The Court also conducts hearings regarding disputes that arise concerning conservatorships and petitions to terminate or modify conservatorships. The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings regarding the transfer of assets at death or transfers where property is held in trust.

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In 1979 Judge Murkowski was also inducted into the National Jesuit Honor Society. Cooley Law School and was an honor roll graduate in 1983.

Judge Murkowski served as law clerk to the Michigan House of Representatives Civil Rights Committee and worked as a solo practitioner in Grand Rapids until 1993, when he joined the law firm of Dilley & Dilley.

Hearings take place on a tight time frame: they are normally required to be held within seven days of involuntary hospitalization.

The Court is also required to oversee and hold hearings for commitment of individuals from other counties hospitalized in Kent County, and other counties do the same when Kent County residents are hospitalized in other counties.

He previously served as council member of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Kent County Family and Children's Coordinating Council.

Judge Murkowski has lectured for the Michigan Judicial Institute, ICLE's Probate and Estate Planning Institute, the Michigan Probate Judges Association, and the Grand Rapids Bar Association.

Murkowski was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1979 he graduated cum laude from Marquette University, where he was awarded the university’s Outstanding Student Service Award and the Polanki College Achievement Scholarship.

A county resident alerted the Court that she had received a telephone call from a person who said he was from the Kent County Probate Court, that court representatives were going to be in her area the next day, and that they wanted to stop by to talk with her regarding preparing a Will.

Please be advised that the Court never sends people out without a Court Order appointing them to do some sort of investigation regarding an ongoing case, and certainly never to talk to people about doing Wills.

He specialized in criminal defense, juvenile neglect and delinquency and probate law, and served as managing partner of Dilley, Dilley, Murkowski & Goller until 2006 when he was appointed to the Kent County Probate bench to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Janet A. In December of 2007, the Michigan Supreme Court appointed Judge Murkowski to serve as the Chief Judge of the Kent County Probate Court commencing January 1, 2008.