Judge Michelle Gehlsen was unanimously appointed to the King County District Court (KCDC) bench by the King County Council in 2019. She is currently assigned to the Redmond courthouse, where she presides over a variety of criminal and civil matters. She is committed to ensuring that everyone who enters the courtroom feels heard, respected and experiences the legal process in a truly fair and equitable manner.
Judge Gehlsen also presides over KCDC’s Community Court in Redmond, which is an alternative problem-solving court aimed at helping participants reconnect with their communities by providing on-site services, while holding them accountable for their behavior.
Prior to coming to KCDC, Judge Gehlsen served as the Bothell Municipal Court judge from 2010 to 2019, where she presided over criminal and civil infraction calendars and trials. She also led the management and administration of court business. The Snohomish County Bar Association honored Judge Gehlsen as its Judge of the Year in 2012.
Judge Gehlsen has a deep commitment to judicial involvement in the community. She founded the Bothell Youth Court, a statutorily authorized program to educate teenagers about the court system and to provide them with hands on experience as legal advocates, judges and jurors. The Bothell program has educated and inspired hundreds of students since its inception. She also regularly volunteers and teaches civics in middle and high school classrooms. Her outside-the-courtroom community involvement has earned her numerous awards including the Washington Women Lawyers Vanguard Award, the Flame of Democracy Award and the Washington Judges’ Foundation Nevins Award.
Judge Gehlsen has lived on the Eastside for the last 20 years. Her husband is a mechanical engineer at The Boeing Company, and her son attends public school in the Northshore School District. In her off time, Judge Gehlsen enjoys hiking with the family dog, Roxi.