Justice for All Task Force to host town hall meetings

The Michigan Supreme Court’s Justice for All Task Force has scheduled two public town hall meetings seeking input on its plan to achieve 100 percent access to the civil justice system.

The first meeting is on February 14 in Grand Rapids. The second meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. Monday, February 24 at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Hall, 1358 Abbott St. in Detroit.

Because the right to a lawyer does not apply to civil cases, there is a significant gap when it comes to equal access. Presently, in 75 percent of civil cases, at least one side cannot afford a lawyer, and they are losing in court because they don’t have the legal information or help they need.

In its efforts to close this gap, the task force will inventory available resources for people with legal problems, identifying gaps and developing a plan to achieve 100 percent access.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack and Justice Brian K. Zahra will open the meetings with short statements and then moderate public testimony. Local officials and representatives of community service organizations will also be invited to share their views.

Those who want to speak will be invited to fill out a speaker’s card, and a time limit will be set based on the number of speakers. Future meetings will be scheduled as needed to complete the task force’s work. For more information visit https://courts.michigan.gov/News-Events/ Pages/Justice-for-All.aspx