counsel has been retained, I would ask counsel to have a colleague or senior attorney step in as co-counsel in the case.
Beverly Hills Parks and Recreation Board - Chairperson 2011-2014; Beverly Elementary PTA - Legislative Liaison, 2007-2012; Alpha Omicron Pi Detroit North Suburban Alumnae Group - Chapter President and Treasurer, 2000-2016
City of residence Southfield
Age 42
Military service N/A
Degrees earned Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctor Degree from Wayne State University Law School.
Vehicles owned 2013 Audi A4; Oldsmobile Alero; Ford Probe; and Ford Tempo
Race/ethnicity African American
Campaign Website http://electgant46judge.com
Current occupation Attorney in private practice and Consultant for Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan, Children's Justice Center (Street Law Program)
Other relevant professional experience I have worked in various facets of the judicial system. In the past, I have served as a Probation Agent for the Michigan Department of Corrections, as a Judicial Court Clerk for two judges at the 6th Circuit Court, and I completed a Judicial Internship and Directed Study at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Current or previous elected office N/A
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I am admitted to practice with the State Bar of Michigan and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
I have been in private practice since 2006. I was of counsel with Busse, Haney & Associates from August 2014 to December 2015. I specialize in criminal, civil, and juvenile litigation. My practice is approximately 60% criminal law and 40% civil law.
I have appeared in the 46th District Court on a regular basis since I have been licensed to practice law. I am familiar with all of the types of cases that the 46th District Court handles on a daily basis.
My three most recent trials were abuse and neglect matters in the Third Circuit Court, Juvenile Division. I represented a parent in those matters. The cases were held before the Honorable Edward Joseph and Referee Mona Yousif. The Attorney General's Office represented the Petitioner, the Department of Health and Human Services. My three most recent cases were criminal matters in the 6th Circuit Court. The cases are a Retail Fraud First Degree case before the Hon. Wendy Potts; a Child Abuse Charge before the Hon. Shalina D. Kumar; and a Fleeing and Eluding charge before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris. The opposing counsel in all of the case is the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.
I regularly volunteer my legal services to indigent parents and school staff. I also provide pro bono legal services through my participation in local Bar Association and civic organization activities such as expungement fairs and free legal clinics. I am a member of the D. Augustus Straker, Wolverine, and Oakland County Bar Associations.
No
I have been endorsed by the Oakland County Democratic Black Caucus to date.
The factors to consider in deciding what sentence to hand down in a criminal case are: The facts and circumstances of the criminal offense; whether the defendant is a threat to the public safety; the defendant’s prior criminal background, if any; and the defendant’s social history (age, marital status, housing status, employment status, mental health history (if any), substance abuse history (if any), family support/ties to the community, and etc.).
Judges have a duty to remain fair and impartial throughout proceedings. Therefore, if I observed a party in my courtroom being poorly represented by counsel, I would have to remain impartial unless the lawyer behaved in an unethical manner or violated the rules of professional conduct. I would report the lawyer to the Attorney Grievance Commission under those circumstances.
I would not feel obligated to report to opposing counsel that a lawyer appearing before me donated to my election campaign because election campaign donor information is public information under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act of 1976. However, if a lawyer was a major contributor to my campaign and I had a personal relationship with that attorney, I would be obligated to disclose that information.
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