General Court FAQ's
What are the various Circuit Court fees?
Open a file - $150.00 At time of filing all motions and petitions are covered under the $150.00 fee.
Motion and Petitions - $20.00 (one or more may be filed on the same day in the same case for one $20.00 fee)
Garnishment - $15.00 (each writ)
Request & Order to Seize Property - $15.00
Subpoena ( judgment debtor ) - $15.00
Jury Demand - $85.00
Copies - $1.00 per page
Certified copies - $10.00 for certification and $1.00 for each copied page
Exemplified copies - $10.00 for exemplification and $1.00 for each copied page
How do I get a restricted driver's license?
A restricted drivers license can be obtained through the Circuit Court. There is $150.00 filing fee.
How do I transfer a vehicle title (repeat offender law)?
Before you file your ex-parte petition with the court petitioner/transferee will need:
Detailed sufficient reasons for the transfer including place of employment if transferee is employed.
Are there any other cars in the family?
Copy of title showing any liens and indicate the name on the title.
If there is a lien on the title you must have written approval from lien holder allowing the transfer.
Copy of both petitioners/transferees driving records. (From the Secretary of State Office).
There is a $150 filing fee.
How to get a civil or criminal record check and how much is it?
You must fill out the required form and pay a $10.00 (effective 1/2/02) fee, upon request. If mailed please include self addressed, stamped envelope.
How do I get a contractor's lien?
You start a contractor's lien at the Register of Deeds office.
Are there forms that I could use for Circuit Court lawsuits, family and civil cases?
Certain forms are pre-printed. For example, summons, garnishments, some judgements, answer forms, and certain motions. Attorneys draft most of the documents that are filed in Circuit Court. You may go to your local library or try Target Business Forms at 1-800-258-0258.
If filing in proper person, how do I get started opening a new case?
Please refer to the Michigan Rules of Court publisher - West Group. It is recommended to seek an attorney. We can not give out legal advice.
How do I file an appeal regarding a MESC (unemployment) decision?
An appeal regarding the MESC is filed in the Circuit Court. There are no fees required. You may open it with an appeal through an attorney. If in proper person proceed according to Michigan Court Rules. We cannot give you legal advice. We are not attorneys
What years are stored in the warehouse, what years are stored at the courthouse?
Circuit Court Civil files stored at the warehouse: 1835 - 2002 (warehouse not open to public); 2003 - present stored at the Courthouse.
Do I need an Attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney, however due to the complexity of the Circuit Court, it is best to get an attorney. It is always recommended to seek advice from an attorney. WE DO NOT GIVE OUT LEGAL ADVICE.
How much does it cost to get a Personal Protection Order?
There is no charge.
Where do I get divorce papers to file in proper person?
You can contact an attorney, or purchase The Michigan Divorce Book from a local bookstore. You can also purchase a divorce packet by calling Target Business Forms at (800) 258-0258.
How much does it cost to file for divorce?
To open a case without children $150.00. With children $180.00 with an additional charge of $40.00 due at the time the judgment is final; for a total cost of $220.00. This is just a filing fee. There may be other costs incurred throughout the proceeding.
I received a summons and complaint and it says I must answer to the courts. What does this mean?
You are not required by the court to file an answer. If you choose to file an answer it must be in writing and filed in the Family Division of the County Clerk's office. If you are not sure whether you should file an answer or not, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney for legal advice.
How do I file for a change in child support, visitation, custody, domicile?
You must file a motion with the courts and request a hearing. You can get forms to do this from the Friend of the Court or Family Division of the County Clerk's office. The cost to file a motion varies from $100 to $20, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Who is the Plaintiff and who is the Defendant?
The Plaintiff is the person who files the case with the court. The Defendant is the person who the Plaintiff is filing a complaint against. Once a case is opened, this never changes. Any future filings by either party should always list the Plaintiff and Defendant just as the case was originally filed.
Where can I get a copy of my Judgment of Divorce and what is the cost?
You can obtain a copy from the Family Division of the County Clerk's office. The cost is $1.00 per page. If you need it certified and sealed the cost is an additional $13.00 (effective 1/2/02).
What constitutes a Circuit Court case?
Criminal: all criminal cases start in District Court. If a criminal case is determined to be a felony, it is then bound over into Circuit Court. All misdemeanor cases stay in District Court.
Civil: District Court civil cases are damages under $25,000. Circuit Court civil cases are damages over $25,000.
Family: a domestic case is actually considered a civil matter, however due to the domestic/family issues these cases are filed in the Family Division. All Family Division cases are at Circuit level which include: divorce, support, custody, paternity, personal protection orders, juvenile cases.
Where is each division located?
Criminal: District Court matters are on the 1st floor of the courthouse. Circuit Court matters are also on the 1st floor of the courthouse (County Clerk's office).
Civil: both District and Circuit Court matters are on the 3rd floor of the courthouse in the Civil Division file room.
Family: all Family Division matters are located throughout the 4th floor of the courthouse. Domestic matters and Probate are located in the file room. Juvenile and Friend of the Court offices are located on the 4th floor also. Personal Protection Orders are filed in the County Clerk's Office on the first floor.