LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation streamlining the process of preliminary hearings at the district court level. Snyder called for improvements to the hearing process in his public safety special message in March 2012.

“These updates are necessary to improve the treatment of crime victims, limit officer time in the courtroom and ensure we are using state resources in the most efficient way,” Snyder said.

House Bill 5154, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Leonard, revises the procedures associated with preliminary examinations in Michigan criminal proceedings. District courts will be required to offer teleconference and video options for certain witnesses, allow certain types of hearsay evidence and offer a probable cause conference within 14 days of arraignment. The bill also authorizes district courts to accept felony pleas.

HB 5155, sponsored by state Rep. John Walsh, expands the jurisdiction of the district courts as necessary to allow for the preliminary hearing reforms in HB 5154.

The bills are now Public Acts 123 and 124 of 2014, respectively.

Snyder also signed two other bills:

HB 5277, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Callton, simplifies state statute regarding foreclosure and brings it in line with federal guidelines. The bill also limits the number of property inspections the purchaser can make during the redemption period and 72 hours’ notice must be given before any inspection. It is now PA 125.

Senate Bill 562, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, establishes that payments owed by a local unit to a county Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund are a lien that can be satisfied by reducing future payments from the fund to the local unit. It is now PA 126.

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


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