A St. Joseph County judge will soon be hearing cases on the federal level.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Gotsch was selected to serve as the U.S. Magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court in South Bend, WNDU reported. He was chosen from 29 candidates for the position after he decided not to run for circuit court judge in 2016.
Magistrate judges assist district judges in civil and criminal cases. They preside over petty criminal offenses and most petitions from prisoners seeking reviews of their sentences or hearings on their confinement. A full time magistrate judge’s term is eight years.
Gotsch will succeed retiring Judge Christopher Neuchterlein on Aug. 12.