Local Administrative Orders
Required in Certain Circumstances
In addition to the mandated local administrative orders, there are a number of local administrative orders that are required under certain circumstances. Also, a court may, but is not "required" to, delegate authority and make directions to court staff for certain functions. These functions are 1) arraignment on information in criminal cases, 2) public access to court records, 3) providing forms to litigants and lawyers, and 4) authorizing probate registers to sign for the judge. If a court opts to delegate authority or make directions regarding any of the above, a local administrative order is then required.
Access to Friend of the Court Records
Access to friend of the court records is governed by MCR 3.218. A court, by administrative order pursuant to MCR 8.112(B), may make reasonable regulations necessary to protect friend of the court records and to prevent excessive and unreasonable interference with the discharge of friend of the court functions. For information about access to court records generally, see Public Access to Court Records. [MCR 3.218] Select model LAO 1
. (Rev. 8/03)
Assignment of Cases
All cases must be assigned by lot unless a different system has been adopted by local court administrative order under the provisions of subrule MCR 8.112. Assignment will occur at the time the case is filed or before a contested hearing or uncontested dispositional hearing on the case, as the chief judge directs. Civil actions must be assigned within appropriate categories determined by the chief judge. The chief judge may receive fewer assignments in order to perform the duties of chief judge. It is required by court rule that a local administrative order be issued defining and explaining the procedure of assigning cases "by lot" utilized by the particular court. [MCR 8.111(B)]
Authority for Probate Register to Perform Judicial Acts
Under Michigan statute (MCL 600.834) and court rule (MCR 8.301), a chief probate judge may, through issuance of an order, grant to a probate register the authority to perform certain judicial acts. Select model LAO 18
. (Rev. 8/04)
Circuit Court Arraignment in District Court
District court judges may be assigned as judges in the circuit court for the purpose of taking not guilty and guilty pleas in felony criminal cases. If a court desires approval to accept felony pleas, it must submit a local administrative order to the State Court Administrator signed by the chief judges of both the circuit and district courts. [MCR 6.111] Select model LAO 6
. (Rev. 11/05)
Court Closure - General
Courts periodically find it necessary to close for brief periods of time for such matters as staff training, conducting pending inventory, and doing records destruction. This model local administrative order can be customized to meet the needs of the court. Select model LAO 16. (Rev. 1/02)
Select sample notice of closure form.
The court is directed to observe a specific list of holidays, except those courts which have adopted modifying local administrative orders. Furthermore, courts are required to promulgate a modifying administrative order, if appropriate, to accommodate or achieve uniformity with the holiday practices of local governmental units regarding local public employees. A judge may continue a trial in progress, however, or dispose of judicial matters on any of these specifically listed holidays if he or she finds it to be necessary. [MCR 8.110(D)(2)]
Elimination of Circuit Court Arraignments
Under MCR 6.113, a circuit court may, through issuance of a local administrative order, eliminate the circuit court arraignment of criminal cases cognizable in the circuit court.
Emergency Services Plan
If a court is notified by its funding unit of a reduction of the original appropriation for the court for the current fiscal year, the court shall immediately file a copy of that notice with the State Court Administrative Office in accordance with Mich Sup Ct AO 1994-6. The court, among other things, must provide an emergency services plan which outlines what services are essential. [Mich Sup Ct AO 1994-6]
Establishment of a Drug Treatment Court
If a court operates a substance use disorder specialty court (e.g. DWI, juvenile, family, or adult drug treatment court), use of these local administrative orders will facilitate compliance with MCL 600.1060, et seq.
Establishment of a Mental Health Treatment Court
If a court operates a mental health treatment court, use of this local administrative order will facilitate compliance with 2008 PA 250, Section 309. Select model LAO 30
. (Rev. 10/08)
Establishment of a Veterans' Treatment Court
If a court operates a veterans' treatment court, use of this local administrative order wil facilitate compliance with 2012 PA 335. Select model LAO 39
. (Rev. 04/13)
Facsimile Equipment in Mental Health Proceedings
Probate courts can be authorized to use facsimile communication equipment to transmit petitions, physician's certificates and other supporting documents from state regional psychiatric hospitals or private hospitals for filing in the courts under Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order. Participation is subject to the discretion of the chief judge of the probate court and with approval of the State Court Administrator. The State Court Administrative Office assists in implementing use of facsimile equipment in mental health proceedings for courts electing to participate.
