Detroit court returns to local control after troubleshooter cuts costs, improves operations

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DETROIT — Detroit's once-troubled 36th District Court is being turned over again to local management.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday ended the 16-month tenure of special administrator Michael Talbot, who is credited with cutting about $6 million in costs and overhauling daily operations.

Chief Judge Nancy Blount is taking over court administration. The court handles a variety of matters, from traffic tickets to initial hearings in major felonies.

More than 1 million cases are handled each year.

Blount says many court employees wanted to do a good job but had no direction and simply "made up their jobs."

Kiosks have been installed so people can pay fines without standing in line. Judges aren't immune to change: They must pay for parking and be on the bench by 9 a.m.

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