House approves Jones bill to reduce state judgeships

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to reduce judgeships statewide by two will soon head to the governor following approval by the Michigan House on Thursday.

The bill is based on the changes proposed by the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) in its 2017 Judiciary Resources Recommendations Report.

“Since 2011, the number of judges in Michigan has been decided scientifically, based on a study by SCAO,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “We need to make sure there are enough judges to effectively handle caseloads, while also ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently.

“By applying the data collected by SCAO to help determine the number of judges needed throughout the state, we have saved taxpayers almost $20 million, and this bill will save an additional $320,000 each year.”

Senate Bill 525 would add one circuit court judgeship and eliminate one circuit court judgeship and two district court judgeships — for a net reduction of two judgeships statewide.

Under the bill, the 44th Circuit Court in Livingston County would gain one judge, while the 10th Circuit Court in Saginaw County, the 36th District Court in Detroit and the 53rd District Court in Livingston County would all lose one judge.

SB 525 would allow the 38th District Court (consisting of the city of Eastpointe) and the 39th District Court (consisting of the cities of Roseville and Fraser) to consolidate on Jan. 1, 2020 and also allow the 18th District Court (consisting of the city of Westland) and the 29th District Court (consisting of the city of Wayne) to consolidate on Jan. 1, 2020.

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