Daily Briefs

McCormack elected chief justice of State Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously elected Justice Bridget M. McCormack to serve a two-year term as chief justice. She succeeds Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman and is the sixth woman to serve as chief justice. McCormack was first elected to the court in 2012 following her service on the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School.

“Michigan’s courts must be accessible to all, engaged with the communities they serve, independent of political pressure, and efficient in making the best use of public resources,” said McCormack. “My goal is to build on past achievements while redoubling our efforts to help Michigan’s judiciary become more responsive to the public we serve.”

McCormack also announced that Justice David F. Viviano will serve as chief justice pro tem. In this newly-created post, Viviano will focus on court technology and administrative reforms to improve service and responsiveness to the public.

McCormack highlighted several key initiatives that will help Michigan courts be more accessible, engaged, independent, and efficient:

• Implementing technology to increase access, improve service, and make the judiciary more efficient, including statewide e-filing, online dispute resolution, and easy-to-use web-based tools to support self-represented litigants.

• Reform of pretrial practices so that bail decisions guard individual rights, protect public safety, and reduce the cost of incarceration.

• Problem-solving courts that emphasize treatment, rigorous monitoring, and community support to help defendants tackle problems such as substance abuse, dramatically reducing repeat offenses and making neighborhoods safer.

The court chooses a chief justice every two years. McCormack is the 67th chief justice since Michigan became a state in 1836. Her election today marks the first time in state history that the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and chief justice are all women.

Michigan is the only state in the nation with women in all four leadership posts.


Suit seeks restraining order to keep property as pet cemetery

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Several people whose pets are buried at a shuttered Michigan pet cemetery are suing to make sure remains of an estimated 74,000 animals there won’t be disturbed.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reports attorney Mike Olson filed the civil lawsuit Tuesday on their behalf in Livingston County Circuit Court. They’re seeking more than $25,000 in damages and an emergency restraining order to prevent any change to the property, which is for sale .

Heavenly Acres pet cemetery in Livingston County’s Genoa Township closed after its lease expired Sept. 30.


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