The Detroit News reported that the Michigan House of Representatives approved a plan to remove 36 judgeships and effectively downsize the Michigan judiciary. Though the changes could take over 20 years to implement, the plan involves reducing $5.7 million from the state’s annual budget, and eliminating 5 Judgeships immediately because they are currently vacant, including one in both Wayne and Oakland County Circuit Courts. Other Judges’ positions will expire upon their retirement in 2020 and 2032.
The changes will come to many communities that have experienced a decline in court dockets, and also falling crime rates. In an effort to reform the judiciary consolidations of some courthouses will occur, while others will be “right-sized”. District and municipal courts will face the most changes as result of the new legislation. Time will tell whether this will indeed create more efficient court system.
The legislation is headed to Michigan Gov. Snyder for signature.