Michigan residents in court shouldn’t face a judge who requires money from defendants to cover court expenses. This report is designed to address the historic problem with money’s influence on the justice system. The Michigan Legislature created the Trial Court Funding Commission (TCFC) to review Michigan’s trial court funding system and make recommendations. This was in response to People v. Cunningham, a Michigan Supreme Court decision that determined state law does not provide courts with the authority to impose costs on criminal defendants to fund the day-to-day operation of the courts.

About Our Analysis

PSC helped TCFC review the existing trial court funding system with presentations from experts on circuit, probate, and district courts. This information was used to create a comprehensive survey to determine the existing problems with the trial court funding system. Following a thorough review and assessment, the commission unanimously determined that the current system is flawed. It is crucial to establish a dependable and steady source of funding for Michigan trial courts, alleviating the burden of fundraising from the shoulders of trial court judges.

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