LANSING — State Representative Brian Banks (D-Detroit) announced that he has introduced House Bill 5222, to ensure that the Detroit 36th District Court keeps the 30 judges the court now has. Senate Bill 709, introduced this week by state Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), would remove a judge from this court taking it down to 29 judges. SB 709 is scheduled to be considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

“Everyone recognizes that the 36th District Court is one of the busiest courts in the nation,” said Banks. “Eliminating a judge from this court is unnecessary and a real disservice to Detroit residents. This is a mean-spirited move by legislative Republicans that would strip Detroiters of the justice they deserve.”

In its 2013 analysis of Michigan’s courts, the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) did not recommend eliminating a judge, but the republican Legislature eliminated a judge anyway taking the court from 31 to 30 judges. This year, the SCAO did recommend eliminating a judge. Eliminating another judge from the 36th District Court, however, would likely cause a backlog of cases and the court would not run as efficiently and effectively for citizens.

“I am outraged that we again have to fight Republican ignorance and disregard for what is arguably our state’s most important city and its busiest court,” Banks said. “If they take another judge away, then people are going to have a hard time getting their day in court. Rather than showing their support for Detroit as the city works on providing better services to residents and attracting new businesses and job opportunities, the Republicans have introduced a bill that amounts to a slap in the face for Detroit. I will fight hard to pass my bill, HB 5222, to maintain 30 judges to serve Detroiters in the 36th District Court.”