Robert A. Cooney

86th District Court
Title: Chief Judge
Judge Cooney

Judge Bob Cooney was elected to the bench in 2018 to serve Antrim, Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties.  Prior to that, Judge Cooney served the People of the State of Michigan as Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney, having been elected twice in 2012 and in 2016.  Judge Cooney served Grand Traverse County as Deputy Civil Counsel from 2005-2012, and as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney from 1993 to 2005.  

Judge Cooney graduated magna cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law in 1992, and served as a Pre-hearing Attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals from 1992 to 1993.  Prior to that, Judge Cooney worked as an engineer for the United States Army Tank-Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan as an engineer from 1987 to 1992 while earning his law degree at night.  Judge Cooney earned his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.  

Judge Cooney is a member of the Michigan District Judges Association, a Board Member of the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, Chair and founding member of the Grand Travers County Substance Free Coalition, and a Board Member of Families Against Narcotics.  He also served as a Board Member for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan from 2014 to 2019, and as an Executive Board Member for the Traverse Narcotics Team from 2013 to 2019.  Judge Cooney is a recipient of the Crime Fighters Award from Fight Crime Invest in Kids, and also received the Munson Health Care Health Hero Award in 2018 for his work combating the opioid crisis and substance abuse.  

Judge Cooney is an active member of the Traverse City Rotary Club, a volunteer for Boy Scouts of America (2005-present), and has volunteered in the past for Grand Traverse Hockey Association, Traverse Bay Area Youth Soccer, United Way of Northwest Michigan, and Safe Harbor.

Judge Cooney and his wife Karin have been married over 27 years and have three children, Katie, a graduate student in Health Administration at U of M; Jack, a third year engineering student at U of M, and Maggie, a junior at Traverse City Central High School.   Karin is Executive Director of Angel Care, a non-profit child care center with locations in Traverse City and at Old Mission Peninsula School.  The Cooney's are members of Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City.  They have two dogs, Bonnie, a Duck Tolling Retriever, and Yosie, an English Cream Golden Retriever.  

When not on the bench, Judge Cooney enjoys cross-country skiing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking and fishing.  


Return to Staff Directory