Q: Does the court require a praecipe?
A: No, we do not require a praecipe.
Q: How do I get a court date for a hearing?
A: Call the judge's assignment clerk. Those numbers are:
*Family Division: 672-3787
*other Circuit matters: 673-3330
Q: My judgement of divorce has been entered. How much is it to file a motion?
A: This is our schedule for post-judgment motions in domestic relations matters:
*order to show cause: $20
*spousal support: $20
*child support: $60
*parenting time/custody: $100
Q: What is the Court's address?
A: 71B District Court, 440 North State Street, Caro, MI 48723
Q: Where is the Magistrate's office located?
A: In the basement of the Courthouse, straight ahead at the bottom of the stairs.
Q: Does the Court take personal checks?
A: Yes. Make checks or money orders payable to 71B District Court.
Q: Does the Court take credit or debit cards?
A: Yes. You can make payments online through GPS.
Q: Why do I get charged a fee to use my credit or debit card?
A: The Court uses an independent provider to take credit or debit payments and it is a service fee that they assess the payor.
Q: Why do fines vary in price from county to county?
A: Each county can assess their own fines and costs within Statutory limits set by the State with the exception of Seat Belt Tickets which are state mandated at $65.00 and No Proof of Insurance tickets with valid proof shown which are state mandated at $25.00.
Q: Why can't I pay a ticket from another county here?
A: We do not have access to other court records nor do they have access to ours.
Q: If I mail my payment why isn't a receipt mailed back to me?
A: The Court does not return receipts to defendants unless specifically requested and a self addressed stamped envelope is provided.
Q: Why can't I pay my ticket the same day it was issued?
A: The agencies that issue citations, i.e. Michigan State Police, Sheriff's Department, Caro Police Department, etc. have up to three business days to provide the Court with the tickets for entry, excluding weekends and holidays. We suggest you call three days after the citation is issued to obtain information regarding fines, costs, and due dates.
Q: What are the wedding fees?
A: The Magistrate's office charges a $10.00 fee to perform a wedding ceremony.
Q: How do I get a marriage license and schedule a ceremony?
A: Marriage licenses are obtained from the County Clerks office located on the main floor of the Courthouse. To schedule a marriage ceremony contact the Magistrate office.
Q: How can I get a hearing date on a ticket?
A: Contact the Magistrate's office for scheduling.
Q: What happens if I don't request an informal hearing within the first 14 days from the offense date?
A: If you do not request the hearing within the first 14 days you will be found responsible by default for all fines and costs assessed. However, there is a procedure if you miss your first 14 days. You would need to call the Magistrate's office for information.
Q: Why are No Proof of Insurance tickets not waivable?
A: No Proof of Insurance tickets are not waivable; however they are reducible by State statute from $130.00 to $25.00 with valid proof shown for the date of offense.
Q: Why do I need to be fingerprinted or re-printed?
A: Any time a defendant is charged with a crime that has a penal fine of $500.00 and 92 days jail or higher they must be fingerprinted regardless of whether they have been printed in the past.
Q: How are court appointed attorneys determined?
A: Court appointed attorneys are determined based on indigency. Defendants are required to fill out a financial statement and the Magistrate or Judge uses the information therein to determine eligibility for attorney.
Q: Why can't I petition the court for a court appointed attorney before my arraignment?
A: Everyone has the right to ask the Court for a Court Appointed Attorney. In this Court, the defendant is afforded the opportunity to complete the forms for Court Appointed Attorney at arraignment or sometime thereafter and throughout the duration of the case up to Judgment and Post-Judgment appeals.
Q: Hours of operation?
A: Monday – Friday 8:00 to 4:30; closed 12:00-1:00 for the lunch hour. Closed weekends and most Federal and State holidays.
Q: What does it cost to file a petition in a probate case?
A: All new petitions cost $175 to file, except for Developmentally Disabled Guardianships which are free, and Small Estates which are $25. To file a petition in an already open case the cost is $20, except for Developmentally Disabled Guardianships which are free.
Q: What are Probate Court's hours?
A: We are open from 8:00 a.m. until Noon, and then again from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Q: Who gets served paperwork?
A: In a probate case pertaining to an adult: spouse, children, and parents. If the adult does not have any of these then the presumptive heirs shall be notified. If there are no presumptive heirs, the attorney general must be notified.
In a probate case pertaining to a minor: parents, and the minor child if over the age of 14. If one of the parents is deceased, the minor's grandparents would be served in place of the deceased parent.
Q: What does the expiration date mean on my Letters of Guardianship?
