Senate approves Jansen bill to streamline FOC
LANSING - Legislation designed to streamline the procedures and improve efficiency of the Friend of the Court was approved Thursday by the Senate, said sponsor Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township.
“We have been working on these bills since early 2007,” Jansen said. “These measures will streamline procedures, and make the process better and more successful.”
Jansen and his Senate colleagues have worked closely on Senate Bills 1423 through 1431 with Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan, the Michigan Department of Human Services the FOC Association, and the State Court Administrative Office.
Measures in the legislative package will:
- Simplify payment plan requirements for past due child support to afford judicial discretion on a case-by-case basis;
- Permit law enforcement agencies to “boot” vehicles of individuals behind on child support;
- Allow the court to order a jail alternative program for non-payment of child support. Alternative examples include participation in a parenting program, drug or alcohol counseling, continuing compliance with a current support or parenting time order, or complying with a payment plan;
- Eliminate the automatic application of surcharge assessments on arrearages; and
- Streamline the license suspension process if past due child support is owed.
A comprehensive report with recommendations for improving efficiency and client services was submitted to the governor, the Michigan Supreme Court chief justice and legislative leadership in October 2006.
“By passing these bills we are one step closer to making the process more streamlined for Friend of the Court, the Michigan Department of Human Services, the courts and the Michigan families involved with Friend of the Court,” Jansen said.
The nine-bill package now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008
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