Report Recommends Changes To Local Court Systems

LANSING (WWJ) – A new report says Macomb and Oakland counties need more judges, while Wayne County has too many.

The State Court Administrative Office is recommending four new judges for Macomb County Circuit Court and two more for Oakland County. The report says Wayne County Circuit Court has four more judges than the court needs to keep up with its workload.

The report mentions consolidation Westland’s 18th District Court — which needs an additional judge — with another nearby district court with a judicial excess. The report mentions district courts in Dearborn Heights, Plymouth, Redford and Wayne as possible candidates for consolidation.

Other recommendations including consolidating the 33rd District Court in Woodhaven with the 28th District Court in Southgate.

The report also suggests converting municipal courts in Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park and Grosse Pointe Woods to a single district court for the Grosse Pointes, or consolidate the courts with Harper Woods’ 32A District Court.

All cuts would be by attrition — when a judge leaves office or dies. State lawmakers have the final say on if any of the recommendations will be implemented.

In 2011 and 2012, the state legislature passed bills to eliminate 36 trial-level judgeships, “so we are now significantly closer to having the number of judges each court needs for its workload,” State Court Administrator Chad C. Schmucker said in a statement. “But there is still some imbalance, which we are trying to address in these recommendations.”

The State Court Administrative Office issues its Judicial Resources Recommendations every two years.

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