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State of Emergency Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Civil and Business Attorneys

Mar 23, 2020

MEMORANDUM


To: Civil and Business Attorneys Practicing in Wayne County Circuit Court
From: The Judges of the Wayne County Circuit Court Civil and Business Division
Date: March 23, 2020
Re: State of Emergency Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

First and most importantly, we hope you and your families are safe and well.

The judges of the Civil and Business divisions of the Wayne County Circuit Court are committed to working with you during the current health crisis. Our court, the largest in the State of Michigan, faces many challenges in addressing the current needs of the public. We, in the Civil Division and Business Court, recognize that our resources are best utilized by prioritizing the other divisions of our court: criminal, family and juvenile. We know that, working together with you, we can allow the Chief Judge to address those critical needs.

To this end, Chief Judge Timothy Kenny entered an Order supervising the caseload management of the Civil Division and Business Court. During this difficult time, we encourage you to work together on your cases. With all safety measures in place and with respect to all people, please continue to attempt to resolve cases and mediate disputes. The new court rules provide for mediation of discovery disputes and we encourage you to do so. See MCR 2.411 (H).

When our courtrooms resume a normal schedule, we will work cooperatively with you to address your issues, schedule your trials and hear your motions. Until then, we will only hear Emergency matters as directed by the Chief Judge. Prior to contacting the Court, however, an attorney is expected to reach out to his/her opposing counsel and attempt to resolve the issue. The emergency judge will attempt to mediate the matter with the attorneys either by email or by telephone. If an on the record hearing is necessary, the emergency judge will contact court administration and arrange for a date and time for the hearing as well as assure arrangements are made for appropriate court staff to attend.

We know this letter will not answer all your questions, but we will work with you to move your cases through the court system while allowing time to address the most important issues in your life, your health and your family.

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