Aux USA, un juge dans les années 90 appelé dans la nuit

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Aux USA, un juge dans les années 90 appelé dans la nuit

Messagepar Conspirator » Dim Aoû 12, 2007 11:40 am

ames Nowicki: Longtime judge would rise to the occasion with an even temper

August 12, 2007

BY EMILIA ASKARI

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

As a Macomb County probate judge for almost 28 years, James Nowicki was accustomed to making life-and-death decisions.

Once, in the early 1990s, he ruled that an elderly man could refuse food and starve to death rather than continue suffering from debilitating ailments, the retired judge's family recalled Saturday.

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But when his own time was up, Nowicki didn't have time to make many plans. The 70-year-old Detroit Lions fan died Friday at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital of a massive stroke after one day of illness.

"He was very even-tempered, a superb jurist," his wife of 39 years, Carol Nowicki, said Saturday. "He always tried to help people."

She recalled the time in the early 1990s when her husband was called out of bed by prosecutors at 1 a.m. on a Sunday to decide whether a dying boy should receive a blood transfusion against the wishes of his parents, whose beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses prohibited the procedure.

Other judges refused to go to court in the middle of the night to hear the emergency request, his wife said. But Nowicki did. The boy died while the hearing was in progress.

Nowicki, who had two sons, had a soft spot for children, his family says. He kept a jar of lollipops on his bench and offered a sucker to any child who was adopted in his courtroom, or to the parents if the child was too young for such treats.

Born in Hamtramck, Nowicki served for a time as assistant city attorney after earning a law degree from the University of Detroit in 1966.

He also worked as an analyst for the state Legislature before Gov. William Milliken appointed him to be a judge. He retired in 2003.

An avid tent camper, Nowicki was a former district chairman of the Boy Scouts of America and a recipient of its Distinguished Citizen Award.

He served on the boards of the Macomb County Traffic Safety Association and Orchard Lake Schools and was a trustee of St. Mary's College.

In addition to his wife, survivors include sons John and Michael, and two granddaughters.

Visitation is from 2 to 9 p.m. today and Monday at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons Funeral Home, 36900 Schoenherr, Sterling Heights.

The funeral is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, followed by an 11 a.m. mass at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 40501 Hayes Road in Sterling Heights.

The body will be cremated.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Hon. James F. Nowicki Scholarship Fund, John W. Smith Oldtimers Club, 21841 Dequindre, Hazel Park 48030.

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