Erhart appointed to 90th District Court

Harbor Springs attorney James Erhart has been appointed to the 90th District Court covering Emmet and Charlevoix counties.

The appointment fills the vacancy created when Judge Richard May resigned.

Erhart’s appointment is through Jan. 1, 2015. He must seek election in November 2014 to serve a full six-year term.

Erhart, admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1979, has practiced law in the Petoskey area for many years. He was a partner and shareholder with the Stroup, Erhart & Lyons law firm.

A former adjunct professor in the paralegal program at North Central Michigan College from 2000-2009, Erhart is a state bar commissioner and and chairs the bar’s Upper Michigan Legal Institute.

Erhart received his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law.

Isn’t it romantic?

Today the House Judiciary Committee will take up a package of bills that would allow district court magistrates and judges, and probate judges to solemnize marriages anywhere in the state.

Senate bills 698-700 have passed in the Senate. They would allow judges to perform marriages anywhere in the state without having to get a temporary assignment from the State Court Administrative Office; it would also require a $10 fee for performing the ceremony to be paid to the court.

Just in time for wedding season, the committee will discuss the bills this morning at 10:30.

Warren mayor asks court to adopt zero-tolerance for workplace drug/alcohol use

After a 37th District Court officer was accused of being drunk on the job, the mayor of Warren is urging the District Court to adopt a random drug and alcohol screening policy.

From The Detroit News:

Mayor Jim Fouts said Tuesday he is urging the city’s district court to adopt a random drug and alcohol screening policy after a longtime bailiff was accused of drinking on the job.

The 37th District Court officer, placed on paid leave Monday, was accused of being intoxicated while transporting a prisoner from the courthouse to the city police station. Court officials said the officer was “stumbling and mumbling” and smelled of alcohol when he arrived at the station around 3 p.m. Jan. 26.

Fouts said the officer was armed and had cuffed the prisoner’s hands in front of his body, rather than behind. Court officials were notified of the incident Friday. The employee is now indefinitely prohibited from transporting prisoners.

In a letter Friday to District Judge Jennifer Faunce, the mayor asked that the judge terminate the bailiff and insisted the court implement a code of ethics to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy.