Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Magistrate Jeff Gagie - Kalamazoo County

Voters to choose two District Court candidates
Posted by Lynn Turner
Kalamazoo Gazette
July 08, 2008 09:51AM

Four attorneys vie in primary to replace Judge Benson

KALAMAZOO -- With four attorneys running for one vacant District Court judicial seat, Kalamazoo County voters will decide Aug. 5 which two candidates will face each other in the November election.

And for the first time since the law was changed last year, all Kalamazoo County voters will be allowed to cast ballots in the races to replace 8th District Judge Quinn E. Benson.

Benson, 71, is prohibiting from seeking re-election under a state law that bars judges from running again after their 70th birthday.

The candidates vying to replace him -- Jeff M. Gagie, William K. Murphy, Sondra G. Nowak and Julie K. Phillips -- have varying levels of experience as lawyers and different areas of expertise. They all cite a desire to serve their community as a main reason for running for the seat.

The winner of the non-partisan position gets a six-year term on the bench, annual salary of $138,272 and a black robe.

District Court, also known as the "people's court," handles criminal misdemeanors that don't result in jail sentences of more than one year, arraignments, some sentencings, bail levels and preliminary examinations for felony cases. On the civil side, litigation of up to $25,000 is heard.

Garnishments, evictions and land contract forfeitures are also handled in District Court.

Because judicial candidates may have to rule on various issues if elected, they cannot make known their personal feelings on issues or say how they may rule.

The candidates:

Jeff M. Gagie
Jeff M. Gagie, 45, touts his experience as a criminal-defense attorney as one of top reasons voters should elect him to the bench.

"I think I have good experience, unique experiences ... and more of a criminal defense background" than the other candidates," Gagie said.

Gagie has been an attorney for 14 years, and about 50 percent of his practice is criminal defense, he said. Much of his work has been in Van Buren County until joining the roster of attorneys who represent indigent defendants in Kalamazoo County in 2007.

Gagie ran four years ago and lost to incumbent District Judge Carol A. Husum.

Now, as then, Gagie said he knows some people question his ability to be a judge because he was arrested in 1997 on a charge of domestic violence. The charges were dropped 10 months later, according to court records.

Gagie said he and his wife were having marital problems at the time. She had filed for divorce. He had filed for legal separation. He maintains she hit herself in the head with a plastic box and tore her own collar.

Gagie was arrested just hours after being sworn in as a Kalamazoo County District Court magistrate, he said. Gagie spent the night in jail, was arraigned the next day and fired the following morning.

"I never beat my wife," Gagie said. "Some people are going to think I'm a wife beater whether I run or not."

The couple was divorced in October 1998. He has custody of their two children.

Jacqueline Gagie,

I am in receipt of your comment, demanding that I remove a newspaper article regarding your father's arrest for domestic violence.

As you will note, I post entire newspaper articles on my blog. The article regarding your father's arrest was written by Lynn Turner of the Kalamazoo Gazette. It was neither published or written by me. I do not have the power to make this article go away.

Removing the article from my website does not make your father's arrest 'disappear' or make the Kalamazoo Gazette's article go away.

Renee' Harrington

Jacqueline Gagie has left a new comment on your post "TWO YEARS SINCE UNLAWFUL POLICE ENTRY":

I sent the following to your other blog last week and did not receive a response, and did not see any change to that blog. Will you please acknowledge this request, let me know why you won't respect the request from my brother and me, or simply grant this request? If you will provide me an email address where we can send the PDF version of this that includes our signatures and that of a Notary Public, I will send that. I know your heart is in the right place, but please simply respect our request. Thank you, Jackie

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing regarding your blog, Michigan Officials Involved In Domestic Violence. We are, Stuart Martin Gagie, and Jacqueline Renee Gagie, the two children of Jeffrey Martin Gagie an individual you have included on your blog. You may verify that he is our father by contacting the 9th Circuit Court in Kalamazoo, Michigan and asking them for the names of the two minor children in the divorce proceeding involving Jeff Gagie if you feel it necessary; he has only been married one time and the divorce filed by our mother is the only one on file. The case number is, E97-1921-DM

At one time you indicated you were considering removing him from your blog unless anyone objected to that removal. We are not aware of anyone objecting to the removal, and yet you have not.

As his now adult children, ages 23 and 21 respectively, we are asking that you remove him and any reference to him from your blog. We do not care to go into any specifics regarding our family because our family is, and was, nobody else’s business. You noted on your blog that the items you posted included comments directly from our father. That is true, but his comments to the newspaper editorial board were not under the headline identifying him as a Michigan government official involved in domestic violence. And, he has told us that when he originally contacted you he expected he was contacting you privately and his comments would not be made public. We have both read his comments. Those things that can be verified have been verified; the things that cannot be verified are private matters between our mother and father, some of which we witnessed, but will not discuss here.

Suffice it to say that we are requesting as clearly and unambiguously as we know how that you remove any reference to our father from your blog and never reference anything about any of us ever again. We can assure you that it is having impacts that are not helpful to anyone, including the two of us who had nothing to do with the incident or your blog. We hope you will respect this request without us having to go into how this blog has impacted us.

We have had this notarized to verify we are the senders in hopes you will respect the seriousness and sincerity of this request. If you have questions you may reach us at the email address that sent this message.

Date: __________________________ ______________________________

Stuart Martin Gagie

Date: __________________________ ______________________________

Jacqueline Renee Gagie


Jeff said...

