State court officials say there are no plans to dismantle the troubled 36th District Court.
Unfounded rumors are fueling the speculation about the busy court, which handles traffic and city ordinance violations, they said.
Union activists, some employees and some attorneys who practice at the court said they believe the appointment of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Michael Talbot as special court administrator is an attempt to shutter the cash-strapped court.
But Marcia McBrien, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Supreme Court, said, “Unfortunately, this rumor has created a lot of unnecessary anxiety. There are no plans to close the 36th District Court.
Thomas Kienbaum, an attorney representing 36th District Court for the state, called reports that the court is targeted to be absorbed into Wayne County Circuit Court “scare tactics.”
“That’s just not in the cards,” Kienbaum said. “Judge Talbot doesn’t create courts or abolish them, and to my knowledge the Michigan Legislature doesn’t plan on (dismantling 36th District Court).”
While he doesn’t believe the state Supreme Court wants to shut down the court, 36th District Judge Kenneth King, who was ousted last month as its chief, said he does believe the state is trying to downsize it.
“It appears there is some kind of move to remove the jails and the court from downtown,” King said. “Look at where we are. We are next door to Ford Field. They’re trying to get an entertainment district downtown. No one wants us there.”