|Per Chief Judge Biernat, please see the following update regarding the 16th Circuit and Macomb Probate Courts' dockets. All operations will continue remotely with the public for the month of May. We will reassess mid-May to make plans for June.
(1) We will begin holding out-of-custody matters remotely. If the defendant does not have the technical ability to participate remotely, we are setting up a space in the jury room with a workstation for paperwork and access to use zoom for video conferencing. The defendant would still need to waive their presence in the courtroom. When a defendant needs to utilize this space, the deputy for the courtroom would meet them at the front doors, take them to the jury room, and be present until the conclusion of the case. If technical assistance is needed, Court IT will be available.
(2) Beginning Monday May 4, an in-custody schedule will be utilized (attached), so each Judge will handle their own in-custody matters remotely at their scheduled time slot with the jail.
(3) We will continue handling civil matters remotely. Case evaluation will continue remotely.
(4) Collections will remain remote.
(5) Per AO 2020-08, jury trials are delayed until June 22, 2020, or as otherwise provided by local order, whichever is later.
(1) We will expand our dockets beyond emergencies and permanency planning hearings. We have the capability to do any hearing type, but have no plans to conduct trials at this time.
(2) The on-call referee will be available each day and every referee will have a hearing day where they will conduct proceedings remotely with the public via Zoom. They each have a hearing day so that we don't have attorneys, probation, and DHHS having Zoom hearings scheduled in front of multiple jurists at the same time.
(1) The referees will Increase remote hearings with the public.
(2) Increase remote investigations.
(3) Institute remote SMILE program.
For Probate Court:
(1) Increase the dockets, beyond emergencies, to be conducted remotely with the public.
(2) Very limited public allowed in the building for emergencies only. Continue to utilize the virtual desk and both courtrooms to keep the public and staff safe.