CHICAGO - A judge's ruling that Michigan reneged on its duty to pay for local trial court operations could cost the state $1 billion if upheld.

The decision issued by Judge James Giddings of the Ingham County Circuit Court last month stemmed from a class action lawsuit filed in 1988 by 134 local governments. That suit charged the state was not paying for the court services, thereby violating the state constitution and state statutes.

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