After his gubernatorial appointment to the bench in 1977,
and his successful run for election the following year,
Judge C.H. Mullen began the next phase as judge of the
Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
-Photograph by Jerry Campbell,
Kalamazoo Gazette, March 27, 1985
~ CHIEF JUDGE
Judge Mullen was elected chief judge in 1979, and began his first term on January 1, 1980.
He served in that capacity for two terms (four years).
"... Classes very intensive, high caliber and stimulating. Start at 8 a.m. on the button, go 'til 12,
with 10 minute breaks each hour. We eat on a veranda at noon... Back to classes at 1 p.m., and
continue 'til 5 p.m... Judges from all over the U.S. and half a dozen countries. A few duds, but
generally of quite high caliber. Quite impressed..." -C.H.'s letter to Alice, September 22, 1980.
Stories from Judge Mullen's courtroom were often reported in the Kalamazoo Gazette...
by Mike Gallagher, Staff Writer, Kalamazoo Gazette, November 15, 1982.
After his chief judgeship ended on January 1, 1984, Judge Mullen was faced with a re-election
campaign that same year. He had good support from the community.
~ LET THE CAMPAIGNING BEGIN!
He was re-elected for another six-year term.
A compendium of headlines/articles from the Kalamazoo Gazette appear below
in the August 7th blog posting entitled "Making Headlines" The Kalamazoo
Gazette Gets the Story. Scroll down the page to read this posting. It is a good
sampling of the types of cases he had, and tells about his work on behalf of
the courts during his decade on the bench.
C.H. made the difficult decision to retire from the bench in 1987, prior to the expiration of his second
term. His tenure as circuit court judge was one of the most rewarding periods in his life, and the
culmination of a life of service to the community.
(click on article to enlarge)
Mullen's career was carefully followed by many in Kalamazoo, and he was often quoted in Gazette
articles and editorials. His Midwestern plainspokenness and humorous turns of phrase when dealing
with repeat offenders, deadbeat dads, and drug dealers were notable, and quotable. He did much to
improve the workings of the courts in Kalamazoo County, and was a treasured colleague and mentor.
~ RETIREMENT DINNER
dinner on November 4, 1987 at the Kalamazoo Hilton Inn main ballroom. 400 people attended.
Legal luminaries from Kalamazoo County were there to pay tribute, along with community leaders,
old friends, neighbors, and family members. After cocktails and dinner, the assembled throng enjoyed
speeches and stories, with Judge Richard A. Enslen acting as Master of Ceremonies.
This memorable evening made headlines, and a Gazette feature article appeared on November 5, 1987.
"The testimonial, a program of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, was organized by local
attorney Kenneth Miller, who was Mullen's first law clerk and recalled that Mullen sponsored his
admission to the bar. 'He started out just the way he ended up', Miller said, speaking of the warmth,
humor and optimism that have characterized Mullen's life and resisted the potentially hardening
effect of a legal career... Asked about his philosophy in life, the judge said: 'I guess it doesn't cost
anything to be kind to other people. I guess, basically, that's the whole foundation to my life.
There aren't very many of us going to be president, walk on the moon or do great things. But there's
something each of us can do to brighten the corner we're in.'" -Al Jones, Gazette Staff Writer
~ THANK YOUS AND TRIBUTES FROM NEAR AND FAR
Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce Resolution, adopted on August 28, 1987.
Letter from President Ronald Reagan, March 25, 1987.
Portrait of Judge C.H. & Alice Mullen
by Don Rice, for ENCORE Magazine
October/November, 1987, page 6.
C.H. Mullen, "a real people person"
~ C.H. MULLEN, OF COUNSEL
In late-1987, Judge Mullen returned to legal work, "of counsel" to the law firm of Fox, Thompson,
Morris, Stover & O'Connor, from 1987-1996.
C.H. Mullen was a President of the Michigan Retired Judges Association, and also served as board
member of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association.
Snapshot of C.H. taken at the Kalamazoo County District Court Consolidation luncheon at
Brook Lodge, Augusta, Michigan, 1997 or '98. Judge Mullen had worked on court consolidation
during his tenure on the bench.
Guest umpires for a baseball game at Hyames Field at Western Michigan University, 9/11/89.
Left to right: Ben Brot, Richard Enslen, C.H. Mullen, James Gregart, Tom Edmonds.
Umpires James Gregart, Richard Enslen, C.H. Mullen, Tom Edmonds with his back to the camera.
Feature article in ENCORE Magazine,
October/November, 1987, Volume 15, Issue 2
Remembering Judge Mullen
KEEP SCROLLING FOR EARLIER POSTS...
"Making Headlines" The Kalamazoo Gazette Gets the Story
"Jelly Bean Justice" A Tradition Continues
"Brighten the Corner Where You Are" C.H.'s Party Piece ~ Philosophy of Life
"They Called Him C.H." History ~ Photographs ~ Memorabilia