MSC releases annual report

Streamlining courts and eliminating unneeded judgeships are among the highlights of the Michigan Supreme Court's annual report, which the Court released Monday.

In a departure from previous reports, the 2011 annual report is organized by theme, with court accomplishments grouped under six headings: timeliness, efficiency, technology, performance, education, and access. Under the "Timeliness" heading, the report details how well Michigan courts are doing in meeting time guidelines for cases, with statistics showing that most courts are meeting the guidelines.

In a preface to the report, Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr., emphasized that the judicial branch is becoming more efficient, noting that the state legislature had passed bills--based on a workload study by the State Court Administrative Office--to eliminate a total of 40 unneeded judgeships, 36 at the trial level and four at the Michigan Court of Appeals. The SCAO findings were supported by a unanimous Supreme Court and were also endorsed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Judges Association, Michigan Probate Judges Association, and Michigan District Judges Association.

The "absolutely unprecedented" legislation is just one aspect of Michigan court reforms, Young said. "The Michigan judiciary is changing--rapidly--to put the emphasis on public service and fiscal responsibility."

Also highlighted in the report are courts within a judicial circuit that combine some functions and resources for greater efficiency. The report also covers courts' increasing use of technology and the advent of performance measures for Michigan courts.

To read the 2011 annual report, visit http://www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/statistics/2011/2011execsum.pdf.

In addition, detailed statistical supplements are available at http://www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/reports/summaries.htm#statsupp.

Published: Wed, Apr 18, 2012