HOUSE BILL NO. 4222

February 11, 2021, Introduced by Reps. Filler, LaGrand and Scott and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

A bill to amend 1961 PA 236, entitled

"Revised judicature act of 1961,"

by amending section 6404 (MCL 600.6404), as amended by 2013 PA 164.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 6404. (1) The court of claims consists of 4 court of appeals judges from at least 2 court of appeals districts or more judges of the circuit court assigned by the supreme court as provided in this subsection. A court of appeals judge of the circuit court while sitting as a judge of the court of claims may exercise the jurisdiction of the court of claims as provided by law. In assigning the judges of the circuit court who will sit as judges of the court of claims, the supreme court shall ensure all of the following:

(a) Not less than 1 judge of the circuit court in each of the 4 court of appeals districts is assigned to sit as a judge of the court of claims.

(b) Not less than 1 judge of the circuit court from a county with a population of less than 60,000 is assigned to sit as a judge of the court of claims.

(c) Not more than half of the judges of the circuit court assigned to sit as judges of the court of claims are from counties that have populations of more than 250,000.

(2) All matters pending in the court of claims as of the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection shall (1)(a) to (c) must be transferred to the clerk of the court of appeals, acting as the clerk of the court of claims, for assignment to a court of appeals judge the judge of the circuit court sitting as a court of claims judge pursuant to section 6410. The transfer shall be is effective on the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection (1)(a) to (c). After a matter is assigned to the judge of the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court where the matter is assigned shall act as the clerk of the court of claims for that matter.

(3) Beginning on the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection (1)(a) to (c), any matter within the jurisdiction of the court of claims described in section 6419(1) pending or later filed in any court must, upon notice of the this state or a department or officer of the this state, be transferred to the court of claims described in subsection (1). The transfer shall be is effective upon the filing of the transfer notice. The This state or a department or officer of this state shall file a copy of the transfer notice with the clerk of the court of appeals, who shall act as the clerk of the court of claims, for purposes of assignment to a the judge of the circuit court of appeals judge sitting as a court of claims judge pursuant to section 6410. After a matter is assigned to the judge of the circuit court, the clerk of the circuit court where the matter is assigned shall act as the clerk of the court of claims for that matter.

(4) If a judge assigned to serve on the court of claims is disabled, disqualified, or otherwise unable to attend to a matter, another judge assigned to sit as a judge of the court of claims may continue, hear, determine, and sign orders and other documents in the matter. The state court administrator may assign a replacement judge to sit as a court of claims judge for that matter only.

(5) In case a court of appeals If a judge designated to sit as the judge of assigned to serve on the court of claims dies before signing a judgment and after filing a finding of fact or rendering an opinion upon proof submitted and argument of counsel disposing of all or part of the issues in the case involved, a successor as judge of the court of claims may proceed with that action in a manner consistent with the finding or opinion and the judge is given the same powers as if the finding of fact had been made or the opinion had been rendered by the successor judge.

(6) A judge assigned as a judge of to serve on the court of claims shall must be assigned for a term of 2 years and may be reassigned at the expiration of that term.

(7) The term of a judge of the court of claims expires on May 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(8) When a judge who is sitting as a judge of the court of claims leaves office or is otherwise unable to serve as a judge of the court of claims, the supreme court may assign a court of appeals judge of the circuit court to serve for the remainder of the judge's term on the court of claims.

(9) The supreme court shall select a chief judge of the court of claims from among the court of appeals judges of the circuit courts assigned to the court of claims.

Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect unless Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 4223 (request no. 01799'21) of the 101st Legislature is enacted into law.