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Court clerk shortage delays cases in Wayne County

courtroom gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz

At Wayne County Circuit Court, attorneys and clients are struggling with clerk shortages.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the court put off many cases until public health restrictions eased. Now, they’re dealing with an increase in cases without enough staff to handle them.

Defense Attorney Lillian Diallo said these shortages are causing long delays, unnecessary adjournments, docket cancellations and inadequate service to residents and attorneys.

Wayne County handles hundreds of thousands of cases per year. Almost a quarter of the clerk positions are currently vacant.

Defense Attorney John Freeman said he experiences hours of delays regularly.

“There's been a tremendous amount of delays in the court system, and as a result of that, I find myself and clients having to wait an extended period of time before we can even have our case heard by the court,” he said.

Emily is a junior at the University of Michigan double majoring in Communications and Creative Writing.