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Courts scales back operations due to COVID-19 surge

Macomb County Circuit Court Chief Judge James M. Biernat Jr. announced Wednesday that the circuit court, Macomb County Probate Court and 42nd District Courts were moving back to Phase 1 of the State Court Administrative Office’s Return to Full Capacity Plan.

The change was prompted by surging cases of COVID-19 in the county as well as across the state, he said.

“In light of the return to Phase 1, the court will only be conducting very limited in-person proceedings,” Biernat said in a statement. “Proceedings will be conducted virtually (via Zoom) to the maximum extent possible. No more than ten (10) people will be permitted in a courtroom at any time, with social distancing required at all times.

“No jury trials will be conducted until the Court moves out of Phase 1. All individuals with business in front of the Court will be notified of whether their proceedings will be conducted in-person or via Zoom.


‘Essentials’ of estate planning offered online by NBI

The National Business Institute will present the live online seminar “Michigan Estate Planning Essentials: Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Medicaid Planning 101” on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The program will show when and how to use different estate planning tools to accomplish clients’ goals.

The featured speaker will be  Gregory Hamilton, a shareholder with Hamilton and Associates PLLC where he focuses on estate planning, asset protection, and business succession planning.

Cost for the live online seminar is $249 which includes the course book. To register, call 1.800.930.6182 or visit www.nbi-sems.com.


Medical provider agrees to $100K settlement in jail death

MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) — A health care provider has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle part of a lawsuit over the death of a Macomb County jail inmate who killed himself.

The parents of Dieter Herriges-Love will receive about $50,000, with much of it going to his mother, The Macomb Daily reported. The balance will go to lawyers.

Herriges-Love, 34, was found dead in a cell in 2017, 16 days after his arrest on a drug charge. The lawsuit said authorities knew he had a history of drug and alcohol problems and depression but didn't do enough to prevent his death.

"The court finds that the settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable," U.S. District Judge David Lawson said recently.

The lawsuit in federal court in Detroit will continue against Macomb County and two county employees.

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