Clerk of the Court
Circuit Court Case Type Information
Family (Domestic) Cases
The Family Division of the Circuit Court handles actions for paternity, child support, custody, grandparent visitation, adoption, delinquency, and abuse and neglect.
More divorce cases are filed in Circuit Court than any other type of lawsuit or proceeding. Filing for a divorce is similar to filing any other lawsuit. The prepared Summons and Complaint are filed with the Clerk of the Court. If the case involves minor children, copies of the complaint, answer, motions, notices and the judgment must be served on the Friend of the Court. The filing fees are due at the time cases are filed.
When you file your Summons and Complaint, you must also submit a completed Record of Divorce or Annulment form.
Divorce motions are heard on Friday mornings beginning at 8:30. The Circuit Court Referees also hear certain types of motions throughout the week. For the Judges’ motion schedules and Referees' schedules, view the 17th Circuit Court - Judges' Motion Calendar.
In Pro Per
More and more divorce cases are filed by individuals who represent themselves (in pro per litigants) rather than work with an attorney. There is no requirement that you have an attorney. However, remember that the Clerk of the Court cannot give legal advice. There are not forms in the Clerk's Office that you can fill out to file for your divorce.
There are several self-help books available that are specific to Michigan divorce cases which may provide you with the information necessary to represent yourself in your divorce (Only use those specific to Michigan).
- Free, online information is available at Michigan Legal Help.
- In-person assistance with forms and procedure is available at The Legal Assistance Center in the Kent County Courthouse. No appointment is necessary.
Civil cases handled in the circuit court can involve claims of negligence, breach of contract and other types of damages where fault can be determined and damages proved. Trials are scheduled by the Case Management Office. Motions are scheduled by the attorneys or parties. Records of each case (pleadings, orders, etc.) are maintained in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. Files are open to public inspection, and information about a specific case is available over the phone or in person. The filing fee is paid when the case is filed.
Felony cases are prosecuted in Circuit Court. Trials are scheduled by the Case Management Office. The trial date becomes part of the record kept by the Circuit Court Clerk. If at all possible, please have the Circuit Court case number when calling about a case so that we can answer your questions as quickly and as completely as possible.
Criminal Status Conferences, Pleas & Sentences
|Criminal Status Conferences, Pleas & Sentences Schedule|
|Judge Denenfeld||Monday 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm||Wednesday 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm|
|Judge Benson||Wednesday 9:00am||Thursday 1:30pm|
|Judge Quist||Thursday 1:30pm||Monday 2:00pm|
Please contact judicial staff directly to schedule hearings
|Monday 1:30pm||1st & 3rd Wednesdays 1:30pm|
|Judge Elmore||Wednesday 1:00pm||Tuesday 1:30pm|
Due to COVID-19, please contact judicial staff directly to schedule hearings
|Monday 1:30pm||Thursday 1:30pm|
Fines, Costs, and Restitution
The Clerk of the Circuit Court collects all payments of fines, costs and restitution ordered at criminal sentencing. Payment in full is due on the date of sentencing. Defendants are directed to report directly to the Clerk's Office to pay all money owed. If payment in full is not made on the date of sentencing, a payment agreement is required.
The Clerk of the Court sends court-ordered restitution payments to the victims as they are received by the Clerk.