Martina L. Peterson began her service as Division 41 Family Court Commissioner upon the retirement of Commissioner John F. Payne, effective January 1, 2009.
Commissioner Peterson brings extensive experience to the Family Court. She has practiced before Family Court for eleven out of her thirteen years as an Assistant Public Defender with the Office of the State Public Defender. Prior to that, she was with the Kansas City Youth Court program, where her duties included assisting Youth Court attorneys with arraignments and trials.
In addition to her work, Commissioner Peterson has held leadership positions or was active in the Jackson County, Kansas City Metropolitan, and Missouri Bar Associations; Kansas City Youth Court Board of Directors; UMKC Alumni Association, Young Achievers Program; and the Urban League/Black MBA Association Mentoring Program.
Ms. Peterson received her Bachelor of Business Administration, Masters of Business Administration, and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Commissioner Peterson is excited about joining the 16th Judicial Circuit, and has said, “For the last 11 years I have practiced in Family Court, focusing on treatment needs for children and adults. For 10 of those 11 years, I practiced exclusively in the Jackson County 16th Circuit Family Court, addressing delinquency and abuse and neglect issues of children and families. I am grateful and blessed that the judges of the Jackson County Circuit Court chose me to fill such an important position, and look forward to serving the families of Jackson County.”