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The Guide to Michigan Court Records


The Michigan trial court system consists of Circuit Courts, District Courts, Probate Courts, Municipal Courts, and Court of Claims.
 
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all cases, but usually only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. District Courts, Probate Courts and Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases. The Court of Claims has limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil cases against the State of Michigan or one of its departments.

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Please select a Michigan county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court. Find Michigan court pages by Town or Zip Code. Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level. Go to the court records pages for another state.
 


 
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Michigan Circuit Courts

Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but usually handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.

Criminal cases heard by the Circuit Courts include felonies, lesser-included offenses, and juvenile delinquency.

Civil cases heard by Circuit Courts include general civil cases with more than $25,000 in dispute, equity cases, appeals of administrative agency decisions, domestic relations, and juvenile cases.

Each Circuit Court has a Family Division that hears domestic relations and juvenile cases. Cases heard by the Family Division include divorce, paternity, adoption, name changes, abuse prevention, child protection, and juvenile delinquency. Family Divisions have a Friend of the Court office that assists the court and parties with custody, support, and parenting issues in divorce cases involving minor children.

Some juvenile, adoption, and name change cases were formerly under the jurisdiction of Probate Courts. In some counties, files for these case types are still maintained in the Probate Court office. In some counties a Probate department of Family Division - separate from the Probate Court proper - handles these case types.

Michigan District Courts

District Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by District Courts include misdemeanors, preliminary hearings for felonies, and most traffic violations.

Civil cases heard by District Courts include general civil cases with less than $25,000 in dispute, and most landlord-tenant cases.

Each District Court has a Small Claims Division that is available for most general civil cases involving claims of $5000 or less, if the parties agree to use its simplified procedure.

Michigan Probate Courts

Probate Courts have limited jurisdiction over probate cases and some juvenile matters.

Cases heard by Probate Courts include the probate of wills, administration of estates and trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, adoptions, name changes, and the care and protection of people with mental or physical impairment.

Some juvenile, adoption, and name change cases were formerly under the jurisdiction of Probate Court, but are now under the jurisdiction for Circuit Court Family Division. In some counties, files for these case types are still maintained in the Probate Court office. In some counties a Probate department of Family Division - separate from the Probate Court proper - handles these case types.

Michigan Concurrent Jurisdiction and Unified Trial Courts

In some counties with plans for concurrent jurisdiction, Circuit Courts may share their jurisdiction with District and Probate Courts. Some rural counties have a single judge, who exercises the powers of all three court types.

Berrien, Iron, Isabella, Lake, and Washtenaw Counties have Unified Trial Courts in which a single Trial Court is made up of Divisions; these Divisions may retain the names and jurisdictions of the traditional county court structures (Circuit, District, and Probate Divisions in Iron County), or may be based on case types (Civil, Criminal, and Family Divisions in Berrien County).

Michigan Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts exist only in Wayne County, and have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by Municipal Courts include misdemeanor criminal cases, some traffic and ordinance violations, and preliminary hearings for felony criminal cases.

Municipal Courts handle some general civil cases with up to $3,000 in dispute, and some landlord-tenant cases.

Michigan Court of Claims

The Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over civil cases against the State of Michigan or one of its departments, if the amount in dispute is more than $1000 and if a Circuit Court does not otherwise have jurisdiction.

The Court of Claims handles cases for the entire state but operates out of the 30th Circuit Court in Ingham County.

The State Administrative Board handles cases involving disputes for less than $1000 against the State of Michigan or one of its departments.

Michigan Native American Tribal Courts

Several Native American tribes in Michigan operate their own independent Tribal Courts. Tribal Courts have some reciprocal civil and criminal jurisdiction, and their judgments may be enforced by the State of Michigan.

Where to find court cases in Michigan

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Michigan.
 

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
CivilCircuit CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
 Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
General Civil - Limited
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Small Claims 
 Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the District Courts
  
Civil Equity
 Some Civil Equity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Complex Commercial
 Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Foreclosures and Liens
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Real Estate Title and Boundary
 Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Landlord / Tenant 
 Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Ordinance Violations 
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
 Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Administrative Agency Appeals
 Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
CriminalCircuit CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Felony
 Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Felony Preliminary Hearings
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Misdemeanors 
 Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the District Courts
 Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Ordinance Violations 
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Juvenile
 Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Juvenile cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Juvenile cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Traffic and Infractions 
 Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the District Courts
 
 Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Domestic RelationsCircuit CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Divorce
 Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Child Custody and Visitation
 Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Child Support
 Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Paternity
 Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
   
Domestic Violence Protection Order
 Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
JuvenileCircuit CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Adoptions
 Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
 Some Adoptions cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Juvenile Delinquency
 Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Child Abuse and Neglect
 Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Termination of Parental Rights
 Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Children in Need of Supervision
 Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Mental HealthCircuit CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Involuntary Commitments
 Some Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
 Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Other Mental Health Cases
 Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
 Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
ProbateCircuit CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Wills & Estates  
 Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Name Changes
 Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
 Some Name Changes cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Trusts  
 Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Guardianships and Conservatorships
 Some Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
 Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 

Note: Some courts in Michigan are not included in the chart above. Please use the following links for descriptions and types of cases heard:
 
  Court of Claims


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