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OU MPA intern work mentioned in Macomb Daily

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
OU MPA intern work mentioned in Macomb Daily

The following  article in the October 28, 2012 issue of Macomb Daily mentions Oakland University Master of Public Administration student Lori Marsh, referencing her work as an intern in helping the Macomb County Circuit Court produce an annual report.

 Macomb County Circuit Court showcases annual report
By Jameson Cook

Macomb County Circuit Court officials for the first time have produced a sleek, slick annual report for the public to peruse.

The colorful 31-page publication describes functions of the court and its people as well as statistics for 2011 and four prior years.

The court for years has issued an annual report that is made available to the public and provided to the State Court Administrative Office. But the court hasn’t issue a user-friendly publication like many other circuit courts have done throughout Michigan, said Chief Judge David Viviano.

“The general idea was to convey information to the public,” Viviano said. “As we are becoming more transparent, we want to establish benchmarks of performance level that we can inform the public about.

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“We also wanted to use it as a way to communicate some of the bigger things we’re doing, like that we’re doing more electronically, that the public should be aware of.”

The report came out a couple of months ago, although a limited number were printed. It is also available in its printed form on the home page at www.macombcountymi.gov/circuit court.

“It’s nice to have when we have student groups come in,” Court Administrator Jennifer Phillips said.

Viviano said court officials got a late start on producing it after 2011 data was available by April. Next year, officials will be ready to start working on it once 2012 numbers are finalized so it should be published earlier in the year, officials said.

The booklet features profiles of all 14 circuit and probate judges, as well as three circuit judges who retired over the past three years, and the names and descriptions of department and division heads.

The booklet’s cost was minimal, roughly about $2,000 and the cost of Phillips’ time. She was assisted by unpaid intern Lori Marsh, who was in the public administration master’s degree program at Oakland University, which this fall transferred that program to its Mount Clemens campus, a short walk from the Main Street courthouse on Main Street.

The report’s data is somewhat surprising because it showed a decrease in the total number of cases from 2010 to 2011, from 22,785 to 20, 782, following years of increases.

Among the five categories, only civil case filings increased, from 4,243 to 4,339. The number of criminal, juvenile, domestic and appellate cases dropped.

Despite the decrease, Macomb likely remains one of -- if not the busiest -- courthouses in the state, based on cases per judge. In 2009 and ’10, Macomb was the busiest in the state.

This won’t be the last time court officials will capitalize on an OU intern’s talents. A history major is writing a history of the Macomb County court, and Phillips said she plans to convert it into a publication next year.