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Download Report Foreword and Acknowledgements (232 KB)

Download Table of Contents (225 KB)

Download List of Tables (78 KB)

Download Chapter 1 - Introduction (157 KB)

Download Chapter 2 - Nature and Characteristics (1.4 MB)

Download Chapter 3 - Metropolitan Court Characteristics (1.1 MB)

Download Chapter 4 - Basic References (2.4 MB)

Download Chapter 5 - Discussion of Major Problems (873 KB)

Download Chapter 6 - Special Cases (670 KB)

Download Chapter 7 - Personnel (1.1 MB)

Download Chapter 8 - Handling Docket and CaseLoad (1.5 MB)

Download Chapter 9 - Coordination and Cooperation (602 KB)

Download Chapter 10 - Safeguarding Due Process (1.4 MB)

Download Chapter 11 - Remedies (409 KB)

Download Chapter 12 - Conclusion (311 KB)

Download Appendix A (649 KB)

Download Appendix B (1.1 MB)

Download Appendix C (367 KB)

Download Appendix D (318 KB)

Download Appendix E (581 KB)

Download Bibliography (546 KB)

Download Index (1.1 MB)


Adhering to the view that the original question is important, unanswered, and essential to a proper development of standards of judicial administration, the Section arranged for the University of Michigan Law School to supervise and for the author of the Detroit study to prepare a final report for the metropolitan court survey, which will make use of such material as comes to hand from all available sources in an attempt to identify, characterize, and classify the special problems of metropolitan courts. The report will also include a discussion of the methods being brought to bear on those problems, their advantages and disadvantages, and their effectiveness. The report will deal with the concept of the metropolitan trial court as an attribute of the state court system, and, finally, with the question whether the special problems of metropolitan courts yield fully or in part to the same measures which improve the state court system as a whole, if those measures are multiplied to allow for the larger size of the metropolitan court.

This report, so prepared upon such data, will not be the scientific demonstration based upon adequate comparable materials which was originally planned and hoped for. Indeed, such a study will have some of the defects that the first study sought to avoid when the question was originally posed.

Nevertheless, it will provide for the bench and bar a presentation of the writer's conclusions about the problems of metropolitan courts as such, rounding out more than twelve years of study of that question by the Section's committee on metropolitan trial courts. It will at least challenge the assumption that the metropolitan court is the same as any other court, with a larger workload and uniformed elevator operators. This challenge should be of assistance to the profession in its task of improving the judicial process.

That the metropolitan court is a unique entity with problems peculiar to itself was perceived by Dean Roscoe Pound in 1930. With an eloquence and insight not since brought to bear on the subject, he pointed out that if you transfer the trial of Huck Finn's father from the small Missouri community where everyone knows his neighbor to the heart of a great metropolis, and if you see to it that the same number of man-hours are brought to bear on the trial, the end result will not be the equal of the disposition described by Mark Twain. Something will be missing.

That "something" is the subject of this study.

Publication Date



University of Michigan Law School


Ann Arbor


Metropolitan courts, Court systems, Statistics, American Bar Association, Judicial administration, municipal court system, Committee on Metropolitan Trial Courts


Courts | Judges | State and Local Government Law


Published under the auspices of the University of Michigan Law School (which, however, assumes no responsibility for the views expressed) with the aid of funds derived from gifts to the University of Michigan by William W. Cook.

Survey of Metropolitan Courts: Final Report