Request for Stakeholder Feedback on Pandemic Measures

On September 10, 2021, the Court held a stakeholder meeting with regard to SCAO’s July 26, 2021, Order Amending Court Rules, as required by Rule 8.110 (C)(i) of the Order.

If you have not done so already, the Order is provided for your review. While this Order went into effect immediately on July 26, 2021, SCAO will receive comment from the courts and other stakeholders and hold a public hearing to identify permanent changes that might improve court processes.

On behalf of the Bar Association, I attended Muskegon’s Stakeholder meeting and requested that each court (District, Circuit, Probate) provide clear information about what can and cannot be e-filed as well as a list of requirements for e-filings to be accepted.

Additionally, I made the court aware of concerns I have received from members about the following:

  • • Processing times in Probate Court
  • • Lost Documents in Circuit Court Records
  • • Confusion and Difficulty with receipt of Orders from all courts, including Friend of the Court
    • • Issues include
      • • Lost pre-paid return envelopes
      • • Never receiving Orders;
  • • Loss of e-filing in Circuit Court Records
  • • Impracticality/inefficiency of filing fee waivers as a standalone document

The Court will complete a report to submit to SCAO with their findings and comments and welcomes additional feedback until Wednesday September 15, 2021.  These comments will be added to the Court’s report to SCAO.

  • Please email me at srocco@lawestmi.org by 8:30 am on September 16, 2021. I will compile all feedback and submit it to the Court administrators.

Sincerely,
Sarah Rocco, Muskegon County Bar Association President 2021-2022
srocco@lawestmi.org; 231-220-0092


Muskegon County Recovery Court Referrals

Please note that effective immediately, the Muskegon County Recovery Court, presided over by Chief Judge Hicks, will only be accepting referrals on defendants' felony cases where the referral is being made prior to four weeks post Circuit Court bindover OR if the defendant is being referred on a felony probation violation.

  • • Additionally, we are nearing capacity of 50 participants for Recovery Court. Once capacity is reached, all referrals will be placed on a waiting list. Once an opening occurs, we will start at the top of the waiting list, and if the defendant has not been sentenced yet, we will contact the referral source to determine if the defendant is still interested in Recovery Court. If the defendant is still interested, we will begin the assessment process. The Circuit Court judges will not be delaying felony cases just because the defendant is on a waiting list for Recovery Court.
     
  • • Lastly, beginning January 2022, Judge Annette Smedley will be the presiding judge over Recovery Court due to Chief Judge Hicks retiring on December 31, 2021.
     
  • • Please see the referral form for Recovery Court for more information.

Open Position: Muskegon County Assistant Public Defender I

Salary: $52,690.00–$70,210.00 Annually
Location: Muskegon County, MI
Job Type: Full-Time
Department: Public Defender
Job Number: 2021-00882
Closing: 9/17/2021 5:00 p.m. ET
Phone: (877) 521-5627

More Information


60th District Court Announcement

To avoid scheduling conflicts with certain criminal hearings that will continue to take place via Zoom:

  • Effective Tuesday, September 7, 2021, all scheduled Zoom Arraignments set before a 60th District Court Magistrate will be held using Zoom Meeting ID # 347-394-7398.
  • • Notices to Appear sent by the court regarding future scheduled arraignments will also note this change.

Also, beginning September 7 any ‘2nd attempt’ Zoom arraignments, as well as hearings on Orders to Show Cause for Failure to Appear for a scheduled Zoom Arraignment, will be scheduled and noticed as in-person hearings set before a district court judge.


Summer Steak Fry 2021

Welcome back the MCBA's Summer Steak Fry on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

RSVP* by August 13 to Lindsay Canan at lindsay@ggtmlaw.com or (231) 747-7160.

*Important note: If you RSVP to attend but cannot attend, kindly notify us before our headcount is submitted to MYC on August 13th COB to avoid receiving an invoice for the cost of your meal. Please understand that this policy has been adopted to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses for our bar association members.

View the Flyer for More Information


Recent Documents from the Muskegon County Circuit/Probate/Family Court

Dear members, please review the recent announcements from the Muskegon County Courts:

  1. A Message Regarding Circuit Court Records Filing Policies and Procedures from the Bar Association Board of Directors
  2. A Zoom Hearing Chart by Judge
  3. Electronic Submission of Evidence/Exhibits Policy
  4. Judges' Use of Virtual Hearings Chart

Muskegon County Circuit Court Records E-Filing

With the Hall of Justice and County departments opening back up to the public beginning July 1, 2021, Circuit Court Records will no longer be accepting e-filing for filing documents with Circuit Court Records beginning July 1, 2021. Circuit Court Records will be open Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., along with Friday, July 9, 2021, to accept document filings. There will be three ways to file documents with Circuit Court Records.

