Daily Briefs, December 20

Holiday Hours
The Wayne County Probate Court will close for the holiday season at noon on Thursday, Dec. 22 and reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 8 a.m. The Wayne County Probate Court will be open Dec. 27, 28 and 29 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to accept pleadings and to conduct mental health emergency hearings.
The Third Circuit Court Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26 in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, Wednesday, Dec. 28, and Thursday, Dec. 29, the Court will be open for essential services only, including criminal arraignments, probation violation, failure to appear warrants, personal protection orders, parental waivers, and other emergency civil and family division matters. The County Clerk’s office will be open to accept civil and domestic relations pleadings and new case filing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on those days.

The Court will be closed on Friday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Jan. 2 in observance of New Year’s Even and New Year’s Day, and will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The emergency procedure that is posted in the Detroit Legal News every Friday should be followed for any after-hour emergency matter.
The Michigan Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the State Court Administrative Office will be closed for the holidays on Friday, Dec. 23; Monday, Dec. 26; Friday, Dec. 30; and Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.

The Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and SCAO will be open on Tuesday, Dec. 27; Wednesday, Dec. 28; and Thursday, Dec. 29.

Wayne County Clerk Office to have four furlough days in Jan.
The Offices of the Wayne County Clerk Vitals Statistics Division and Westland Satellite office will be closed the first and third Monday of every month due to mandatory furlough days. Upcoming closing dates are Jan. 2 and 3 and Jan. 16 and 17, 2012. Services affected by closings include: Birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, assumed names, notary publics and concealed weapons.

State high court orders judge’s suspension
LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has granted a request to suspend a Detroit-area judge accused of using public money as a personal slush fund.

Inkster District Judge Sylvia James’ suspension comes with pay, the state’s high court said in an order last week.

Michigan’s Judicial Tenure Commission asked the Supreme Court in October to suspend James. The commission accuses her of misspending thousands of dollars earmarked for an alternative sentencing program for travel or to promote herself.

More than $131,000 is believed to have been misappropriated, the Supreme Court said in its order.

The improper spending included money for Inkster High School cheerleader uniforms, a school European trip fund, a 1970 class reunion and the Inkster Police Auxiliary, according to a Judicial Tenure Commission report.

James disputes the allegations and has been on paid leave since April.

Her attorney, Philip Thomas, has said her rights have been violated. The Associated Press left messages Friday night seeking comment from Thomas.
Justice Stephen Markman argued that James’ suspension should come without pay and that her salary be placed in an escrow account.

But Chief Justice Robert Young countered that James’ pay would be suspended “based on allegations, before her misconduct has been proven at a hearing.”