Genesee Co. Court receives funding to address backlog of criminal cases

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Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 2:28 PM EDT
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GENESEE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - The 7th Judicial Circuit Court for Genesee County was awarded grant funding intended to remedy jail overcrowding and assist with backlog of criminal cases due to the manded court closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michigan Supreme Court awarded the Circuit Court a $785,000 grant for the Virtual Backlog Response Docket.

The court will create a docket composed of non-capital cases that have been pending for more than 91 days.

The grant funding will also enlist and retain the services of a visiting judge to preside over the newly created docket. The judge will assist with presiding over those criminal convictions, which will include both in-person and virtual options for court events.

Cases where the defendant is in the Genesee County Jail and has one or more cases fitting this category will be given priority.

The criminal division judges will then be able to prioritize criminal jury trials and manage the most serious felony cases.

Part of the grant money is designated for prosecutor, public defender and county clerk resources.

In addition, $190,000 of the grant money will be available to compensate the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) for presentence investigations associated with the criminal docket.

Grant funds are available for one year, ending March 31, 2024.

Chief Judge David J. Newblatt praised the Michigan Supreme Court and Thomas P. Boyd, State Court administrator, for securing the funding to assist high volume courts who were most effected by the COVID-19 court closures.

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