LANSING – State Representative Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) offered an amendment to retain the three judgeships in the 48th District Court, which covers Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor, and Orchard Lake Village and the townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield. Brown's amendment was offered in committee and on the House Floor. The bill, House Bill 5103, later passed the House on a vote of 87 to 21.
"It is premature to decrease the amount of judgeships in the 48th District Court from three to two considering the court's caseload and population increase," said Brown. "Fewer judges on the bench will lead to larger caseloads and slow the judicial process by further clogging our already over-burdened court system."
District courts handle a wide variety of issues, from criminal cases to landlord-tenant issues and creditor claims. Because of Michigan's struggling economy, district courts could have increased caseloads compared to prior years considering the large range of cases they hear. The state court administrative office requires cases to be resolved in a certain time frame and the elimination of judges could seriously burden the 48th District Court.
"This bill will also increase the amount of time our police officers will spend at the courthouse," said Brown. "While seeing these cases through the court system is a vital part of our police officers' work, more time spent in the courtroom will equal less time spent patrolling our neighborhoods and keeping our communities safe."