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District Court Criminal: Essential Functions

Administrative Order No 2020-2, which was rescinded by Administrative Order No. 2020-19(1) on June 26, 2020, outlined essential functions for each trial court. Although AO 2020-2 was rescinded, “courts shall continue to process those cases listed as essential functions in addition to other cases as courts return to full capacity under the terms of Administrative Order No. 2020-14.  Accordingly, under AO 2020-2 and AO 2020-19, to the extent possible and consistent with MCR 6.006 and a defendant’s constitutional and statutory rights, courts should conduct the following criminal hearings remotely using two-way interactive video technology or other remote participation tools: (1) pleas, sentencings, arraignments under MCR 6.104, bond motions under MCR 6.106 or MCR 6.108, probable cause conferences under MCR 6.108, and preliminary examinations under MCR 6.110, if the defendant is in custody; (2) the processing of criminal extradition matters for in-custody defendants pursuant to MCL 780.9, including addressing the issue of bail for eligible defendants as provided in MCL 780.14; (3) review and determination of search warrant requests pursuant to MCL 780.651; (4) review and issuance of arrest warrants pursuant to MCL 764.1a, if the crime presents a danger to public safety. The court may hear other emergency motions at its discretion. Courts must allow the use of video technology in matters involving forensic evaluations for competence to stand trial, competence to waive Miranda rights, and criminal responsibility. However, an in-person evaluation must be scheduled if the evaluator notes that the use of this technology impeded an impartial and accurate clinical assessment.

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