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Politics & Government

Milanowski sworn in as new Vilas County Circuit Judge

New VC Judge 2.jpg
Katie Thoresen
Judge Marth Milanowski puts on the robe for the first time after being sworn in as Vilas County Circuit Court Judge.

For the first time in 18 years, a new judge is taking the bench at the Vilas County Courthouse.

Martha Milanowski is the first woman to be sworn in as a Vilas County Circuit Court Judge.

Milanowksi was surrounded by her friends, family, and fellow judges from surrounding county and tribal courts in the Vilas County Courtroom Friday.

Milanowski most recently served as Vilas County District Attorney.

She was appointed to the position by Governor Tony Evers to replace retiring Judge Neal Nielson. He served as Vilas County’s only judge for the last 18 years.

Those who spoke at her investiture ceremony spoke highly of her work ethic and integrity.

Judge Nielson believes she’ll serve the county well.

“It’s one that I wholly support. I think [she’s] the best possible choice for our county,” said Nielson.

New VC Judge 3.jpg
Katie Thoresen
The courtroom applauds as Judge Milanowski finishes her oath.

Milanowski is taking on the role right before big changes are heading to the court.

After years of pushing for it, Vilas County will be getting a second judge next year.

“We will have an excellent judge in place in this county. With her feet firmly on the ground, a person with great leadership skills and management skills to help guide that transition to a second judgeship,” said Nielson.

In the meantime, it will be just Milanowski handling the heavy case load. A challenge she says she’s up for.

“Certainly, it’s a lot of pressure. It is a very busy court and I think the next 10 months when I’m the solo judge, it will be very busy. It’s a not a surprise to me, I knew that would be the case. Very big shoes to fill, but I hope I’m up to the task. I’m ready,” she said.

Judge Milanowski says she wants to focus on following the law and serve the community. She also wants to address the reasons people are in her courtroom to begin with.

“I want to see if we can really address the underlying issues that come before the court if there are those things such as mental health, alcohol or drug struggles. I think those need to be worked at,” said Milanowski.

Milanowksi will serve until the end of Neilson’s term which ends in July 2022.

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