Rule 8.111 Assignment of Cases

(A) Application. The rule applies to all courts defined in subrule 8.110(A), regardless whether the court is acting in the capacity of a trial court or an appellate court.

(B) Assignment. All cases must be assigned by lot, unless a different system has been adopted by local court administrative order under the provisions of subrule 8.112. Assignment will occur at the time the case is filed or before a contested hearing or uncontested dispositional hearing in the case, as the chief judge directs. Civil actions must be assigned within appropriate categories determined by the chief judge. The chief judge may receive fewer assignments in order to perform the duties of chief judge.

(C) Reassignment.

(1) If a judge is disqualified or for other good cause cannot undertake an assigned case, the chief judge may reassign it to another judge by a written order stating the reason. To the extent feasible, the alternate judge should be selected by lot. The chief judge shall file the order with the trial court clerk and have the clerk notify the attorneys of record. The chief judge may also designate a judge to act temporarily until a case is reassigned or during a temporary absence of a judge to whom a case has been assigned.

(2)   If a judge is reassigned under a concurrent jurisdiction plan or a family court plan, the successor judge will be assigned all cases filed after the date of reassignment, any pending matters, and postjudgment matters that relate to disposed cases. The chief judge shall submit a local administrative order under MCR 8.112 identifying the revised caseload distribution.

(D) Actions Arising out of Same Transaction or Occurrence. Subject to subrule 8.110(C),

(1) if one of two or more actions arising out of the same transaction or occurrence has been assigned to a judge, the other action or actions must be assigned to that judge;

(2) if an action arises out of the same transaction or occurrence as a civil action previously dismissed or transferred, the action must be assigned to the judge to whom the earlier action was assigned;

(3) the attorney for the party bringing the other action under subrule (1) or the new action under subrule (2) shall notify the clerk of the fact in writing in the manner prescribed in MCR 2.113(C)(2). An attorney who knowingly fails to do so is subject to disciplinary action.

(4) The chief judge may reassign cases, other than those encompassed by subrule 8.111(D)(1), in order to correct docket control problems resulting from the requirements of this rule.