Through its various offices and programs, the State Court Administrative Office manages and delivers a variety of services to the entire Michigan court system.
Child Welfare Services
Child Welfare Services provides support, training, and management assistance to circuit court family divisions on child welfare issues, including adoption, Absent Without Legal Permission (AWOLP), foster care, child abuse/neglect, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and termination of parental rights.
Friend of the Court Bureau
The Friend of the Court Bureau was established to provide circuit courts across the state with management assistance in operating local friend of the court offices, including development of local policies and procedures.
Judicial Information Systems
Judicial Information Systems provides technical and automated information system support for the Supreme Court, the State Court Administrative Office, and trial courts.
Michigan Judicial Institute
MJI is the training division of the State Court Administrative Office, providing judges and court personnel with an opportunity to develop and enhance their professional skills.
Office of Dispute Resolution
The Office of Dispute Resolution coordinates alternative dispute resolution services of the State Court Administrative Office. Its primary purposes include: increasing the awareness of dispute resolution options among the legal system's many constituents, assisting judicial stakeholders to integrate dispute resolution processes within the traditional litigation system, and identifying and developing specialized dispute resolution programs and services.
The State Court Administrative Office has four regional offices located in Detroit, Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, and Gaylord. Led by a regional administrator, each office provides direct management assistance to trial court chief judges and staff in the administration of judicial business. Regional offices work with the central office to implement Supreme Court judicial administration policy, monitor workload and caseflow, and to forge productive working relationships with local judicial system stakeholders.
The mission of the Statistical Research Division is to collect, maintain, analyze, and report credible, accurate, timely and usable information regarding Michigan courts. This division coordinates data collection through the Michigan Court Application Portal (MCAP), including the Caseload Reporting System. The information is used to prepare statistical reports, such as the Judicial Resources Recommendations Report, the Michigan Supreme Court Annual Report, and the statistical supplements.
Trial Court Services
Provides management assistance and oversight to trial courts in conjunction with regional offices; develops and implements standards and guidelines for various areas of trial court operations; develops SCAO-approved forms; provides collections program assistance; certifies court reporters and recorders; certifies foreign language interpreters; administers problem-solving court grants and assists courts in the management and development of problem-solving courts; provides liaisons to court organizations and external stakeholder agencies; and distributes information to trial courts.
Overseen by the Office of Dispute Resolution, the Community Dispute Resolution Program makes grant funding available to non-profit and government agencies to provide mediation for disputants in a wide variety of dispute types. Primary services include: developing training programs and materials; publishing reports and public education materials; and grant administration.
Staff administers testing for the certification of court reporters and recorders; manages renewals of certification; and provides assistance to the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review.
Staff administers testing and certification of non-English-language interpreters for use in Michigan Courts.
Staff works with citizen volunteers to ensure safe and timely permanency for children presently in the state foster care system. Reviews of cases are conducted monthly, resulting in written findings and recommendations that are forwarded to the applicable court, the local Department of Human Services and contract agencies, and other parties directly involved in the case.
Staff strive to afford access to therapeutic justice by facilitating efficient and comprehensive problem-solving court programs through training, educating, planning, evaluation, monitoring, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and establishing operational standards and guidelines.
Staff assist courts with developing local programs for enforcing their orders and collecting court-ordered financial sanctions. Assistance includes training, data collection, and dissemination of cost-effective practices.