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: 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.
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: Complete the Change of Address/Employment form and return it to the FOC by email, regular mail or in person. If you plan to drop off documents in person, please contact FOC to set up an appointment. Alternatively, visit Michigan.gov/michildsupport.
Q: How do I start a child support action?
A: For help starting a case, consider visiting Michigan Legal Help at michiganlegalhelp.org/ or the Michigan Office of Child Support at https://micase.state.mi.us/micaseapp/public/home.html and click on the link, “Apply For Child Support”.
Q: How do I start a child custody case?
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, FOC can start a free child support review. Alternatively, either party can ask the court to change their court order by filing a motion. Visit our "Modify Child Support" page or Michigan Legal Help at michiganlegalhelp.org/ for more information.
Q: How do I change custody and/or parenting time?
A: Either party can ask the court to change their court order by filing a motion. You may want to visit michiganlegalhelp.org/ or contact our office at 989-673-4848 for more information. FOC also offers alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to help parties resolve disputes. If you are interested in ADR, contact our ADR Coordinator at 989-672-3212.
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: How do I know if a payment was made on my case and/or what my account balance is?
A: : Online payment information can be obtained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by visiting Michigan.gov/michildsupport or calling 877-543-2660. Alternatively, you can contact FOC, Monday through Friday, 8am-4:30pm at 989-673-4848
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: FOC will attempt to work with you to resolve your bench warrant. Please contact our office to discuss your options at 989-673-4848.
Q: The absent parent moved out of the state; can Friend of the Court continue to enforce my child support order?
A: Yes. FOC will continue to enforce your court order even when a party leaves the State of Michigan. FOC may contact the child support agency in the other parent’s new home state for help in enforcing your support order. This process is referred to as "interstate registration". If you have questions regarding interstate enforcement options, please contact our office at 989-673-4848.
Q: How do I make a payment on my case?
Q: My child is 18; when is support going to stop?
A: Child support typically continues until a child turns 18. Child support may continue beyond age 18 if a child is still enrolled in high school on a full-time basis, with a reasonable expectation of graduating, and is living full-time with the recipient of support. Child support cannot continue to be charged beyond the age of 19 ½. However, if there is an arrearage, FOC will continue to collect any past due support until it is paid in full.
Q: How do I request reimbursement for uninsured medical expenses?
A: Your court order will specify how much each parent is required to contribute for medical expenses. 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.