Friend of Court conversion complete

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2003

By Staff
LANSING -- In the wake of what she called "a huge effort by all involved," Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Maura D. Corrigan thanked Michigan's Friends of the Court for their work on the statewide conversion to the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System, known as MiCSES.
While other states across the country have experienced difficulty converting to the federally-mandated computer system, the Michigan project was particularly complicated, Corrigan said.
The Wayne County Friend of the Court, which has the state's largest child support caseload, was instrumental in the conversion, Corrigan added.
Corrigan added that Friend of the Court offices "have been, unfortunately, the targets of the understandable frustration that child support payers and recipients felt when support checks were held up during the conversion, or when other errors cropped up during the conversion process. There are many people who deserve heartfelt thanks for all their hard work during this time, including state prosecutors and the chief judges of each circuit court. I particularly thank the Friends of the Court because they had to make the conversion work while still attending to customers' needs, including issues that arose because of the conversion."
While federal authorities will not issue final approval of the MICSES conversion for some weeks, Corrigan said, "We are optimistic that Michigan will not only avert the $147.5 million in future penalties, but will receive a refund of about $35 million in penalties already paid if federal authorities certify the system."
Of that refund amount, $6 million is slated for the state judicial branch, under an appropriations bill passed by the state Legislature earlier this year.