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MI Supreme Court-appointed panel seeks funding strategy for local courts

The Supreme Court
Mark Sherman
The Supreme Court

Boyd says if that problem is not fixed, Michigan’s court system could be open to a constitutional challenge.

A panel created by the Michigan Supreme Court is seeking public input on ways to improve access to justice. One key area the Michigan Judicial Council is focused on is funding for local courts.

Former Judge Thomas Boyd is the Michigan State Court Administrator. He says Michigan’s constitution says the state is supposed to have a single unified court system, but local courts still operate with disparate resources. He says it’s not fair that some circuit and district courts rely more heavily than others on revenue from fines for their funding. He says that creates an incentive for judges to levy fines to keep their courts operating.

“The problem with money in the system persists and so it needs to be fixed once and for all.”

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network.