Could 68th district court in Genesee County could be dissolved? - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Could 68th district court in Genesee County could be dissolved?

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -

(12/20/13) - If a proposed legislation wins approval in the state legislature, Genesee County's 68th District Court could be dissolved.

That could also mean layoffs.

ABC12 News has learned this could mean six or more layoffs if this bill is passed. It's not clear exactly who would be impacted.

This bill has already been approved by the House and now it has to be approved by the Senate.
    
If it's passed, it means there's a possibility that the 68th court could be merged into a division of the 67th, meaning that the 67th could have five divisions instead of four.

"Because some of the personnel would not be necessary. Some of the judges would come over with their clerks," said Joseph Graves, State Rep. for the 51st district.

Some believe it will save the county money.

"It cost $5  million a year right now to operate them because the revenue is not coming in, they don't write the tickets in the City of Flint to pay for them, the 67th district court does generate funds," Graves said.

"It's all in the spirit of trying to be more efficient delivery of services in the court system," said Genesee County Commissioner Jamie Curtis.

Currently, the 68th district has five judges. Part of the bill is calling for four judges in the 5th division when someone retires.
    
Everyone isn't so sure about merging the two.

"The flaw in that it looks like the case load for 68th district court is dropping and the reason that it's dropping is that we don't have the required number of police officers on the street who would be generating cases, and so if you don't have police officers on the streets, you're not going to get the cases," said State Rep. Woodrow Stanley.

If this bill is approved by the Senate, it's expected to go to Gov. Snyder's office next month.
    
It would require two-thirds of votes from Genesee County commissioners in order to go forward.
    
It takes two years under this bill to implement.

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