Chief judges appointed to circuit, probate, district, municipal courts

On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court announced the appointment of chief judges for circuit, probate, district, and municipal courts statewide. With the appointment of 50 multicourt chief judges, the number of single court chief judges appointed to lead trial courts has been cut by two-thirds since 2010 (see table).
“Chief judges play a critical role in driving change to help courts become more efficient, save tax dollars, and improve service to the public,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. “In particular, multicourt chief judges are better positioned to make the difficult decisions needed to help streamline court processes, share workloads, and implement best practices that improve outcomes.”

In the past, each circuit, probate, and district court had its own chief judge and related bureaucracy. Through the appointment of multi-court chief judges, the total number of chief judges has been cut by more than 40 percent since 2010. 

The appointment of multicourt chief judges is part of a comprehensive Supreme Court plan to reengineer the state’s trial courts to increase efficiency and improve service.  For example, rightsizing of the Michigan judiciary is already on course to trim 40 judgeships statewide, saving taxpayers $175 million.

The appointments are for a two-year term commencing on January 1, 2016.  The Oakland County chief judge appointments include: 

Circuit Court, Judge Nanci J. Grant.
Probate Court, Judge Linda Saoud Hallmark.
43rd District Court, Judge Joseph Longo.
44th District Court, Judge Derek W. Meinecke.
45th District Court, Judge Michelle Friedman Appel.
46th District Court, Judge Shelia R. Johnson.
47th District Court, Judge James B. Brady.
48th District Court, Judge Marc B. Barron.
50th District Court, Judge Cynthia Thomas Walker.
51st District Court, Judge Richard D. Kuhn Jr.
52nd District Court, Judge Julie A. Nicholson.
Administrative order and list of appointments: