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Plan for trimming judges reportedly includes Branch County

LANSING, MI (WTVB) - The final decision is up to the legislature, but changes could be coming to Circuit Court in Branch County as part of the trimming of judgeships in Michigan The MIRS news agency reports that a judicial restructuring plan released today by the State Court Administrator's Office suggested combining Branch and Hillsdale counties into a single judicial circuit. Each county, with judges, has one more judgeship than is needed based on the workload numbers contained in the report.

State Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Rick Jones said he's looking forward to reviewing the report, but that he appreciated the non-partisan approach to carefully balancing the needs of judges across the state. He noted that cutting judges in the past has been difficult, but now that this is being done through attrition, the judges' association has been on board, making it politically more realistic.