A: To ensure that our guardians are filing their annual reports every year we are now placing expiration dates on all letters of guardianship. These expiration dates are 28 days from the date of appointment each year. Once your annual report is filed with the court you will receive updated letters for the next year.
Q: What does the expiration date mean on my Letters of Conservatorship?
A: To ensure that our conservators are filing their annual accounts every year we are now placing expiration dates on all letters of conservatorship. These expiration dates are 56 days from the date of appointment each year. Once your annual account is filed and approved, if necessary, with the court you will receive updated letters for the next year.
Q: Can I check to see if someone has a Will?
A: Whether or not a Will is on deposit with the Probate Court is confidential information. The court will only check for a Will upon death of the testator when provided with a death certificate or obituary.
Q: Why was my file closed?
A: Files are administratively closed when the fiduciary does not file the appropriate paperwork after being given notice and sufficient time to correct the deficiency. All administratively closed files are subject to a $100 fine for court costs.
Q: How do I update my address and/or employer?
A: Address and employment updates need to be in writing. Please complete the Change of Address/Employment form.
Q: How do I start a child support action?
A: If you do not have a child support order and would like to start a new case, you must fill out the "DHS 1201″ form which is available on our "Useful Links" page.
Q: How do I start a child custody action?
A: If you would like to start a custody case and you DO NOT have an existing child support/custody order, you may find our "Useful Links" page helpful. Please remember that that issue of custody is a complicated matter and you may wish to retain an attorney to help you with this issue.
Q: How do I change the amount of child support I am court ordered to pay/receive?
A: If there has been a significant change of circumstances, you may ask the Friend of the Court to start a child support review. Please remember that this request must be made in writing. Also, see our "Modify Child Support" page for more information on this topic and to explore other options for modifying your support order.
Q: We have reached an agreement and would like to modify our court order; how do we do this?
A: Please contact our office at 989-673-4848 for information on the option which best fits your specific needs..
Q: Was a payment made on my account and what is my account balance?
A: Payment information can be obtained 24 hours a day by calling 877-543-2660 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have specific questions, you may wish to contact Friend of the Court directly.
Q: Who is my caseworker?
A: You have several workers assigned to your case depending on whether the issue involves enforcement, accounting and/or custody/parenting time. You can contact us several ways: by phone, e-mail, in writing or just walk-in to our Office with your questions or concerns. See our Contact Us page for more information.
Q: I have a Bench Warrant; what are my options?
A: Please call the Bench Warrant Specialist at 989-673-4848 ext. 3226 to discuss your options. Also, see our child support/medical enforcement page for more information.
Q: The absent parent moved out of the state; can Friend of the Court continue to enforce my child support order?
A: Yes. Friend of the Court will continue to enforce your support order even when a party leaves the state of Michigan. Friend of the Court may contact the child support agency in the payer’s new state for help in enforcing your support order. This process is referred to as "interstate registration". If you have questions regarding your interstate enforcement options, please contact our Interstate Specialist at 989-673-4848 ext. 3215.
Q: How do I make a payment on my case?
A: There are several payment options available for paying your child support. Please see our "Make a Payment" page for a complete list of options.
Q: My child is 18; when is support going to stop?
A: Child support typically continues until age 18. Child support may continue beyond age 18 if ordered by the court and your child is still enrolled in high school on a full-time basis with a reasonable expectation of graduating. However, child support cannot be extended beyond the age of 19 ½. If you have an arrearage when your child emancipates, Friend of the Court will continue to collect the arrearages until the obligation is paid in full.
Q: How do I request reimbursement for uninsured medical expenses?
A: Your court order provides specific provisions for uninsured medical expense allocation; please see the medical demand form for instructions on how to request uninsured expenses.
Q: Does the County Clerk's office have paperwork to start an adoption?
A: No. The County Clerk's office does not hand out the paperwork, nor does that office aid in completing paperwork or aid in the step-by-step process. The courts highly recommend that you consult with an attorney for the adoption process.
Q: Does the County Clerk's office have paperwork to start a name change?
A: Yes, the Clerk's office will hand out the paperwork needed to start a name change, but it will not offer any assistance in completing that paperwork. The courts highly recommend that you consult with an attorney for the name change process.
Q: What is the filing fee for an adoption or a name change?
A: The filing fee for these matters is the same as for any other civil action: $175.
Q: What can I do if I disagree with the fees, fines, costs, etc. I have been assessed in a Juvenile Delinquency or Neglect/Abuse case?
A: If you disagree with the fees, fines, costs, etc. you have been assessed, you may obtain an Objection form and a Financial Statement form from the Juvenile Probation department. Fill those out completely, and file them with the County Clerk's office.