Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday signed legislation to increase the efficiency of the Michigan court system and enhance responsiveness for certain complex cases.
The bills create two types of specialized courts. House Bill 5128, sponsored by state Rep. John Walsh, provides for the establishment of business courts with jurisdiction over business and commercial cases in which the amount in controversy exceeds $25,000. These create a more efficient system to handle business court cases across the state.
H.B.s 5159 and 5162, sponsored by state Reps. Wayne Schmidt and Kurt Damrow, allow circuit and district courts to create supervised treatment programs for veterans suffering from mental illness or drug or alcohol dependency. The legislation also requires the State Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee to monitor the effectiveness of these programs and to include a circuit or district court judge who has presided over a veteran’s treatment court.
“These specialized courts address specific needs in our judicial system, streamlining the court process and maximizing efficiency,” Snyder said. “Establishing business courts helps solve complex business cases and provides another important tool for ensuring a strong economic climate, while veterans treatment courts provide understanding, solution-based legal assistance to help veterans get back on their feet.”
H.B. 5128 now is Public Act 333 of 2012. H.B.s 5159 and 5162 now are P.A.s 334 and 335.
The governor also signed six other bills:
House Bill 4928, sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Cotter, simplifies the process of correcting typographical and other small errors in deeds and mortgages. The bill allows the register of deeds or included parties to make necessary changes and quickens the correction process. The bill now is P.A. 336.
H.B. 5053, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Shirkey, permits the exportation minnows, wigglers and crayfish as bait. The bill also clarifies the license requirements for commercial businesses selling these resources. The bill now is P.A. 337.
H.B. 5124, also sponsored by Cotter, requires courts to have a concurrent jurisdiction plan for sharing court resources. These plans create a more efficient court system by streamlining operations and reducing local court expenses. The bill now is P.A. 338.
H.B. 5292, sponsored by state Rep. Holly Hughes, allows disabled veterans to obtain a hunting and fishing license at no cost. The bill applies to all disabilities with the exception of blindness. The bill now is P.A. 339.
H.B. 5322, sponsored by state Rep. Kurt Heise, allows citizens to carry unloaded, uncased firearms at sporting clays ranges. Previous law required shooters to case their gun between stations, which disrupted the flow of the event. The bill now is P.A. 340.
H.B. 5391, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Huuki, allows transportation service providers to conduct background checks before hiring individuals responsible for the transit of children, disabled citizens or the elderly. Fingerprints can be submitted to the Michigan Department of State Police for a criminal record check. The bill now is P.A. 341.
Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.