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Bumstead bill adding Muskegon County judgeship headed to governor

LANSING, Mich. — A bill sponsored by Sen. Jon Bumstead to add a judgeship to the 14th Circuit Court in Muskegon County was finalized Tuesday and is heading to the governor’s desk.

“Circuit Courts across our state are backlogged and don’t have enough judges to keep up with their current caseloads,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “This legislation will ease the workload for our circuit courts and ensure the backlogs being experienced today don’t happen in the future, which will ensure residents have access to justice.”

Every two years the State Court Administrative Office releases a Judicial Resource Recommendations report based on its review of the needs of the Michigan judiciary. The 2019 report recommended that a judge be added to the 14th Circuit Court in Muskegon County.

Senate Bill 694 would add the additional circuit court judge starting on Jan. 1, 2023, bringing the county’s total to five circuit court judges. The initial term would be for eight years to stagger the judgeships, so that no more than two of the judges are up for re-election in the same year.

The legislation would also add judgeships from Kent County all the way to the district court of Cheboygan and Presque Isle. The additional judgeships were also included in the most recent Judicial Resource Recommendations report.

The bill now goes to the governor.