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Efficiency-Why It Matters

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​Efficiency:  Consolidation and Coordination

Michigan Supreme Court, State Court Administrative Office


​Why it Matters ​For More Information

​Over- and Underjudged Courts

​Each court needs a sufficient number of judges to handle that court's workload. Shifts in population and other factors helped create a situation where some Michigan courts do not have enough judges to handle their caseloads, while others have too many. Every two years, the State Court Administrative Office assesses each court's "judicial need" and reports to the legislature on the number of judges each court requires to keep up with its workload. Only the legislature can create or eliminate judgeships.


This performance measure reflects SCAO's progress toward each court having the needed number of judges. The "prior" column reflects the number of "overjudged" courts as of SCAO's 2011 Judicial Resources Report; the "current" column reflects the number as of March 2013.  If SCAO also counts judgeships which the legislature has eliminated by attrition, that are not yet vacant, there would be 23 overjudged circuits and 8 overjudged 3rd class district courts.  This would change the red arrows to green arrows.  In other words, SCAO has made great progress in re-distributing judgeships, but the process takes time to fully implement. 

​Judicial Resources Recommendations

​Concurrent Jurisdiction Plans

​Circuit, probate, and district judges in the same judicial circuit can become more efficient through a "concurrent jurisdiction plan." These plans allow judges in different courts to share the workload and to specialize in some types of cases. The "prior" column reflects plans in 2011; the "current" column reflects the number as of March 2013.

Concurrent Jurisdiction Resources

​Consolidated Administration

​Circuit, probate, and district courts in the same county often have separate administrators and staff. By consolidating administrative services, the courts save taxpayer dollars and increase efficiency.  As of March 2013, there have been no new unified trial courts in Michigan. 

Concurrent Jurisdiction Resources

​Chief Judges of Multiple Courts

​Traditionally, each state trial court – even those with only one judge – had its own chief judge. But in many counties, it makes sense for a single chief judge to preside over the circuit, probate, and district courts. In 2011, nine chief judges presided over two or more courts; as of January 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court had appointed 34 judges to preside over two or more courts. The "prior" column reflects the number as of March 2012; the "current" column reflects the number as of March 2013.

Concurrent Jurisdiction Resources​



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Content Type: MSC Layout
Version: 4.0
Created at 9/25/2012 8:30 AM by COURT\BoernerM
Last modified at 5/2/2013 4:57 PM by COURT\BoernerM