Probate Court Limited Access due to COVID-19
Pursuant to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders, suspending activities that are not necessary to protect or sustain life, and following the guidance of the Michigan Supreme Court’s Administrative Orders, the Kent County Probate Court has limited access to courtrooms and other spaces to no more than 10 persons. The Court is handling essential functions, and prioritizing emergency matters, while doing its best to provide timely justice in all other matters. Effective through April 30, 2020, the Kent County Probate Court will continue to conduct emergency hearings. All non-emergency matters scheduled before April 30, 2020 have been adjourned to a date after June 1, 2020.
Contacting the Court
There will be no in-person assistance available at the Probate Court clerk’s office during this time. However, general inquiries, requests for hearing dates, and requests for assistance may be directed to email@example.com. Questions or requests for assistance regarding mental health matters may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further assistance, you may also call the Probate Court clerk’s office at (616) 632-5440. Please note that Court staff will be working remotely on Mondays and Thursdays, and will be promptly responding to voice messages in the order in which they are received.
Please do not come to Court, but communicate with the Court by email or phone if:
- You are ill or have a cough or fever
- You have been exposed to someone infected by COVID-19
- You have been out of the country in a place currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak
Appearing for Hearings
The Court is utilizing Zoom videoconferencing technology to accommodate the remote appearance of parties to the greatest extent possible. To arrange for appearance by telephone or videoconference, you must contact the Court at email@example.com or call (616) 632-5440 prior to your hearing. Further information about connecting to hearings remotely is available here.
Interim Filing Procedures
Petitions and documents for emergency matters may be filed:
- via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org (Filing fees must be promptly sent to the Court through U.S. mail. Filings are subject to return or rejection if filing fees are not promptly received.)
- in the designated drop box, located near the front entrance of the Courthouse, or
- through U.S. mail
Non-emergency filings will be accepted by U.S. mail.
Below is an excerpt from MSC Administrative Order No. 2020-2, indicating the types of emergency matters the Kent County Probate Court will continue to prioritize during this period of limited access. These include:
- Proceedings regarding involuntary mental health treatment under Chapter 4 of the Mental Health Code, including the following:
- Pick-up / transportation orders pursuant to MCL 330.1436 and 330.1426;
- Petitions for initial or continuing involuntary hospitalization pursuant to MCL 330.1472a.
- Petitions for immediate funeral / burial arrangements pursuant to MCL 700.3206 and 700.3614.
- Emergency petitions filed by Adult Protective Services under MCL 400.11b(6).
- Emergency petitions for guardianship pursuant to MCL 700.5312.
- Emergency conservatorships and other protective orders pursuant to MCL 700.5407 in those cases with immediate pending evictions/foreclosures/shut off notices.
- Estates where immediate access to residence is necessary under MCL 700.5407.
- Ex parte requests for temporary restraining orders.
- Other emergency motions in the discretion of the court.