Canton localizes domestic abuse cases
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy
Oct. 6, 2015 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
“They have no idea what they are getting into when they take over these DV (domestic violence) cases.” Kym Worthy.
Canton Township officials are taking a strong stand against domestic violence in their community.
Members of the board of trustees are expected to approve the amendment of an ordinance that would assign prosecution of misdemeanor domestic violence complaints to the local prosecutor, Greg Demopolous. The cases would be adjudicated in the 35th District Court which serves Canton, Northville and Plymouth.
Currently, the cases are handled by the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy who is not in favor of the move by township officials.
Worthy said last week that she received no notification of the plan, based, according to Canton Township Public Safety Director Todd Mutchler, on the inaction on complaints submit- ted to Worthy’s office. Mutchler told the board members at a meeting last month that about 40 such requests for warrants received no response and no action was forthcoming from the prosecutor. Mutchler said the move is an effort to ensure that domestic violence cases are prosecuted as quickly as possible.
Worthy said that she received an email from township officials, but has not received a list of any cases or warrant requests. She said she is unable to deter- mine the status of the cases without more information and that her office was not notified of any missing warrant requests from Canton.
Worthy said she felt the reassignment of these cases was a public complaint about the efficiency of her office before ever notifying her of the problem. She said the township action was unprofessional and that she should have been spoken to or notified of the situation before any such public criticism.
She also cautioned the township officials regarding the intricacy of these cases.
“They have no idea what they are getting into when they take over these DV (domestic violence) cases,” she said. “These are very delicate cases that a prosecutor should not be handling unless they are specially trained to do them.”
Worthy’s office currently handles about 6,000 to 8,000 domestic violence cases from throughout the county each year. Worthy agreed it was a heavy workload and that more attorneys were needed in her office.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Kym Worthy and the job she is doing as Wayne County prosecutor,” Mutchler said, adding his department will continue to work cooperatively with the prosecutor’s office.” We’ve just got to take care of the people’s needs in Canton,” he added.
Domestic violence cases punishable by 93 days in jail and $500 fines which are misdemeanors will be handled by Demopoulous if the amendment is approved. Costs for those services are estimated at about $120 an hour for warrant reviews and about $750 for a day-long jury trial.
Felony cases will be referred to Worthy’s office.