Local Court Administrative Communications Regarding COVID-19, by Michigan Circuit
Updated April 6, 2020
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Whitmer has issued a temporary stay-at-home order. Meanwhile, the Michigan Supreme Court has issued an order extending all deadlines pertaining to case initiation and the filing of initial responsive pleadings in civil and probate matters during the state of emergency declared by the governor. This order does not preclude a court from ordering an expedited response to a complaint or motion to hear and resolve an emergency matter requiring immediate attention. The Michigan Supreme Court’s earlier Administrative Order, limiting trial courts to essential functions, remains in effect. Chief Justice McCormack and Justice Viviano outlined the reasons why closing Michigan courts isn’t an option in a recent op-ed. The Chief Justice also issued a memo to all chief judges, court administrators, and probate registers encouraging the expansion of remote proceedings as the state of emergency continues.
The MSC orders apply to all courts, but several have released information specific to their courts. Please check the following list (organized by judicial circuit). You can also visit your court’s website by clicking on your circuit, or contact your local clerk by visiting our Court Information page. If you have important information about your court that is not listed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This list will be continually updated as we receive additional information.
Additional resources for lawyers:
All courts are closed to the public except for emergency matters. If you think you have an emergency matter, here are additional instructions.
Criminal proceedings are limited to in-custody defendants. This includes pleas, arraignments, emergency motions (including bond and preliminary exams). Non-emergency cases (where the defendant is not in custody) will be adjourned. Civil infraction hearings are also adjourned (but those not requesting trial will be handled electronically).
Civil proceedings are mostly adjourned except for PPO's, child protective proceedings, hearings required under MCL 712A.19a, juvenile delinquency involving detention, proceedings under MCL 712.1, and ex parte emergency relief matters.
Emergency probate court matters are being handled by emergency judges (EJs). You must submit your emergency motion to the EJ for approval. If approved, attorneys must go to the 2nd floor Clerk's office for filing and then return to the EJ for handling. Ex-parte motions must be properly verified by the client and must contain the appropriate ex-parte language. The court cannot change custody without a judicial hearing, but can enter appropriate ex-parte orders.
Family Domestic and Friend of the Court processes and procedures during this State of Emergency
Court is closed to all business except emergency filings through April 3.
All matters will be adjourned and the business office of the Berrien County Trial Court will be closed through April 5, 2020, except for essential services.
List of essential services
Through April 10, 2020, the 6th Circuit Court will remain open to handle only emergency and essential operations described here. Additionally, the Oakland County Health Division issued an emergency order on March 24, 2020, requiring essential businesses to screen all employees for illness, exposure to COVID-19, and establish a social distancing protocol for customers and employees to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.
The court is closed to the general public except for essential functions involving health and safety and constitutional rights. The court’s press release can be found here.
Emergency filing procedures can be found here.
No additional information or instructions available at this time.
The courts are closed, except for in-custody video arraignments. Non-emergency matters will be rescheduled or adjourned by the court with notice provided to all parties at their last known address.
The courts are open, but with certain restrictions. Some hearings/events are automatically adjourned; others may be adjourned by request.
List of restrictions and essential services
All county buildings will be closed to unscheduled public access, and doors will be locked. Services will be provided by phone, online, and by scheduled appointments.
MSC order and press releases from the circuit and district court
Court filing info (86th Circuit)
Pursuant to the Muskegon County Emergency Operations Plan, only essential court services will be performed by the Muskegon County Courts. Access to courtrooms and other spaces will be strictly limited to no more than 10 persons.
Criminal proceedings are limited to in-custody defendants. Civil matters are being handled by phone or video conference, or are adjourned.
Through at least April 13, 2020, the 17th Circuit Court is open and providing service, but all face to face areas have been closed except for personal protection orders, and, in the extremely rare case, certain essential hearings.
Additional information, including instructions for how hearings will be handled
The courts remain open, but with limited staffing (for necessary services) and limited public access.
The courts remain open, but with restrictions.
20th Circuit Child Support Reviews. Anyone who has lost a job or income due to COVID-19 can call or email their Ottawa County Friend of the Court investigator and request a joint phone conference to review child support for modification (no motion or appointment is needed). Agreements will result in prompt entry of a consent order, and any disagreements over a proposed modification will be set for a phone or video conference with a referee. FOCs typically do a review/modification of child support orders “not less than” every three years as required by the Family Support Act, but Section 17b(9) of the Act provides for more frequent reviews “upon presentation … of a substantial change in circumstances.”
The court is closed except for emergency matters through April 13, 2020. If you have an emergency matter or filing as outlined in the MSC order, please call or text the court administrator at 989.621.0090. All other filings can be mailed. For questions regarding parenting time and custody, please see the MSC's statement. All parenting time and custody orders remain in effect and should be followed. All hearings that are not an emergency or required in the Supreme Court Order will be rescheduled and notices will be mailed. This applies to most scheduled hearings.
