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Law that raises millions in local courts is challenged

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 06, 2022

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is being urged to strike down a law that forces people convicted of crimes to pay millions of dollars for the everyday costs of running local courts.

The justices heard arguments Wednesday.

The challenge comes at a key time: The law expires in October, and any decision from the Supreme Court will affect how the Legislature responds.

Critics say it’s unconstitutional for a judge to oversee a criminal case and also have the power to order someone to pay to keep the lights on and the building clean.

From 2018 through 2020, courts collected $108 million statewide, and 75% of that was collected in District Courts.

Those courts handle traffic tickets, drunken driving cases and other misdemeanors.

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