Judge Plakas

Chief Judge Pro Tem
James A. Plakas

On November 4, 2008, at the age of 40, Jim Plakas became the sixth Judge to be elected to the bench at the 35th District Court. Over 450 supporters, 35 local judges, and countless elected officials attended his swearing-in at the Saint John’s Conference Center in Plymouth on February 4, 2009.

Judge Plakas brought 13 years of balanced experience as a lawyer with him to the bench, making for a smooth transition because of having had a rare combination of expertise as a Prosecutor, Criminal Defense Attorney, Assistant City Attorney and Civil Litigator. Judge Plakas is one of seven
members of his former law firm to serve as a Judge.

Prior to his election, Judge Plakas was admitted as qualified to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, and represented clients in numerous District and Circuit Courts across the State of Michigan, in Federal District Courts in the States of Michigan and Arkansas, and in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Judge Plakas is a member of the American Judges Association, the American Bar Association, the Michigan Bar Association, the Hellenic Bar Association, the Michigan Judges Association, and of the Wayne County District Judges Association. Judge Plakas has served three terms as Chief Judge of the 35th District Court, and has been appointed by the State Court Admirative Office to begin his fourth term on January 1, 2025. Judge Plakas was Chief Judge during the Covid-19 Pandemic, and guided the Court through what was a time of great uncertainty, to what has become a new world for all participants in the judicial system. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University, and the University of Detroit School of Law.

Judge Plakas has also served as:

  • Judge for the 35th District Court Juvenile Teen Court Program
  • Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President of the Wayne County District Judges Association
  • Advisory Committee Member for the Western Wayne County Branch of Families Against Narcotics
  • Vice-President of the Foundation for Modern Greek Studies
  • Judge for Moot Court/Trial Advocacy classes and competitions at both the Wayne State and University of Detroit Schools of Law
  • Member of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association
  • Volunteer for the Michigan Parkinson Foundation
  • Member of the Plymouth AM Rotary
  • Mentor for the Northville Youth Assistance Program
  • Assistant Coach for the Northville Soccer Association
  • Judge for the Plymouth Friendship Station Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency Seniors Spelling Bee
  • Volunteer for Relay for Life
  • Commencement Speaker for Livonia Stevenson High School and ITT Technical Institute graduating classes, among other endeavors …