Bills signed to reconfigure state judgeships

Two judgeships would be added to Macomb County Circuit Court under legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder.  The governor signed a total of five bills that reallocate judicial resources in the state based on criteria determined in a report last year by the state court administrator.

The report is issued every other year, and is based on a statewide caseload assessment to determine adequate judicial distribution. Only the Legislature can add or remove judgeships, however.

The bills address these issues by removing six judgeships — four from the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, one from the 36th District Court in Detroit and one from the 70th District Court in Saginaw.

Judges in these positions will serve out their current terms, but will not be replaced.

In return, the legislation adds six judgeships — two to the 16th Circuit Court in Macomb County, one to the 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County, one to the 17th Circuit Court in Kent County, one to the 7th District Court in Van Buren County and one to the 63rd District Court in Kent County, subject to a local vote.

“Keeping citizens safe and cities secure is essential to Michigan’s comeback,” Snyder said. “We have made great progress in strengthening public safety and reducing crime, and part of that comes from a smart justice system that makes sure resources are available where they’re most needed. The changes in these bills continue those efforts.”

The report issued last June by the State Court Administrative Office said Macomb County Circuit Court needed four additional judges, based on that court’s workload.