Due to the Governor’s “Shelter in Place” Executive Order in following the guidance of the Michigan Supreme Court, Administrative Order 2020-2, beginning March 17, 2020 through at least April 14th, 2020 the 17th Circuit Court is open and providing service but all face to face areas have been closed except for Personal Protection Orders, and, in the extremely rare case, certain essential hearings.
For Essential hearings (see AO 2020-2):
Hold the hearing through a video feed
Hold the hearing over the phone
In extremely limited circumstances, a hearing will be held in person with less than 10 people in the courtroom.
For Non-essential hearings:
The court may issue an order based on the pleadings (no oral argument); or
Adjourn the hearing; or
Hold the hearing over the phone.
For jury trials or trials requiring witnesses to testify:
Postpone the jury trial indefinitely.
The 17th Circuit Court will continue to accept Personal Protection Order Petitions.
Certain hearings, as determined by the assigned judge, may require a party to appear but only under exigent circumstances.
The Judicial staff will contact anyone with a hearing scheduled to provide instruction on how it will proceed.
The Friend of the Court has dismissed or adjourned all of its hearings. The lobby is being closed, and appointments will only be by phone. The public will be given instructions to contact the FOC via phone or e-mail for assistance. Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order requiring citizens to “shelter in place” beginning March 24, 2020, permits parents to travel as required to permit parenting time exchanges under a valid custody or parenting time order. Please continue to follow your parenting time orders.
The Circuit Court Clerks Office will be taking the following steps:
Pleadings must be mailed to the court with the appropriate filing fee. Please do not send cash through the mail. Mailing Address: 180 Ottawa Ave NW Suite 2400, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Ex-Parte Pleadings may be submitted to: email@example.com. Appropriate filing fees must be paid or waived. Payment is accepted by U.S. mail or credit card. Please contact the Clerk’s Office for instructions on how to pay with a credit card online.
Effective March 24, 2020, and until further notice, phones are answered M-F from 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM at 616-632-5480.
The entrances to the 82 Ionia Avenue Courthouse and 180 Ottawa Avenue Courthouse are monitored by security equipment and security personnel.
The following items may not be brought into the buildings: guns, knives (including small pocket knives), razors, scissors, box cutters, any type of spray, and food/beverages (except for identified jurors and staff). All packages may be inspected. Dangerous or illegal objects may be seized.
Litigants should arrive early for court proceedings to allow time for security measures.
The following items are prohibited in the courtrooms:
weapons of any sort
electronic equipment (unless approved by the court)
inappropriate attire, such as t-shirts with swear words, depicting violence or sexual acts, promoting drug or alcohol use; hats (except those worn for religious purposes)
food, beverages, chewing gum, tobacco
children making noise.
Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Security staff may remove offenders from the building and judges may hold violators in contempt of court.
Cell Phones and Pagers:
Cell phones and pagers must be placed in the silent mode, unless otherwise instructed at entry to the courthouse. Use of cell phones and pagers is not allowed in the courtrooms or hearing rooms. Use of cell phones and pagers in other areas of the courthouse is permitted unless a restriction notice is posted. Users should exercise discretion in their conversations being held in a public environment.