Judge Carniak was appointed by the Governor to the bench of the 52-3
District Court in January of 2000. She has subsequently been elected by
the community ever since. She attended Michigan State University where
she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration in
1979. She received her Juris Doctorate from the Detroit College of Law
in 1985. Judge Carniak served as an associate and partner in private law
firms for 15 years prior to taking the bench. While in private
practice, Judge Carniak was also a Magistrate at the 52-3 District
Judge Carniak initiated both the Mock Trial program and the Leading Change program. In the Mock Trial program, 5th
grade students learn about the legal system firsthand by participating
in a mock criminal trial. Students also take a tour of the Oakland
County Sheriff's substation and observe actual criminal proceedings in
the courtroom. In the Learning Change program, high school students
learn real life lessons by hearing cases in the courtroom. Students talk
to actual defendants sentence to jail about substance abuse, addiction
and decision making.
As an active participant in the Oakland
County Prosecutor's Teen Court program, Judge Carniak opens her
courtroom every month to area youth. She presides over hearings for teen
offenders who are being sentenced by their peers.
is past president of the Oakland County District Judges' Association and
the Rochester Bar Association. She is also a member of the State Bar of
Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association, the Women Lawyers
Association, and a Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation.
Carniak is also involved in a variety of community organizations. She
is a past board member of the Rochester/Auburn Hills Community
Coalition, YMCA and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. She was
the first recipient of the Oakland County Salute to Justice Distinctive
Service Award, for her significant community service and notable
contributions to the court.