Governor Snyder Signs Legislation Reforming Court of Claims

Cases to be heard by Court of Appeals judges from across Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Rick Snyder today signed legislation reforming the Court of Claims system, transferring jurisdiction for claims against the State of Michigan from Ingham County to the Court of Appeals, thereby bringing the court closer to the people.

“As a practical matter, Court of Claims issues affect all of Michigan, so it only makes sense that judges from across all of Michigan hear and decide those cases,” Governor Snyder said. “Thanks to these reforms, we’ll broaden the base of judges who are making these decisions.”

Cases to be heard by the Court of Claims involve claims for money damages against the state, as well as claims for equitable and declaratory relief against the state. These claims are of statewide significance and ultimately must be paid by the taxpayers. Yet since 1979, Court of Claims cases have been heard before 30th Circuit Court judges elected by Ingham County voters only, representing a mere three percent of Michigan’s population.

With these new reforms, at least half of the state electorate would have the ability to select at least one of the judges of the Court of Claims.

Under the new law, the Supreme Court will assign four Court of Appeals judges to hear cases before the Court of Claims. New cases may be filed in any Court of Appeals district, which includes Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids and Lansing, and proceedings may take place where the judge sits.

Senate Bill 652, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, is now Public Act 164 of 2013.

For more information on legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.


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