MSC to SCAO: Plan needed to track court collections programs

The Michigan Supreme Court wants the state’s trial courts to do a better job of collecting court-ordered financial sanctions from scofflaws.

Yesterday, the MSC told the State Court Administrative Office to come up with plans to make that happen.

Administrative Order No. 2010-1 directs the SCAO “establish court collections program requirements” for circuit courts, family divisions and district and municipal courts.

What’s motivating the MSC’s directive?

Enforcing court orders, including financial sanctions, is a responsibility of the courts that, if done effectively, enhances the courts’ integrity and credibility while providing funds to assure victims are made whole and support law enforcement, libraries, the crime victim’s rights fund, and local governments.

In other orders released yesterday, the MSC:

declined to amend MCR 6.302. The proposed amendment would have required all criminal plea discussions to take place in open court and on the record.

rejected amendments to MCR 3.210 and 3.211. The proposed amendments would have changed procedures courts use to grant judgments in domestic relations cases.

– made clear that that there is a 50-page limit for briefs when a circuit court is hearing an appeal from a district court or administrative agency. See ADM File No. 2009-14.

– incorporated parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act into the Michigan Court Rules relating to child protective proceedings and juvenile status offenses. See ADM File No. 2008-43.

appointed Judge Richard E. Vollbach, Jr. as the chief judge of the Arenac County Probate Court.

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