DETROIT — A new courthouse costing as much as $300 million that will pay off more than $50 million in court debt as part of a settlement from a lawsuit was approved last week by the Wayne County Commission according to local news reports.
The county’s court system will be cut by around 15% in order to settle a long-running lawsuit between two branches of county government.
The 3rd Circuit Court sued county government in 2008 saying that the courts were underfunded and left incapable of disseminating justice properly. A judge ruled the county owed as much as $500 million leading to negotiations. The courts have agreed to stay within a budget for the next five years after which the courthouse will be improved by the county.
Commissioner Laura Cox was among those against the decision because of the county’s current outstanding debt but fellow commissioner Joe Palamara said that the deal was prudent considering the potentially huge judgment that was still in the process of being made.