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House committee approves Bumstead bill restructuring judicial district courts

LANSING, Mich. — The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Jon Bumstead to restructure the judicial districts within Newaygo, Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties.

“This legislation will maintain the same number of judges in the 27th and 51st Circuit Courts, and the 78th and 79th District Courts,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “By restructuring the courts in these counties, it will establish a more efficient workload for the judges while ensuring the best access to justice for our residents.”

Currently, Newaygo and Oceana counties share the same judicial courts, and Mason and Lake counties share the same courts. Under the legislation, the judicial courts will be restructured so Newaygo and Lake counties will share their courts, and Mason and Oceana counties will share judicial courts.

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 identified issues with the judicial districts of Newaygo, Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties.

“This is a local solution to an issue identified in the Judicial Resource Recommendations report,” Bumstead said. “I worked directly with our judges and court administrators in all four counties to come up with a plan to provide the best court case management while being efficient with state and local resources.”

Senate Bill 654 now goes to the floor of the House of Representatives for consideration.

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