HOUSE BILL NO. 5304

December 19, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Filler and Elder and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

A bill to amend 1961 PA 236, entitled

"Revised judicature act of 1961,"

by amending sections 6404, 6410, and 6413 (MCL 600.6404, 600.6410, and 600.6413), as amended by 2013 PA 164.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 6404. (1) The court of claims consists of 4 court of appeals judges from at least 2 court of appeals districts or more judges of the circuit court assigned by the supreme court as provided in this subsection. A court of appeals judge judge of the circuit court while sitting as a judge of the court of claims may exercise the jurisdiction of the court of claims as provided by law. In assigning the judges of the circuit court who will sit as judges of the court of claims, the supreme court shall ensure all of the following:

(a) Not less than 1 judge of the circuit court in each of the 4 court of appeals districts is assigned to sit as a judge of the court of claims.

(b) Not less than 1 judge of the circuit court from a county with a population of less than 60,000 people is assigned to sit as a judge of the court of claims.

(c) Not more than half of the judges of the circuit court assigned to sit as judges of the court of claims are from counties that have populations of more than 250,000 people.

(2) All matters pending in the court of claims as of the effective date of the amendatory act that added amended this subsection shall must be transferred to the clerk of the court of appeals, acting as the clerk of the court of claims, for assignment to a court of appeals judge the judge of the circuit court sitting as a court of claims judge pursuant to section 6410. The transfer shall be is effective on the effective date of the amendatory act that added amended this subsection. After a matter is assigned to the judge of the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court where the matter is assigned shall act as the clerk of the court of claims for that matter.

(3) Beginning on the effective date of the amendatory act that added amended this subsection, any matter within the jurisdiction of the court of claims described in section 6419(1) pending or later filed in any court must, upon notice of the state or a department or officer of the state, be transferred to the court of claims described in subsection (1). The transfer shall be is effective upon the filing of the transfer notice. The state or a department or officer of this state shall file a copy of the transfer notice with the clerk of the court of appeals, who shall act as the clerk of the court of claims, for purposes of assignment to a the judge of the circuit court of appeals judge sitting as a court of claims judge pursuant to section 6410. After a matter is assigned to the judge of the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court where the matter is assigned shall act as the clerk of the court of claims for that matter.

(4) If a judge assigned to serve on the court of claims is disabled, disqualified, or otherwise unable to attend to a matter, another judge assigned to sit as a judge of the court of claims may continue, hear, determine, and sign orders and other documents in the matter. The state court administrator may assign a replacement judge to sit as a court of claims judge for that matter only.

(5) In case a court of appeals If a judge designated to sit as the judge of assigned to serve on the court of claims dies before signing a judgment and after filing a finding of fact or rendering an opinion upon proof submitted and argument of counsel disposing of all or part of the issues in the case involved, a successor as judge of the court of claims may proceed with that action in a manner consistent with the finding or opinion and the judge is given the same powers as if the finding of fact had been made or the opinion had been rendered by the successor judge.

(6) A judge assigned as a judge of to serve on the court of claims shall must be assigned for a term of 2 years and may be reassigned at the expiration of that term.

(7) The term of a judge of the court of claims expires on May 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(8) When a judge who is sitting as a judge of the court of claims leaves office or is otherwise unable to serve as a judge of the court of claims, the supreme court may assign a court of appeals judge judge of the circuit court to serve for the remainder of the judge's term on the court of claims.

(9) The supreme court shall select a chief judge of the court of claims from among the court of appeals judges judges of the circuit assigned to the court of claims.

Sec. 6410. (1) The clerk of the court of appeals shall serve as the clerk of the court of claims for purposes of receiving a filing under subsection (2), or for filing a notice of intention to file a claim under section 6431, assigning a cause of action under subsection (3), and all other matters requiring the attention of the clerk in a matter before the case is assigned under subsection (2).

(2) A plaintiff may shall file a cause of action in the court of claims in any court of appeals district. After issuing a summons, the clerk of the court of appeals shall forward a cause of action filed under this section to the clerk of the circuit court in which the matter will be heard. After a matter is forwarded as provided in this subsection, the clerk of the circuit court where the matter is assigned shall act as the clerk of the court of claims for that matter.

(3) The clerk of the court of claims appeals shall, by blind draw, assign a cause of action filed in the court of claims to a judge of the circuit court of appeals judge sitting as a court of claims judge.

(4) For making copies of records, proceedings, and testimony and furnishing the same at the request of the claimant, or any other person, the clerk of the court of claims or any reporter or recorder serving in the court of claims shall be is entitled, in addition to salary, to the same fees as are by law provided for court reporters or recorders in the circuit court. No charge shall may be made against the state for services rendered for furnishing copies of records, proceedings, or testimony or other papers to the attorney general.

(5) Process issued by the court may be served by any member of the Michigan department of state police as well as any other officer or person authorized to serve process issued out of the circuit court.

Sec. 6413. (1) The court of claims shall sit in the circuit court of appeals district where a the judge of the circuit court of appeals judge serving as a judge of the court of claims sits, unless otherwise determined by the chief judge of the court of claims.

(2) The state shall reimburse the counties in which the court of claims sits for the reasonable and actual costs incurred by those counties for implementing jurisdictional duties in the circuit court imposed on the counties by this chapter. The counties in which the court of claims sits shall submit quarterly the counties' itemized costs as described in this section to the state court administrative office. After determination by the state court administrator of the reasonableness of the amount to be paid, payment must be made under the accounting laws of this state. Determination of reasonableness by the state court administrator is conclusive.