1805: Supreme Court consisted of one chief judge and two associate judges – both appointed by the president of the United States
1824: Supreme Court justices were term limited to four years
1835: Constitution provided that judges were appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate for seven year terms
1850: Constitution of 1850 set terms for six years and set a requirement that judges of the five circuit courts would also be judges of the Michigan Supreme Court
1857: after some legislative restructuring, the Supreme Court consisted of a chief justice and three associate justices, who were elected for 8 year terms.
1887: the number of justices was increased to five
1903: the number of justices was increased to eight
1908: state Constitution required Supreme Court judges to be nominated at partisan conventions and elected at non-partisan elections – the same as today
1908: The Constitution divided the state into judicial courts; today there are over 50
1963: Michigan has a unified court system per the 1963 State Constitution
1963: The Michigan Constitution of 1963 created the Court of Appeals as a new intermediate level of appeal for lower court decisions
1963: Probate judges are elected for a term of six years
1968: the Constitution was amended & established a Judicial Tenure Commission
1969: the state legislature established a system of 98 District Courts and abolished many minor courts
1969: the District Courts replaced the Justice of the Peace Courts and Circuit Court Commissioners
1997: during a state-wide court reform, the legislature established a Family Division of the Circuit Court
2001: per PA 262 of 2001, the Supreme Court has been deemed responsible of maintaining a “cyber court” to deal with commercial litigation
Hanley, James P. Jr. Politics & Government in Michigan. Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill’s Custom
National Center for State Courts. Michigan State Court Profile.
mLit&Title=56. 12 January 2010.