17th Circuit Court

Specialized Business Docket

Specialized Business Docket Login  

Judge Benson

Curt A. Benson
SBD Docket Judge

Judge Ackert

Terence J. Ackert
SBD Docket Judge

After the 17th Circuit Court implemented a Specialized Business Docket ("SBD") as a pilot project, the Michigan Legislature enacted Public Act 333 of 2012, which requires all circuit courts with three or more judges to set up SBDs. The 17th Circuit Court SBD, like its predecessor pilot project, is designed to: (i) reduce the time required to resolve business-related legal disputes in Kent County; (ii) promote consistency in decisions rendered in business-related cases; (iii) improve the overall efficiency in administering and processing business cases in the 17th Circuit Court; and (iv) develop a body of case law on business-law issues at the trial-court level to provide guidance to the local business community and business-law practitioners. The Michigan Court Rules govern all aspects of cases involved in the SBD. The right to trial by jury is preserved and, if properly demanded, will proceed in the same fashion as the general Civil Division, as will non-jury trials. Appeals from cases handled by the SBD will be to the Court of Appeals, as with all other Circuit Court cases.


Cases to be Assigned

Assuming the cases meet all threshold requirements for circuit-court jurisdiction, the following kinds of cases, whether qualifying by complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party complaint, shall be assigned to the Specialized Business Docket:

1. An action in which all the parties are business enterprises;

2. An action in which at least 1 party is a business enterprise and the other parties are its present or former owners, managers, shareholders, members, directors, officers, agents, employees, suppliers, or competitors and the claims arise from one of those relationships;

3. An action in which at least l party is a nonprofit organization and claims arise out of that party's organizational structure, governance, or finances;

4. An action involving the sale, mergers, purchase, combination, dissolution, liquidations, organizational structure, governance or finances of a business enterprise;

5. An action involving information technology, software, website development, maintenance, or hosting;

6. An action involving the internal organization of a business entity and the rights or obligations of shareholders, partners, members, owners, officers, directors, or managers;

7. An action arising out of a contractual agreement or other business dealings, including licensing, trade secrets, intellectual property, antitrust, securities, noncompete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements;

8. An action arising from a commercial transaction, including a commercial bank transaction;

9. An action arising from a business or commercial insurance policy;

10. An action involving commercial real estate;

11. An action subject to compulsory arbitration involving any of the above subjects.

All of the following types of cases shall be excluded from the SBD:

1. Personal-injury actions including, but not limited to, wrongful death and medical malpractice;

2. Product-liability actions in which any claimant is an individual;

3. Matters within jurisdiction of the Family Division of the Circuit Court;

4. Proceedings under the Probate Code of 1939 (MCL 710.21 - 712A.32);

5. Proceedings under the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (M CL 7 00 .11 01 - 700.8206);

6. Criminal matters;

7. Condemnation matters;

8. Appeals from lower courts or administrative agencies;

9. Proceedings to enforce judgments of any kind;

10. Landlord-tenant matters involving only residential property;

11. Land contract or mortgage foreclosure matters involving residential property;

12. Motor-vehicle insurance-coverage cases under the Insurance Code of 1959 (MCL 500.100 - 500.83020), except where 2 or more parties to the action are insurers;

13. Insurance-coverage disputes in which an insured is an individual consumer;

14. Employment-discrimination cases;

15. Civil-rights cases, including claims brought under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (MCL 37.2101 - 37.2804), the Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act (MCL 37.1101 - 37.1607), and Chapter XXI of the Michigan Penal Code (MCL 750.146- 750.148);

16. Wrongful-discharge cases, except actions involving corporate officers or directors;

17. Worker's-compensations claims brought under the Worker's Disability Compensation Act (MCL 418.101-418.941).

Each case assigned to the SBD shall be assigned the CB case type code. This code will not be assigned to any case not designated a Business Court case.