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 routinely
completed his own docket, and also completed the dockets
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.


  • Chairman Executive Clemency Advisory Council for The State of Michigan
  • Referee for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights
  • Michigan Open Justice Commission
  • Nursing Specialty Task Force, Michigan Department of Licensing
  • The Correction Officer’s Training Advisory Council for The State of Michigan
  • State Bar of Michigan Standard Criminal Jury Instructions Committee

  • Ferncare Free Medical Clinic, Board member and volunteer.
  • Oakland County Commissioner
  • Ferndale School Board Member
  • 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)
  • Ferndale Education Foundation Chairman Charter Donor Drive
  • Habitat for Humanity for South Oakland County Incorporator and Board Member


  • Rated “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 Service.”
  • Michigan “Lawyer of the Year”, 2000
  • The Rev. Martin L. King, Jr., Freedom Award, 2001
  • Torch Bearer, 2002 Winter Olympic Torch Marathon
  • Affirmations Community Center Political Award 1998.

(Partial List)

   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 Studies)

    The Journal of Intergroup Relations (National Association of Human Rights Workers)

    Co-author, Chapter 2, Michigan Family Law, The Institute in Continuing Legal Education. University of Michigan.

Rudy was 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. 
He attendedTaft 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 earned a 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 in counseling.
 Rudy 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.
Rudy currently resides in Ferndale, Michigan with his dog, Miranda.
                          Serra with Miranda

Rudy Serra Website © 2009