Trial Court Collections
Enforcing a court's order on court-ordered financial sanctions is a top priority for the Michigan judiciary. Enforcing court orders, including financial sanctions, is a court responsibility that, if done effectively, improves courts' credibility and effectiveness while providing funds to support law enforcement, libraries, the Crime Victim's Rights Fund, and local governments.
The State Court Administrative Office convened the Collections Advisory Committee in 2004 to develop a statewide strategy for improving collection of court-ordered financial obligations. The Supreme Court approved the committee's recommended collections strategy on June 5, 2005. This strategy includes communication, education, training, data collection, and identification of best practices. On January 27, 2010, the Supreme Court approved the committee's final recommendations detailing its proposed plan to implement court collections programs and collections-related reporting requirements statewide. The final recommendations included adopting the proposed administrative order and that the Supreme Court work with court staff, agencies, and associations to amend or enact legislation that enhances the courts' ability to enforce and collect court-ordered financial obligations.
The State Court Administrative Office published an Ability
to Pay Report in 2015, which provides tools and best practices on ability
to pay. Additionally, there is a training webcast that includes an overview of
ability to pay. For more information on this topic, please click here.
Child support and civil judgments are not included in this collections initiative. For questions regarding child support, please go to Friend of the Court Services. For questions regarding collecting money on civil judgments, please go to the Self-Help Center.
Trial Court Collections Program Status Measure
is the Trial Court Collections Program Status Measure?
trial court collections program status measure determines whether the court’s
program satisfies the required components of a trial court collections program. See memo.
is it Important to Measure Trial Court Collections Program Status?
and public trust in the dispute resolution process depend in part on how well
court orders are observed and enforced.
In particular, restitution for crime victims and accountability for
enforcement of monetary penalties imposed on criminals are issues of intense
public interest and concern. The focus
of this measure is on the extent to which a court takes responsibility for the
enforcement of orders requiring payment of monetary penalties.
court orders, including financial sanctions, is a court responsibility that, if
done effectively, improves courts’ credibility and effectiveness while ensuring
that crime victims are made whole and providing funds to support law
enforcement, libraries, the Crime Victim’s Rights Fund, and local
governments. Courts must implement the
first seven components of the model collections program to be rated compliant.
is Trial Court Collections Program Status Measured?
Trial Court Collections Program Status is measured by
verifying that a court’s program satisfies the minimum program requirements
established by the State Court Administrative Office. If a court has adopted a program that includes
the first seven components, its status is compliant. If the program does not include
the first seven components, its status is noncompliant. See details on the Court
Collections Program Components.
See also the 2015 Trial Court Collections Best Practice Manual.
Court Collections Program Requirements
Administrative Order 2010-1 requires all circuit courts, circuit court family division, district courts, and municipal courts to comply with court collections program requirements established by the state court administrator. This includes establishing a collections program that conforms to an SCAO model. To comply with this mandate, SCAO has published:
Each program model provides minimum requirements or components. Compliance with the Court Collections Program Requirements means that a court has adopted a program that includes the required components provided in the Court Collections Program Components and Details. Compliance does not require that a court implement each detail listed below each component. Rather, the details provide additional information about the component or concrete examples of ways a court may fulfill the listed requirement.
Confidentiality of Personal Identifying Information
The court has the authority to collect personal identifying information for purposes of trial court collections. That information must be kept confidential pursuant to the program requirements and SCAO ADM Memorandum 2006-04
Find best practices, policies, COLLECT applications, forms, press releases and news articles, training materials and videos, compilation of court rules and statutes, and administrative orders, communications to the courts, links of interest, and more.