County clerks: We”ll lose money if phones are OK at courts

Nov 18, 2019

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Court clerks around Michigan are criticizing a proposal to allow phones and other electronic devices in courthouses.

Among their objections: They fear they’ll lose money.

The Michigan Supreme Court is holding a public hearing Wednesday in Lansing.

Courts typically charge people to make copies of public documents. Someone with an electronic device could do it for free. For example, Mason County charges $1 per page. Clerk Cheryl Kelly says the proposed rule “would put a dent in our revenue.”

Besides copying documents, the rule would allow people to use an electronic device to take notes, search the internet and send or receive text messages in a courtroom.

Lawyers, who typically can carry phones, are in favor of the change, especially if it helps them stay in touch with clients in a courthouse.