Daily Briefs

36th District Court closed due to cold and building flooding

The 36th District Court will be closed again on Friday, February 1 due to flooding at the courthouse caused by a burst pipe. Record-breaking subzero temperatures triggered a pipe to burst causing extensive damage and flooding to the entire main floor including the inside and outside of the public and employee entrances. Walk-through metal detectors, other security devices and courtrooms were also impacted. Consequently, if the Court were to open, security staff would have to manually wand and search all members of the public, the staff and their belongings. With the expected temperatures reaching only zero in the morning, individuals and staff would have to wait in line in the frigid cold to enter the building during the slower, manual process of security screening.

Chief Judge Pro Tem Larry D. Williams, Jr. stated, “We had to consider the anticipated morning temperature, the manual security screening process, and the safety and welfare of our bench, staff and litigants. We decided that it was in the best interest of all to close the Court.”

Court Administrator Kelli Moore Owen added, “The restoration company will work around the clock and through the weekend to ensure the building is safe and ready to open for business Monday, February 4. This will also allow ample time for the carpets to dry and ensure all security and screening equipment is fully functional.”

In-custody felony arraignments will be conducted by the assigned magistrate at the Detroit Detention Center, 17601 Mound Road, Detroit,  at noon on Friday, February 1. All other cases scheduled for Friday will be rescheduled and new Notices to Appear will be mailed by the Court.

Visit the Court’s website at http://www.36thdistrictcourt.org/ for further details, including the Court’s schedule.


Hundreds of Michigan communities ban marijuana businesses

DETROIT (AP) — More than 250 Michigan communities have banned marijuana businesses just two months after the state became the first in the Midwest to legalize the drug for recreational use.

Some cities and townships have enacted temporary bans until the state creates regulations to govern the recreational marijuana industry, MLive reported. The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has until December to issue rules.

Michigan voters in November endorsed recreational marijuana for adults who are at least 21 years old.

At least 80 municipalities have reached out to law firm Dickinson Wright for legal advice regarding recreational marijuana, said Jessica Wood, a lawyer in the firm’s municipal practice.

“The majority requested ordinances to enable them to consider ‘opting out’ for now,” Wood said. “We don’t know how many have actually voted to opt out at this point, or how many may opt out now while continuing to take time to analyze the impact and understand what the new law requires and allows — in other words, to hit the pause button.”

Many of the state’s biggest cities, including Detroit and Lansing, haven’t passed any restrictions.

Josh Hovey, the spokesman for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, believes that some communities are being cautious because of legal concerns, while others are following their community’s values.