The 22nd Circuit Court is handling only in-custody criminal matters and emergency civil matters. All other matters have been adjourned or are being adjourned with stipulation between the parties. The hearings being held are being done through participation in the zoom system, including interviews with clients in the jail (with a few exceptions).
Additinal information about how certain cases are being handled
The court will delay all trials, with the possible exception of in-custody defendants.
The court is closed to the public through April 5, 2020, except for essential services.
The courts will remain open, but with restrictions.
List of restrictions
The courts will remain open for the essential service listed here, but will suspend all other operations until April 6, 2020.
The 30th Circuit Court and Ingham County Probate Court operating hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Filings can be made by mail, email, or fax. The Veterans Memorial Courthouse is open to the public for hearings and walk-in filings regarding emergency matters only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Read more. The district court is currently rescheduling all misdemeanor cases into the month of May, and working on plans to limit the amount of traffic in the court by utilizing video conferencing and staggering court appearance times.
The courts will remain open for essential operations.
List of essential operations
The court is adjourning jury trials and holding all hearings with in-custody defendants by videoconference.
Court staff will monitor phone calls, phone messages, emails and mail received during this time. In addition to continuing all essential operations, the judge will be reviewing emergency pleadings, entering appropriate orders and conducting any necessary court hearings. Please call 231-547-7243 and leave a message or email email@example.com. Your inquiry will be answered as soon as possible. Emergency filings such as personal protection order petitions or motions for ex parte relief need to be filed in the County Clerk's office before the court can take any action. For more information call 231-547-7200 or see the clerk's website at www.charlevoixcounty.org.
The court is closed until 8:30 a.m. on April 6, 2020. Until then, only essential services will be performed by the court pursuant to its emergency operations plan.
The court's emergency operations plan
Through April 13, 2020, staffing is limited and the court is only handling essential matters. Essential matters include criminal matters and emergency situations. Criminal matters where the defendant is not in custody will be adjourned.
List of emergency services and procedures
The court is closed to the general public through April 13, 2020, but will resume normal operations on April 14, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. (pending further updates). Additional information, including the Emergency Operation Plan for the circuit, district, and probate courts can be found here.
The court is closed except for the limited purpose of addressing certain emergency court operations, which may be conducted by video-conferencing whenever practicable.
More information, including a list of essential services
The court will be restricted to the public, but essential matters will still be handled. Lawyers with questions can call (734) 240-7037 or email the court.
The courthouse is closed to the public until April 6 at 8 a.m. All in-custody procedures, including adults and juveniles and emergency matters (including emergency filings) will be conducted while the building is closed to the public.
A drop box for the Circuit Court has been placed in the Judicial Building lobby which will be supervised by building security. The box will be checked frequently during business hours. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of your documents.
You may contact the court at (517) 264-4597 if you have a matter of great urgency, such as ex parte motions and orders.
Email filings will also be accepted for urgent matters that do not require a filing fee.
After the statewide order, the 39th Circuit/2A District issued a notice limiting court activity to essential functions:
Access to all courtrooms and other spaces in the courthouse is now limited to no more than 10 persons, including staff, effective immediately. The courthouse is closed to the general public except for essential functions involving health and safety and Constitutional rights.
Cass County Courts are closed to the general public except for essential functions involving health and safety and Constitutional rights pursuant to a Local Administrative Order. The Courts have developed an Emergency Operations Plan to outline procedures for emergency proceedings.
Courts are closed except for emergency/essential cases. Clerks are still working and can be reached by phone. Filing can be done via email or fax.
All courts are closed except for emergencies. Specific policies and procedures will be put in place shortly.
All courts within the 46th Circuit (Crawford, Otsego, Kalkaska Counties) are closed to the public. Staff are available by telephone. Emergency matters are being addressed, and necessary hearings such as arraignments are being held with participants appearing remotely. More information is available at each county’s website.
The public, including attorneys, may not be able to access the building without submitting a screening form that details any potential exposure risks. The circuit court is still handling matters pertaining to in-custody defendants, and matters that can be conducted by telephone/poly communications. The district court is handling emergencies, probable cause conferences (by telephone/poly communications) and prelims for lodged individuals. The County Administration/Board of Commissioners, as well as all three courts have issued statements and/or orders specifying the access and changes.
Court are closed to the public through April 3, but essential staff still will be handling essential cases.
Motions currently scheduled for Friday, April 3, 2020 are being adjourned to Friday, May 1, 2020. Matters scheduled for Monday, April 6, 20202 are being adjourned to Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Courts closed until April 14, 2020, at 8 a.m. except for all critical and emergency matters involving adults and juveniles (including personal protection orders and emergency filing related to civil protective proceedings), which will be conducted while the court's business offices are closed to the public.
The courts are reviewing dockets on a case-by-case and rescheduling non-essential hearings.
The court is closed until April 13, 2020 except for essential services by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
All courts will process emergency matters and conduct emergency hearings. To the extent possible, court filings and hearings will be accomplished using electronic communications.
State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012