Mayor appoints new Justice Court judge
Dec 02, 2016 03:28PM
● By Briana Kelley
Michael Peter Boehm, a Juris Doctor, addresses the city council on Nov. 1. Boehm was recently appointed as the city’s new Justice Court judge. (Briana Kelley/City Journals)
By Briana Kelley | [email protected]
Michael Peter Boehm was appointed as the new South Jordan City Justice Court judge at the Nov. 1 city council meeting. Mayor David Alvord made the appointment, and, after a vigorous question-and-answer session, the city council unanimously ratified the nomination.
Boehm was one of four nominees selected by the Salt Lake County Nominating Commission. Alvord interviewed and vetted Boehm and the other candidates as well as others on the nomination commission, including city officials, residents and defense attorneys. Boehm will replace Judge Clinton Balmforth, who will retire effective Jan. 2. Balmforth was appointed in January 1998.
Boehm is a resident of South Jordan and has worked at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office for the past eight years. Prior to that, he received his law degree at a private school in San Diego.
“I love what I do,” Boehm said. “I love working with law enforcement. I care about what I do and even care about the people I prosecute. I’m where I’m at because I work hard and I care about what I do. Without the love that I have from my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Boehm has had a range of assignments while working for Salt Lake County. He was lead chair on homicide cases and worked on the domestic violence unit for two and a half years. He dealt with a wide range of felony matters and briefly worked on the special victims unit. He estimates that in the past eight years he has worked on 4,000 cases.
“I’ve tried to put a lot of effort into these cases,” Boehm said. “The quality of work and quality of attorney is the reason that the jury comes back with guilty or not guilty.”
South Jordan City Justice Court falls under District 3, one of eight districts in the state. Court responsibilities include adjudicating infractions and violations of class C and class B misdemeanors based on state statute and city ordinances, according to the city’s website.
According to City Attorney Ryan Loose, city officials receive a few serious and complex cases during the year; however, these cases have yet to rise high enough in the courts for maximum sentencing. Traffic misdemeanors are the highest number of cases that court handles, followed by theft, domestic violence and DUIs, which all range from one to two per week, according to Loose. The city also handles trespassing, assault and code violations.
South Jordan Justice Court heard between 6,000 and 7,000 cases per year for the past few years. Alvord pointed out that these cases are smaller profile cases than some, but it is an impressive work load for any judge and legal team.
When asked whether this lower-profile job is what he wants to do, Boehm responded that he does not seek for high-profile cases and that the lower sentencing does not mean the work is less important. He finds working in public service both important and rewarding and enjoys what he does.
“I don’t have anything in my background that would bring dishonor to this court or to this council,” Boehm said. “I’m a family man with the three greatest kids. I’m involved in public service, which I find important and rewarding. I’m here for my family. I try to make the best decisions I can make, and there is nothing that I couldn’t share with you about my life that would dishonor this court.”
The Utah Judicial Council must certify the appointment. Boehm will have a formal swearing in and take his oath of office in January.