Snyder says two open COA judgeships won’t be filled

If you were waiting by the phone in anticipation of Governor Rick Snyder’s call to congratulate you on being appointed to the Court of Appeals, you can go about your business.

According to the Detroit News, Snyder has decided not to fill court’s two open seats, which were created by Richard Bandstra’s retirement and Brian Zahra’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

Lansing — Gov. Rick Snyder will not fill two Michigan Court of Appeals vacancies and will ask for legislation to reduce the number of appeals judges to 26 from 28, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“This decision to not fill these two posts reflects the governor’s desire to match and align the number of judgeships with a significantly reduced caseload at the court,” said Sara Wurfel, Snyder’s press secretary.

The appeals court reductions account for two of the six judicial reductions Snyder announced in his Feb. 17 budget presentation. Having six fewer judges is projected to save close to $942,100 in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Wurfel said cutting two appeals court judgeships will save about $343,000.

According to the story, four more judgeships are expected to be eliminated from the state’s circuit and district courts.

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Saginaw County judge warns against cutting into bench for savings

“A state senator wants to give counties the option of temporarily eliminating Circuit Court judgeships to save cash, but Saginaw County’s chief judge said it would put too much strain on the judiciary,” reports The Saginaw News.

 “Chief Circuit Judge Robert L. Kaczmarek has asked lawmakers to derail any attempts to let it happen here.

 “The provision could drop the number of circuit judges to four from five for at least two years beginning Jan. 1, 2011.”