Court Research and Record Retrieval

MICHIGAN COURT SYSTEM

Court records hold a wealth of information - our investigators research and obtain records from court files across the state on a daily basis.

CIRCUIT COURT

There are 57 circuit courts in Michigan.


CRIMINAL/CIVIL DIVISION

FAMILY DIVISION AND FRIEND OF THE COURT


  • Felony criminal cases (sentences with confinement over one year)
  • Civil Matters (over $25,000)
  • Driver's License Restoration
  • Appeals to Circuit Court
  • Divorce matters
  • Paternity
  • Child Support
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Custody
  • Personal Protection Orders
  • Name Changes
  •  juvenile offenses and delinquency, juvenile guardianship 
  • child abuse and neglect

DISTRICT COURT

There are 105 Michigan District Courts staffed by 276 judges.


The District Courts are limited jurisdiction trial courts, and often called the "people's court".   More people have contact with the District Court than any other court. 


The District Courts handle:

  • Civil litigation under $25,000 excluding equity and small claims under $3,000;
  • Civil infraction traffic matters
  • Misdemeanors criminal cases carrying a sentence of less than one year.
  • Felony preliminary trials for criminal charges with a sentence of over one year.   If evidence is presented, the matter proceeds and is transferred to the Circuit Court. Note that the majority of felony charges are handled at this phase when the defendant pleads to a misdemeanor charge.
  • Ordinance violations.
  • Landlord/tenant or summary proceedings.
  • Jury trials

In Michigan, a few municipalities have chosen to retain a municipal court rather than create a district court.   The four municipal courts have limited powers and are located in Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, and Grosse Point Shores/Grosse Pointe Woods. 

PROBATE COURT

There are 78 probate courts in Michigan staffed by 107 judges.

 

The Michigan Probate Courts are trial courts that have jurisdiction over:

  • deceased estates
  • wills and trusts
  • matters of commitment of mentally ill adults and children
  • guardianships
  • conservatorship
  • juvenile supervision and criminal matters

COURT OF APPEALS

Michigan Court of Appeals is one of the highest volume intermediate appellate courts in the country.  It was created by the 1963 Michigan Constitution and heard its first cases in January 1965.  Generally, decisions from final orders of a circuit court or probate court, as well as some agency orders, may be appealed to the court as a matter of right. 

COURT OF CLAIMS

The Court of Claims is located in the Michigan Court of Appeals. 


The Court of Claims is a court of statewide, limited jurisdiction to hear and determine all civil actions filed against the State of Michigan and its agencies.    These cases include highway defect, medical malpractice, contracts, constitutional claims, prisoner litigation, tax-related suits, and other claims for money damages. 

OTHER GOVERNMENT RECORDS

In addition we research and obtain valuable information records retained by the various State, County and Municipal Agency's including the Police and Fire Departments.


We are well versed in the proper method and procedure to file and retrieve records using the State of Michigan Open Records Act and Freedom Of Information Act.