MCL 600.401 et seq. authorizes courts to establish concurrent jurisdiction plans. Courts have developed and implemented these plans to remove institutional barriers to efficiency, innovation, and enhanced public service. Some of the real benefits of initiating this process include the opportunity to:
- Design a local court system customized to meet the specific needs of the community.
- Assign and organize the judicial and administrative workload to maximize access to the courts and the timely resolution of cases.
- Develop and assign support services that improve public availability and fully utilize the multiple skills of experienced staff.
- Improve local communication and cooperation among the judges and staff.
- Standardize practices and reduce appearances by counsel and litigants.
- Combine duplicative programs and services.
Developing and implementing a concurrent jurisdiction plan requires judicial and administrative leadership.
As you begin this process, identify your leaders and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Involve staff at all levels. Leadership does not always come from the top. Do not be apprehensive about “brainstorming” the possibilities and challenging long held paradigms. The results may be very enlightening.