Michigan Supreme Court building
LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-The Michigan Supreme Court last year cleared more cases than the high court received, an annual report said Friday.
In all, the state Supreme Court received 2,402 case filings in 2008, and disposed of 2,422 cases.
A statement noted that since 2005, the Supreme Court has had a clearance rate of 100 percent or more each year. The court has a 4-3 Republican majority.
As for the Michigan Court of Appeals, it had 6,936 new filings, 7,232 case dispositions for a clearance rate of 104 percent. State circuit and district courts had a 101 percent clearance rate.
The report said that in 2008, Michigan district courts had more than 3.6 million new filings, which included small claims cases and civil complaints where the amount at stake was $25,000 or less.
Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly said in a statement that the report "should be required reading for anyone who wants to know more about the work of our state courts and the issues facing the Michigan judicial branch. It is a tremendous resource."
Last year, the Michigan judicial branch faced a potential ballot measure, which would have cut judges' salaries and reduced the number of top-level jurists.
The proposal backed by Reform Michigan Government Now would have also trimmed the size of the state Legislature and cut legislators' pay.
The plan was blocked by the high court because proposal was a "general revision" of the state constitution that had to be considered in a constitutional convention.
If it had been passed, the Supreme Court would have lost two judges, while seven appeals court judgeships would have been eliminated. Judges, however, would have been added at the circuit court level.
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.