Rudy Serra was appointed to the 36th District
Court, the third busiest court in the U.S., by
Governor Granholm, in 2004.
During his term of service, the “clearance rate”-
the number of cases completed within one year of
filing - rose from 65% to over 95%. He
completed his own docket, and also completed the
of one or more other judges on the same day. He
was always respectful, and worked to keep the time
and cost for people to be in court to a
minimum. He made sure their cases were
handled quickly and efficiently. As an
attorney, he observes these same values.
As a result of Rudy's dedication to the law, hard
work and professional skill, he is frequently
appointed as House Counsel (Public Defender) in
the 36th District Court as well as the 43rd
District Court in Hazel Park.
As Judge, Serra was rated “outstanding” by The
Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. As an
attorney, he continues to enjoy has the highest
ratings from clients and other lawyers.
Rudy Serra has 30
years of highly successful experience in the
practice of law. He has earned multiple jury
trial and bench trial victories and practices in
court rooms all over Michigan. He is a nationally
respected expert in the law.
Executive Clemency Advisory Council for The
State of Michigan
- Referee for
the Michigan Department of Civil Rights
- Michigan Open
Specialty Task Force, Michigan Department of
- The Correction
Officer’s Training Advisory Council for The
State of Michigan
- State Bar of
Michigan Standard Criminal Jury Instructions
- Ferncare Free
Medical Clinic, Board member and volunteer.
- Oakland County
- Ferndale School
- Human Rights
Commissioner, City of Detroit
- As Royal Oak
Township Downtown Development Authority,Vice
Chair and Chair, Serra helped create the most
successful economic development project in the
State of Michigan (1998)
Education Foundation Chairman Charter Donor
- Habitat for
Humanity for South Oakland County Incorporator
and Board Member
“OUTSTANDING” by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar
Association. To be rated “outstanding” an
individual “must stand at the top of their
profession and rank among the best qualified
judges or lawyers available for judicial
“Lawyer of the Year”, 2000
- The Rev.
Martin L. King, Jr., Freedom Award, 2001
- Torch Bearer,
2002 Winter Olympic Torch Marathon
Community Center Political Award 1998.
Civil Rights Annual Review, The Wayne State
University Law Review (2005)
Bag A Fag, the
Triangle Foundation. Recognized as one of the
most authoritative sources of information
about anti-gay police misconduct.
The Journal of Psychology and Christianity
(Christian Association for Psychological
The Journal of Intergroup Relations (National
Association of Human Rights Workers)
Co-author, Chapter 2, Michigan Family Law, The
Institute in Continuing Legal Education.
born at Selfridge Air Base, Mt Clemens, Michigan.
Serra’s father was a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger
in Special Forces (Green Beret) in World War II,
Korea and Viet Nam. His mother was a union
retail and food and beverage worker.
Elememtary School and Saint James Junior
High School in Ferndale and graduated from
Ferndale High School with Honors in 1972
which was a year ahead of his class.
His first job was as a janitor at Saint James
when he was in the sixth grade.
After high school
he attended Central Michigan University and
Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in psychology
and communication. He then earned a Master’s Degree with a
major in communication with a specialty
continued his studies at Wayne State University
earning a Juris Doctor in Law with a
specialty in legislative drafting.
After working full-time to elect Justice Marilyn
Kelly to The Michigan Supreme Court, he moved to
the City of Detroit in 1996.
Judge Serra is a former Ferndale school
board member, a former Oakland County
Commissioner, and a former Human Rights
Commissioner for the City of Detroit. He was
selected as a Michigan "Lawyer of the Year" for
2000, and received the Rev. Martin L. King Jr.
Freedom Award in 2001. He was a Torch Bearer in
the 2002 Winter Olympic Torch Marathon.
He was an Officer-At-Large in the Michigan
Democratic Party, an Alternate Delegate to the
Democratic National Convention in 2000, Chairman
of The Ferndale Area Democratic Club, and
currently serves as a Democratic Precinct Delegate
in Ferndale. Following his service as
District Judge, he came back to Ferndale and made
his home here again in 2007.
Rudy serves on the Board of Directors of the
Ferncare Free Medical Clinic in Ferndale, and as a
member of The State Bar of Michigan Standard
Criminal Jury Instructions Committee. He was
a founding Chairman and Board member of The
Justice Caucus of The Michigan Democratic Party,
founding President of The Stonewall Bar
Association of Michigan, and founding Chairman of
the Michigan Democratic Party LGBT Caucus.
Rudy Serra was Chairman of the Charter Donor Drive
for the Ferndale Education Foundation, and was the
incorporator and a board member of Habitat for
Humanity for South Oakland County.
currently resides in Ferndale, Michigan with his