Michigan Senate approves complete revision of the state’s Court of Claims

In most states, the Court of Claims falls under the legislative or executive branch and is not a part of the judiciary. In 3 states however (Michigan, New York, Ohio) they are in fact components of the judiciary. In the case of New York the Court of Claims is its own independent court, in Michigan and Ohio a trial judge or judges are assigned. Starting next year, however, that may change in Michigan.

Under SB 652, as approved by the Michigan Senate earlier this week, the current practice of assigning a judge from the 30th Judicial Circuit (i.e. from the Circuit where the capital of Lansing sits) to serve as the Court of Claims would end. Instead, the new Court of Claims would be made up of 4 judges of the Court of Appeals, chosen from at least two separate Court of Appeals districts (the state has 4 such districts). The clerk of the Court of Appeals would serve as the clerk of the revised Court of Claims.

SB 652 was approved on a 26-11 vote by the Michigan Senate yesterday (October 30) and was transmitted to the House.