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Bills signed to reconfigure state judgeships

Snyder also signs three other bills

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed five bills that reallocate judicial resources in the state based on criteria determined in a report last year by the state court administrator.

The report is issued every other year, and is based on a statewide caseload assessment to determine adequate judicial distribution. Only the Legislature can add or remove judgeships, however.

House Bills 5121-5125 address these issues by removing six judgeships – four from the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, one from the 36th District Court in Detroit and one from the 70th District Court in Saginaw. Judges in these positions will serve out their current terms, but will not be replaced.

In return, the bills add six judgeships – two to the 16th Circuit Court in Macomb County, one to the 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County, one to the 17th Circuit Court in Kent County, one to the 7th District Court in Van Buren County, and one to the 63rd District Court in Kent County, subject to a local vote.

“Keeping citizens safe and cities secure is essential to Michigan’s comeback,” Snyder said. “We have made great progress in strengthening public safety and reducing crime, and part of that comes from a smart justice system that makes sure resources are available where they’re most needed. The changes in these bills continue those efforts.”

The bills, sponsored by state Reps. John Walsh, Klint Kesto, Kevin Cotter, Tom Leonard, and Kurt Heise, respectively, are now Public Acts 56-60 of 2014.

The governor also signed the following three bills:

HB 4484, sponsored by state Rep. Pete Pettalia, institutes a cap on late fees for rental storage units at $20 per month or 20 percent of the monthly rental amount, whichever is more expensive. It also clarifies ways a facility owner can dispose of property subject to sale to reclaim lost payment, and revises details of the owner’s liability relating to documents or media that may be sold or destroyed when a tenant defaults on an agreement. It is now PA 61.

HB 4811, sponsored by state Rep. Ray Franz, expands and revises the conditions and procedures for military families who are applying for assistance from the Military Family Relief Fund. It also allows $50,000 from the fund to be used for advertising purposes. It is now PA 62.

Senate Bill 610, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Green, allows for the manufacture, possession or transfer of short-barreled shotguns or rifles in compliance with federal law. An owner must also keep the federal registration for the firearm and present the registration to law enforcement when requested during transport. It is now PA 63.

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