By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County officials have appointed a new backup Magistrate for the 53rd District Court.

At their latest meeting, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners named John Mekjian as the back-up Magistrate. Mekjian is a current full time law clerk for District Court Judge Shauna Murphy.

A memo to Commissioners from District Court Administrator Marisa Lutz informs that the backup magistrate is an essential function in the law clerk description. Magistrate duties include adjudicating civil infraction cases, conducting arraignments in felony and misdemeanor cases, sentencing misdemeanor charges as provided by statute, disposing of minor offenses before trial, issuing arrest and search warrants, and setting or denying bail. Lutz writes that according to Michigan law, Mekjian meets all of the necessary requirements for becoming a magistrate. This function is included in the compensation of the position and no additional funding will be required from the budget.

According to the appointment resolution, Mekjian will have a performance bond in the amount of $50,000.

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved his appointment.