How can I get this post removed/deleted/whatever? This information in red is correct. In addition, my then-wife testified under oath in our divorce trial that there was no physical abuse. She testified that I was difficult to live with because I preferred Jif creamy peanut butter, Lawrey's spaghetti sauce, and didn't like my socks rolled into a ball; I encouraged her to buy whatever brands of peanut butter and spaghettti sauce she wanted, but just please buy me those; she wouldn't and it frustrated me. There is a videotape of this testimony available for anyone to review as a public record at the 9th Circuit Court Clerk's office. In addition, although we agreed to joint custody during the divorce proceedings, my then-ex-wife relinquished primary custody to me in 1999, and then sole custody in 2000 when she moved to Clearwater, Florida when our son was 11, and our daughter was 9. I have had sole custody ever since. My ex virtualy refused to pay court ordered child support for years. (As an aside, I did not seek child support at the time I obtained sole custody in 2000. It was sometime later that I sought it because I could use it, it was lawful, and she was living rent free, expense free in her able-bodied mother's home.) Eventually when she was over $20,000 in arrears on child-support the State of Florida finally got into action and enforced the lawful Michigan Court child support order.
I never beat my wife; not once. Why should I have to deal with a website like this? Why should I continue to have to explain this situation over twelve years after the fact.
I have raised two wonderful, well-grounded children. My son is an Honor's College student studying pre-med. My daughter is a senior in high school and on the honor roll virtually every quarter and semester.
As the saying goes, "I can't prove a negative."
Jeff Gagie, 9-2-09,

Jeff Gagie said...

What do I have to do to get you to remove my name from this Blog? My wife was represented very well in the divorce case that went to trial. In the trial she was specifically asked if there was any physical violence in our relationship. She testified under oath that there was no physical violence. She just wanted a divorce because I was very picky to live with; she testified that I prefer Jif peanut butter, and Lawry's spaghetti sauce. She had made up this claim of abuse as an attempt to obtain sole custody of our two children. During the course of the divorce we agreed through our attorneys that she would have primary custody during the school year, and I would have primary custody during the summer. This arrangement lasted until sometime in 1999 when she voluntarily gave me primary custody all year round. In 2000 she moved to Clearwater, Florida to live with her mentally and physically healthy mother expense-free. In 2001 I finally sought child support. She refused to pay child support and eventually was in arrears over $20,000.00. Her trial testimony is available on videotape because the Kalamazoo Circuit Courts use A/V equipment to record proceedings. I have raised our two children virtually 24/7 for the last ten years. Our son is now in the Honor's College at MSU studying to be a doctor. Our daughter is a senior in high school, a member of the National Honor Society, and a four time letter winner in sports. I intend to make a career change in the very near future and not ever be running for public office again. I would be happy to send you a copy of the trial testimony or any court pleadings if that would help you understand that I never abused, hit, pushed, or in any way used unwanted or unpleasant physical contact on her against her, or anything. You can reach me at

Jeff Gagie said...

I've sent you two messages about removing my name and this story from your Blog. After sending those it occurred to me that I should have also notified you that I was an, "Officer" for less than 48 (forty-eight) hours. I was sworn in as the 9th District Court Magistrate on Tuesday July 15, 1997 about 2:30 p.m. I was summarily fired from that position in a meeting with the Chief District Court Judge at 8:00 a.m. Thursday July 17, 1997.
I hardly think this is fair of you to keep this article posted and, "alive" based on the reality of what happened, I certainly never assaulted my wife, the case was dismissed, I've had custody of my children since 1999, I certainly didn't receive preferential treatment (which seems to be one of the concerns of your site) considering the fact that I was summarily fired less that 48 hours after I was sworn in. I'm trying to move on with my life, will be changing careers, will be applying to many companies who will presumably "Google" me and find this story that paints an unfair, misleading impression of me, what happened, and what has happened since.

In all fairness, you should please remove this from your Blog.

Thank you. I'll hope to hear back from you one way or another.

Jeff Gagie

survivor said...

Jeff Gagie has been in contact with me, requesting that I remove this post from the blog.

Mr. Gagie is very convincing and reasonable. If his explanation of events are true, I'm considering the possibility of removing this post from this blog.

If anyone has any reason why I shouldn't, please contact me.

Thank you,

Jeff Gagie said...

Thank you Renee'. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like a copy of any public records that may help you decide to remove me from this site.

I appreciate your open-mindedness.

Jeff Gagie

Anonymous said...

Renee, I serve as a Board Trustee for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo. The Boys and Girls Club serves close to 200 at risk youth every day at our two locations in the Kalamazoo area.

Jeff Gagie is the President of the Board and I have worked closely with him the past few years as he has worked tirelessly to help the Club grow, tighten governance procedures, and obtain donations from the United Way and other interested parties as a non profit organization serving youth with after school programming such as tutoring, computer labs, music and art, sports, etc..

Jeff is a person of integrity and I support his request to remove this post from the blog.

Thanks, John Whyte

John Koryto said...

First, let me say I applaud your efforts at addressing the problem of domestic violence. Second, concerning Jeff Gagie I would strongly encourage removing his name from this site as there is no basis to label him an abuser. The allegation of abuse was not only retracted, but the subsequent facts concerning the children are a clear indication of the court's view of the allegation. Jeff has correctly stated the facts, which can be verified in court records. There should not be any doubts about his credibility considering the court's award of sole custody and his raising these children as a single parent for over 12 years.

survivor said...

During the past few days, I have received both personal emails and comments, requesting that I take down the post on Jeff Gagie.

Please read my September 24th post again [it is directed to the victim and friends / family of the victim]: " IF ANYONE HAS REASONS WHY I SHOULDN'T [REMOVE THIS POST]".

To those of you who have misused this opportunity to berate me and my work, please reread the news article: this was an interview given by Jeff Gagie.