Letter: State’s high court in good hands

Over the past six years, I have been blessed with the honor of serving as chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and I want to thank my colleagues for their trust in my leadership.

The court has issued thousands of orders, hundreds of opinions, and made dozens of improvements to court rules and administrative orders.

We are a collegial court and I delight in the fact that this court works well together interpreting the law and making sure everyone is treated equally under the law. I often like to explain our court’s job as repairing the fabric of the law, making sure there are no holes and the patterns are even and easily discerned.

Right now, the fabric of the law in Michigan is in very good shape. Complementing the work of this court’s judicial decision-making is our equally important responsibility to improve the administration of justice in 242 trial courts statewide. I am proud to report that these efforts have been successful in helping courts become more data driven, more efficient, and more customer-friendly.

From the first day of my tenure as chief justice, we have concentrated on driving change to improve service to the public by focusing on three critically important strategic objectives. First, we are measuring performance and using data to drive more decisions and improve outcomes. Second, new technology is being implemented to increase efficiency and access to the public. Third, by reengineering court processes, more courts than ever are streamlining their administrative operations, breaking down silos, sharing resources, and working together.

Given the complexity of our judicial system, implementing these reforms has not been easy and great credit is due to judges in district, circuit, and probate courts who have embraced change and helped transform our branch of government into a national model. I am grateful for their hard work and dedication.

Even more change lies ahead for Michigan courts. In particular, the implementation of statewide e-filing and the growth of online court services will make our judiciary even more efficient and accessible. At the same time, expansion of the problem-solving court model will help even more people change their lives and strengthen their communities.

Chief Justice Robert Young Jr.

Michigan Supreme Court

Chief justice from 2011-16