On order of the Court, pursuant to Const 1963, art 6, §4, and on a temporary basis until further order of this Court, Michael J. Talbot, judge of the Court of Appeals, is hereby appointed Special Judicial Administrator of the 36th District Court in the city of Detroit. On behalf of this Court, and subject to its control and supervision, Judge Talbot shall exercise powers of superintending control as set forth in Const 1963, art 6, §4.
The Court's action was precipitated by a highly critical report by the National Center for State Courts on the economically-distressed court's operations. The report called for the court to reengineer old work procedures and embrace a culture of innovation and change. Although the report's authors extended a special thank you to Chief District Court Judge Kenneth King for his insights and accommodations regarding the report, he did not respond in kind. "It was extremely insulting—the tone in which it was written. It was extremely insulting to me and my staff," he told the Detroit News.
State Court Administrator Chad Schmucker said Judge Talbot's appointment was needed to “keep the doors open at this court and make sure the public is getting the service it deserves.” Noting that the Court's choice of Talbot was unanimous, Chief Justice Robert Young said that D36's "extraordinary challenges" require a "strong change agent" to bring experience, vision, and a fresh perspective to the courts’ problems, and that Talbot's expertise in judicial administration and many years of experience in Detroit’s trial courts qualify him for the assignment.