Plan aimed at improving trial court support

The Michigan Supreme Court announced Monday it is reorganizing the regional administrative structure in the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) to improve service to trial courts.

Using existing resources, the new plan expands the number of regional administrators and realigns coverage areas so that service to trial courts can be more focused and timely. 

“We value the strong relationship between SCAO and trial courts, and we are committed to providing the best possible service to our trial court customers so that they can provide the best possible service to the public,” said State Court Administrator Milton L. Mack, Jr.

Under the new plan, Region 1 will exclusively be Wayne County.  Formerly part of Region 1, Oakland and Macomb counties will become Region 6 and also include St. Clair and Lapeer counties.

To complete the reorganization, Gratiot and Clinton Counties will move from Region 3 to Region 2.

Regional administrators provide direct support to trial courts and review their operations to ensure compliance with statutes, court rules, administrative orders, and the code of judicial conduct. 

In particular, administrators investigate and resolve public complaints, provide management assistance, and monitor court performance on a wide range of issues. 

Administrators meet regularly with judges and court staff and facilitate information sharing and education so that courts are able to adopt best practices and learn from the successes of other courts statewide.

SCAO has already begun the process of recruiting administrators for Region 6 to fill the new position and for Region 1 to replace Deborah Green, who is retiring.

“This reorganization will give the new regional administrators a head start in building upon Deb Green’s outstanding legacy of helping courts throughout southeast Michigan improve operations, increase efficiency, and achieve the highest level of customer service,” said Mack.

The changes in SCAO’s structure reflect the court’s continuing efforts to drive change and make Michigan’s judiciary a national model of efficiency and service to the public, according to court officials.

Key initiatives include measuring performance to improve outcomes, implementing technology to increase efficiency and access,  and reengineering court processes to streamline operations and save money.

Mack said regional administrators play a critical role in working with trial courts to implement these initiatives.