Judge Carmody’s Upcoming Retirement as United States Magistrate Judge in Grand Rapids

Last updated February 22, 2019

The Judges of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan announce the retirement of their friend and colleague, Magistrate Judge Ellen S. Carmody. Her retirement will be effective November 1, 2019. Judge Carmody has served this District with excellence for over 18 years since her appointment in October 2000. Judge Carmody has the notable distinction of being the first female judicial officer in the Western District of Michigan. She has served on the steering committee and faculty of the Hillman Advocacy Program, the Western District of Michigan’s training program for newly practicing lawyers. Among other accomplishments, Judge Carmody has also served on various Western District of Michigan court management committees, including the Pro Bono, Alternate Dispute Resolution, Employment Dispute Resolution, Information Technology, and Case Management/Electronic Case Filing committees. Judge Carmody has taught as an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University College of Law. She has served the community with her involvement as the federal court liaison for the Michigan State University College of Law pro bono clinic for prisoner civil rights and her past work on the “ACE” (Accelerated Community Entry) Program, an intensive post-custody supervision program. Judge Carmody grew up in Ambler, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Grand Valley State College (now Grand Valley State University) and Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan Law School. She is married to Dr. Robert Roosenberg.

Before starting her distinguished career on the bench, Judge Carmody worked as a special education teacher for the Grand Rapids Public Schools from 1975 to 1980. Following her graduation from law school in 1983, Judge Carmody served as a law clerk to the Honorable Douglas W. Hillman of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. From there, she joined the law firm of Law Weathers and Richardson and worked there as an associate, and later as a partner, where she specialized in commercial and employment litigation, until her appointment as Magistrate Judge in October 2000. The Honorable Janet T. Neff had this to say about Magistrate Judge Carmody’s distinguished service: “Judge Carmody has been an integral part of the Court’s operation and progress. In addition to her regular judicial duties which she carries out so ably, she has played important roles in many of the Court’s projects, including shepherding the alternate dispute resolution program from its inception to the successful status it now enjoys and her tireless efforts to secure pro bona counsel for prisoner civil rights plaintiffs. She will be greatly missed, not only for her great contributions to the Court, but also for her upbeat and always pleasant manner which make her so easy to work with. She leaves big shoes to fill.” The Chief Judge of the District, Robert J. Jonker, adds: “Judge Carmody models what it means to exercise authority with genuine respect for the persons most directly affected by it. She listens with genuine interest and empathy to the stories of the litigants who appear before her while at the same time delivering unflinchingly the decisions the law requires. In so doing, she models the best of what the federal courts provide.” Judge Carmody’s tenure on the bench has been characterized by her exemplary and consummate service to others inside and outside of the Court. The entire Court family wishes Judge Carmody and her family the best in this next chapter of their lives.