Grundy County Associate Judge Scott Belt announced his candidacy for Grundy County Resident Circuit Judge in the Nov. 2024 election.
Belt currently serves as an appointed judge, having been appointed in Dec. 2020 and again in 2023. He will be on the Nov. 2024 ballot to fill the vacancy left by Circuit Judge Gary Dobbs. Dobbs has decided not to run. Belt is running as an independent.
“My background and education have given me a unique foundation to serve as Circuit Judge,” Belt said.
Belt’s legal career started as a Sheriff’s Deputy at the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department. He also clerked for the U.S. Attorney in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was awarded academic scholarships in law school and was invited to serve as a member of law review, a distinction awarded to the highest of academic students.
Belt graduated cum laude from Western Michigan University in 1990.
He also practiced law in Morris for 30 years, serving as Morris City Attorney for 20. He was also appointed to represent numerous other cities and villages throughout Grundy County.
Belt was born and raised in Morris, growing up in a union and religious household.
“Our family values centered around hard work and faith,” Belt said.
His father worked in the sheet metal union, and belt’s mother worked as a community leader and religious music director for over 50 years.
“As a Judge, I come to the bench with a wealth of legal knowledge and expertise, and I have learned that you never decide a case before giving each party an opportunity for a full and fair hearing,” Belt said. “Giving people a fair shot is one of the most important aspects of a Judge. It’s also important as a Judge to recognize the fear that a self-represented litigant may experience as they stand before the Court and explain how a relationship deteriorated to domestic violence or how they lost their children to the power of an addiction.”
As Associate Judge, Belt currently presides over the Treatment Alternative Court program, which addresses mental health concerns within the criminal justice system.