Business litigation is changing in Michigan. Public Act 333 officially requires Michigan circuit courts that have three or more judges to establish specialized business court dockets. Those courts with less than three circuit judges may also establish a business court, but they are not required to do so.
The purpose of the business court structure is to provide a more efficient manner to resolve business cases. It is hoped that the system will expedite the resolution of business disputes in a more cost-effective manner for both clients and the court system.
What distinguishes litigation in the business court?
- Cases must have a business component, but they need not be exclusively business-related.
- Cases must be electronically filed.
- A judge is assigned to each case based on a blind draw system.
- In Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, the disputed amount must be at least $25,000.
- Both parties must be businesses (and in certain cases, non-profits can also be a litigant, depending on the type of case).
- There are exclusions, including personal injury actions, product liability, landlord-tenant issues, employment discrimination and automobile insurance coverage issues.
Further information about what business courts can and cannot adjudicate are found in MCL 600.8031(2) and MCL 600.8031(3).