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Latest Information​


Time for Input NOW!

Please read the memo from State Court Administrator Tom Boyd requesting your comments and feedback regarding the report about Lessons Learned from the Pandemic of 2020-2021 and the report about Open Courts, Media, and Privacy.  We have an opportunity now to make decisions that will shape the judiciary for a generation or more, and these reports are designed to spur the conversation.  Your opinion matters and the time to speak up is now!
(July 26, 2021)


DRAFT REPORT from the Task Force on Open Courts, Media, and Privacy​  
COMMENT HERE - Use this fillable PDF form​ to submit comments.
[Scroll down for more details on how/where to comment.]

(July 12, 2021)


DRAFT REPORT - Michigan Trial Courts: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic of 2020-2021 – Findings, Best Practices, and Recommendations

COMMENT HERE - Use this fillable PDF form​ to submit comments.
[Scroll down for more details on how/where to comment.]​
(June 29, 2021)​



Task Force on Open Courts, Media and Privacy - PUBLIC COMMENT WANTED


The public is invited to comment on the following:​ 
DRAFT REPORT from the Task Force on Open Courts, Media and Privacy.​

Fillable PDF Comment Form​


The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 forced the vast majority of Michigan judicial proceedings to move online. This presented technical challenges to courts, attorneys, parties, and other participants in the state’s justice system. In certain types of cases, the use of online proceedings also raised concerns about privacy, the rights of criminal defendants, the rights of victims, and the fair administration of justice. 

 

At the same time, the advent of online proceedings brought advantages and opportunities. For example, online proceedings saved time and expense, relieving participants and observers from burdens like taking time off work, securing child care, finding transportation, traveling to the courthouse, and parking. These gains were particularly evident for low income families and people of color who may have previously lacked access to court proceedings. In addition, lawyers and members of the media who need to monitor proceedings at more than one courthouse could do so more easily. 

 

These positive developments raise a number of important questions: How has the online experiment gone? Should courts continue to use online proceedings in the post-pandemic environment? If so, how do courts ensure that access and transparency are maintained and further improved? What measures should courts take to address privacy concerns and the rights of criminal defendants, victims, and other participants? What improvements can be made?


In the fall of 2020, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack formed the Task Force on Open Courts, Media, and Privacy to consider and address the above questions, specifically in relation to the public’s ability to observe judicial proceedings. She directed the Task Force to prepare recommendations toward the goal of making Michigan’s approach to online judicial proceedings “a model for the nation.”

 

PUBLIC COMMENT WANTED - Public and judicial system feedback will assist the Task Force with finalizing this report and making recommendations for the future of Michigan courts that will later be considered by the Supreme Court. Please use this fillable PDF​ for your comments and e-mail to opencourts@courts.mi.gov by August 13, 2021.

 

Lessons Learned from the Pandemic - PUBLIC COMMENT WANTED


The public is invited to comment on the following:​ 
DRAFT REPORT - Michigan Trial Courts: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic of 2020-2021 – Findings, Best Practices, and Recommendations.


Fillable PDF Comment Form​


The key message from the draft report is that virtual proceedings played a key role in keeping courts running while also limiting spread of the virus. The draft is also being distributed to a broad range of judicial system stakeholders to begin a discussion to identify steps that should be maintained in the future or other reforms that might improve the administration of justice to be considered by the Michigan Supreme Court. SCAO formed the Lessons Learned Committee in May 2020 and charged it with assessing our justice system’s response to the pandemic–from implementing emergency procedures to modifying hearings that accommodate a virtual courtroom.


PUBLIC COMMENT WANTED - Public and judicial system feedback will assist the Lessons Learned Committee with finalizing this report and making recommendations for the future of Michigan courts that will later be considered by the Supreme Court. Comments can be captured on this fillable PDF form and e-mailed to LessonsLearned@courts.mi.gov no later than August 13, 2021. 


(If your comments exceed the available space on the form, please feel free to include an additional document with your submission. Note that you will need to save the fillable form and attach it to your e-mail submission.)

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