On Wednesday, February 26, 2013, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, the Honorable Paul L. Maloney, delivered a “State of the District” report to the Western Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Among the highlights of Chief Judge Maloney’s report were the following:
- The Western District of Michigan is on more secure financial footing than it has been for several years. Chief Judge Maloney noted that there is even hope that the District may be able to hire back some staff that lost their positions as a result of prior budgetary constraints.
- Civil filings in the District decreased by approximately eight percent (8%) last year. Chief Judge Maloney noted that there has been no notable change in the types of civil cases the District Court is seeing, although he noted anecdotally that his docket has included more removal actions from state court than in the past.
- Chief Judge Maloney also reported that the District continues to rank extremely well in statistical measurements tracking the average time to dispose of both civil and criminal matters, including weighted averages which take into account the relative complexity of the cases before the Court.
- Finally, Chief Judge Maloney commented briefly on the upcoming retirement of Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville and provided a short update on the selection process for the new Magistrate Judge. Chief Judge Maloney noted that the finalists for the position will remain confidential and that the Court does not expect to make any further announcements about the vacancy until it announces who the new Magistrate Judge will be. Because of the time required to perform a background check on the appointee, it is expected that it will be at least three months before the new Magistrate Judge is announced.