Meet the Judges
Judge DeLuca graduated from Western Michigan University and the Detroit College of Law where he was elected president of his graduating class. Judge DeLuca served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ingham County from 1971 through 1975. He engaged in the private practice of law for more than 20 years prior to his election to the bench in November of 2000. Judge DeLuca was appointed a member of the Ingham County/City of Lansing Community Corrections Advisory Board in 1995 and has served in several different capacities including two terms as chairperson. He is a member of the Ingham County Bar Association and was selected as a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. Judge DeLuca served as Chief Judge of the 54-A District Court from 2006 through 2013.
Judge Louise Alderson is a Lansing native who graduated from Eastern High School and holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Clinton County, working in the District, Circuit and Probate Courts. She has also served in the House and Senate as Legal Counsel to the Judiciary Committee and as Legislative Director for the Executive Office. Judge Alderson was appointed to the 54A District Court bench in 2001 and was successful in her retention election in 2002, and re-elected to the bench in 2004 and 2010. The Michigan Supreme Court appointed Judge Alderson as the Chief Judge on January 1, 2014 and re-appointed her on January 1, 2016.
As part of her judicial duties, Judge Alderson also presides over the specialized felony Sobriety Court whose mission is to enhance public safety and community welfare by reducing recidivism among drug and alcohol offenders. That mission is accomplished through a team approach including intensive supervision, individualized treatment, and personal accountability which are monitored by frequent judicial review.
Judge Alderson has served on many community boards, including EVE, Inc., Michigan District Judges Association, Michigan Judicial Council, Girl Scouts of Michigan Capitol Council and the Zonta Club of Lansing. She currently serves as the vice-chair of the Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School and is trained as a literacy tutor with the Capital Area Literacy Coalition.
Judge Cherry is a Lansing native who earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1966, and his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University in 1969. He served in the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office as Chief Trial Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division before he was appointed to the bench in 1975. Judge Cherry served as Chief Judge of the 54-A District Court from 1999 to 2006.
Judge Hugh B. Clarke, Jr., is a graduate from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He went on to attend and graduate from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School receiving his Juris Doctorate. During his legal career, Judge Clarke served two years as a Special Consultant (1977-1979) to the State Senate Committee on Judiciary and two years as the Associate General Counsel for the State Senate (1979-1981).
After leaving state government, Judge Clarke spent over thirty years in the private practice of law, handling criminal, civil, probate and family law matters. He brings to the bench a varied and wide range of experience in various areas of the law. He has served on various State Bar of Michigan Committees, including the Committee on Standard Criminal Jury Instructions, Character and Fitness Committee and the Criminal Law Section Council. In addition to memberships with the State Bar of Michigan including the Master Lawyers Section, a Fellow with the Michigan State Bar Foundation and the Ingham County Bar Association, he has held memberships in the Davis-Dunnings Bar Association, Association of Black Judges of Michigan, American Judges Association as well as the Michigan District Judges Association where he previously served as Treasurer.
He has a broad base of community service including serving seven years on the Lansing Board of Education. During his tenure on the school board he served as Vice President, President of the board as well as chairperson of the Superintendent Search Committee. Judge Clarke has served on the Board of Directors of numerous community and civil organizations, and is a Member of the National Advisory Board for The History Makers. Judge Clarke is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church where he serves as a licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister. Judge Clarke has received numerous awards from various organizations recognizing his commitment to the Lansing community including proclamations from the Mayor of Lansing, the Lansing City Council, the Michigan Legislature and the Office of the Governor of the State of Michigan. Judge Clarke has received a United States Letter of Tribute from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and a Special Tribute from the United States Congress (sponsored by U.S. Representative Mike Rogers). His biography and interview has been preserved with the Library of Congress.
Judge Clarke has been the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award from the Central Michigan Heritage Enterprise, Community Hero Award from the Eastside Community Action Center, the Community Champion Award from the Tabernacle of David Worship Center, E. Patterson Community Award from the United Auto Workers Loca 652 and various other organizations.
Judge Clarke was appointed to the 54A District Court in December of 2010 by former governor Jennifer Granholm. He was elected in November 2012 to serve the balance of that term.
Judge Clarke and his wife reside in Lansing and have a son currently attending Michigan State University.