Access to Courts
The Michigan judiciary is committed to open access to judicial services. This means eliminating all forms of bias from the courts and assuring the fair and equal application of the law for all persons in the Michigan court system. The courts are obligated to protect the confidentiality of court users as required by statute and court rule, and provide a courtroom environment that fosters fairness, accessibility, and accountability.
Information and resources for making the court ADA-compliant. Includes information and resources to help courts provide interpreter services to deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind persons.
Information and resources to help courts provide services to limited English proficient individuals. These include language access plans and courtroom resources. Resources for interpreters, including information about testing and certification are at Language Access Certification Program.
Portable Electronic Communications Devices in the Court
Chief judges of trial courts may establish a policy regarding the use of cell phones or other portable electronic communication devices within the court pursuant to Michigan Court Rule 8.115. The key provisions of the rule are that no photographs may be taken of any jurors or witnesses, no photographs may be taken inside any courtroom without permission of the court, and the policy regarding the use of cell phones or other portable electronic communications devices must be posted in a conspicuous location outside and inside each courtroom. Failure to comply with the rule or with the policy established by the chief judge may result in a fine, including confiscation of the device, incarceration, or both, for contempt of court. A sample policy is available.
Public Access to Records
Unless access to a file, a document, or information contained in a file or document is restricted by statue, court rule, or order of the court, any person may inspect those court records in the clerk's office and may obtain copies as provided by the trial court local administrative orders. Access to general court records, friend of the court records, and juror records are regulated by local administrative orders of the trial court. Model local administrative orders are available.
Other Related Resources
Other resources available to the courts through this website are the Self-Help Center and references to a number of public access points such as Michigan Legal Help, community dispute resolution centers, Michigan Judicial Institute education and training materials, and more.
Courts interested in developing comprehensive public information programs may find the mini-guide, Developing Comprehensive Public Information Programs for Courts (1996), useful. This guide was developed by the National Association for Court Management. See also the National Center for State Courts for materials on community relations.