  1. Mailing;
  2. Drop box located just outside of the Circuit Court Records Office on the 6th Floor. Please be sure that your filings are placed in an envelope prior to dropping your filings in the mail box as to avoid separation of the documents;
  3. In person during the hours listed above.

For any document requests or questions, the CCR.Requests@co.muskegon.mi.us address will still be active, or you may call the office and leave a message at (231) 724-6251. Thank you for your efforts in working with Circuit Court Records while we strive to return back to some normalcy after a year of building shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


To Members of our Criminal Defense Bar:

We will be having a meeting Wednesday, March 31, at noon to consider the applications of these laws to our practices here in Muskegon. I will be in my courtroom and there will be some space available. I expect most of you will want to “Zoom in.” Our zoom number is 7370931712.

This is most definitely a “working session” as I suspect most of us will be cramming this weekend and have, at this point, more questions than answers. And this session will be limited pretty much to circuit court work. We will be busy enough on that alone.

If any of you have seen some good, practical outlines or forms, please pass along. I am happy to import wisdom from any available sources. (But I think we all have seen the 39 page memo, so need to send that along.)

Judge Timothy Hicks


Announcement from Muskegon County Circuit Records Regarding In-Person Access

Dear MCBA member, please read the following press release from the Muskegon County Courts regarding limiting in-person access to courthouses.


2021 Michigan Mock Trial—Volunteers Needed

Dear member, 2021 Michigan Mock Trial volunteers are needed to assess and encourage developing young legal minds! Please review the flyer to learn more information.


Email addresses for 14th Circuit/Family Court:

Please encourage clients to sign-up for a MiChildSupport account at the following link, so they can access information regarding their child support accounts:

Check our social media accounts for regular updates:

Questions? Contact Sandra Vanderhyde, Circuit Court Administrator: vanderhydesa@co.muskeogn.mi.us


Family Law Meeting Additional Links

Dear member, please find these additional useful links for resources referenced during today’s Family Law Section meeting.


Announcement: Law Day 2021

We need your help! The Law Day Committee is in need of someone to assist in judging the Art competition and volunteers to work with area school children for the Speech Contest. Learn more information.

Contact Vee Boeringa at boeringavi@muskegoncounty.net or Belinda Barbier at Belinda@attorneybarbier.com for more information. Thank you!

Vee Boergina, Law Day 2021
Belinda Barbier, Law Day 2021


Three Items of Interest for December

  1. MC FOC Processes. Files containing complete information are below
  1. Year-end deadlines for filings in Muskegon Circuit Court records:
  • • Circuit Court Records will be closed the Wednesday before Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day. Circuit Court Records will also be closed the Wednesday before New Year’s Eve Day, New Year’s Eve Day, and New Year’s Day.
  • • Beginning January 8, 2021, Circuit Court Records will be closed every Friday for the months of January and February.
  • • Circuit Court Records continue to have e-filing services available as well as regular mail filings; however, these filings will not be processed on the dates listed above.
  • Please visit our website for further instructions on how to conduct business with our office.
  • Questions? Contact Linda Larsen, Chief Deputy County Clerk, larsenli@muskegoncounty.org.
  1. The Muskegon County Public Defender’s Office is hiring for multiple full-time positions:

Muskegon 14th Circuit Recovery Court program, presided by Chief Judge Hicks, is now accepting referrals for both men and women who have been charged with a felony offense that is linked to the use of drugs or alcohol.

  • • The referral form includes all other eligibility criteria for participants.
  • • Recovery Court referrals can be sent to the Recovery Court Case Manager, Nicole Falconer, at falconerni@muskegoncounty.net.

Cancellation of 2020 Barrister’s Ball

Dear Bar Members,

Due to the current health crisis and surge in Muskegon County COVID-19 cases, the board has decided to cancel the 2020 Barrister's Ball.

We appreciate your understanding as we all work together to combat this pandemic. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy holiday season and look forward to celebrating with you at next year's Ball, which has been scheduled for December 3, 2021.

Sincerely,

Your MCBA Board


Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office - Assistant Prosecuting Attorney I

Please review this flyer for a Assistant Prosecuting Attorney I position provided by the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office.