Governor Snyder has signed legislation that will change the way judgeships are allocated in Livingston County’s court system.

Last Friday, the governor signed Senate Bill 0525, which authorized a reorganization of the state’s court system. Previously the Livingston County Board of Commissioners voted to eliminate a district court judgeship effective December 31st of this year and add a circuit court judgeship on January 1st, 2019. The reallocated positions stem from a recommendation from the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO). SCAO conducts a biennial review of the state’s judicial needs starting with a statistical analysis, which determines if there is a noteworthy judicial need or excess in each county in the state. It was found that that was the case for Livingston County, which required a secondary analysis. From that, SCAO recommended elimination of a district court judgeship and the addition of a circuit court seat.

Due to Michigan’s mandatory retirement age for judges, 53rd District Court Judge Carol Sue Reader will not be running again this November. Her seat will be eliminated and a new judge will be elected to the 44th Circuit Court. However, that person will serve an eight-year term rather than the normal six-year term. The purpose behind that is to stagger the judgeships so that one will be up for a public vote every two years. The current number of six judgeships in the county will remain the same in 2019; it is only the allocation that will change. The 44th Circuit Court will then have three judgeships, 53rd District Court will have two, and Probate Court will have one. (JK)