Tribe gives probate court a major makeover
STANDISH — Though the Saginaw Indian Chippewa Tribe’s Saganing Eagles Landing Casino 2 percent fund release was weeks ago, the effects of the money will be positively felt for years to come around the area.
Chief Arenac County Probate Court Judge Richard E. Vollbach said $19,866.63 awarded to the court by the Tribe will fund the purchase of seven new computers and the remolding of the entire probate courtroom.
This is the first remodeling of the room in more than 25 years.
“Judge Yenior and I requested an amount for computers, and we also requested money for the courtroom. We got seven computers and monitors along with other equipment,” he said. “The technology was for district court and probate court. I certainly want to say that I appreciate the contribution made by the tribe. (They) completely fund(ed) the project.”
Though the remodeling of the courtroom is not complete, everything in the courtroom has changed with the exception of the bookcase and the back of one of the office doors as of Friday, June 25.
Some of the highlights of the remodeling include new chairs, new carpet, and a brand new judge’s bench.
With the courtroom sometimes processing around 10 cases a day, Judge Vollbach said that giving the courtroom a makeover may help people respect the judicial process a little bit more.
“Probate and family court cases frequently involve children. The first thing that a child sees when participating in the court process is the courtroom,” he said. “A presentable courtroom is important in terms of presenting the judicial process in the appropriate light. It was a real gloomy place.”
Judge Yenior agreed.
“It was really bad,” said the 81st District Judge. “Now at least you don’t have to hang your head when you walk in.”
The probate courtroom is primarily used for cases involving divorces, guardianships, child custody, abuse and neglect, and mental competency cases, along with other civil issues.
From the awarded funds, $11,301 went toward the complete remodeling of the courtroom, while the rest was used for the new computers, which replaced computers that were 7-8 years old, according to Yenior.
Yenior also said that the computers were getting so bad that one stopped working just last year.
“If they hadn’t come through, we’d be scraping up money for new computers. One just died last year,” he said. “You can plan for ordinary expenses. We don’t plan for replacing computers. It’s nice to have someone out there to help.”