An administrative order submitted for authorization to use facsimile communication equipment must comply with Mich Sup Ct AO 1992-3.
Judicial Officer's Appearance by Video Communication Equipment
Administrative Order 2012-7, effective January 1, 2013, allows judicial officers to participate, by video, in any proceeding that may be conducted by video communication equipment without the consent of the parties under the Michigan Court Rules and statutes. The judicial office who presides remotely must be physically present in a courthouse located within his or her judicial circuit, district, or multiple-district area, whichever is applicable. Select model LAO 38
. (Rev. 12/12)
Local Alternative Dispute Resolution Plans
Each trial court that submits matters to alternative dispute resolution processes under MCR 2.410 and MCR 3.216 shall adopt an ADR plan by local administrative order. The plan must be in writing and available to the public in the ADR clerk's office. [MCR 2.410(B)(1), MCR 3.216(B)(1)] Select model LAO 14
. (Rev. 8/00)
Multiple District Plan for Magistrates
MCL 600.8320 allows two or more district courts within a county or two adjoining districts of the first class to establish a multiple district plan in which a district court magistrate is authorized to conduct arraignments, set bail or recognizance, provide for the appointment of counsel, or make determinations of probable cause and issue warrants for all of the participating districts within the multiple district area. For districts consisting of more than one county, the chief or only judge may authorize a magistrate appointed in one county to serve in another county within the district. Courts choosing to establish a multiple district plan must submit to the State Court Administrator a local administrative order signed by the chief or only judges of all participating districts. [MCL 600.8320] Select model LAO 7
. (Rev. 12/12)
Order Implementing Surcharge Provisions of Public Act 193 of 2009
The purpose of this order is to implement 2009 PA 193 which changed the way surcharges are imposed on past due child support. Select model LAO 36
. (Rev. 12/10)
Orders for the Installment Payment of Lump Sum Support Obligations
The purpose of this order is to clarify circuit court orders for the installment payment of lump sum support obligations. This administrative order shall not prohibit a party or the friend of the court from seeking modification of the payment arrangements in an order.
Pilot for Referring Selected Parenting Time Disputes to the Community Dispute Resolution Center for Mediation
Courts may refer certain domestic relations disputes to local Community Dispute Resolution Program (CDRP) centers for mediation. CDRP center mediators have completed a 40-hour general civil mediation training and a three-day State Court Administrative Office domestic relations mediation training. Courts may refer custody, parenting time, grandparenting time motions, parenting time complaints, and other contested custody and parenting time issues identified by the court to the CDRP center for mediation.
Courts interested in establishing a referral process for these domestic relations issues must submit a local administrative order (LAO). A model LAO includes referral and mediation procedures. Courts should contact the local CDRP center before implementing a local administrative order for this program. See contact information for local centers
. Direct questions about this program to Doug Van Epps at (517) 373-4839 or firstname.lastname@example.org
, or Timothy Cole at (517) 373-5975 or email@example.com
. Select model LAO 24
. (Rev. 1/06)
Plan for the Creation of a Specialized Business Court
2012 PA 33 requires circuit courts with three or more judges to create a specialized business court docket. Any case that has a business or commercial dispute as defined in the act, whether in the initial pleading or added later, must be placed on the business docket, even if the case also contains non-business matters.
Providing Forms to Litigants and Lawyers
The chief judge may, by administrative order, direct the clerk of the court to provide litigants and attorneys with copies of forms approved by the State Court Administrator. The administrative order may allow the clerk to provide the forms at the cost of reproduction to the clerk. [MCR 8.110(C)(7)] The SCAO model local administrative order
regarding public access to court records includes language about providing forms to litigants and lawyers.
Referrals to Domestic Relations Referee
Under MCR 3.215(B), the chief judge may issue an administrative order to refer all motions of a particular kind to a referee. Judges are free to assign other motions to a referee to the extent allowed by law. [MCR 3.215(B)]
Unless the circuit court does the scheduling of the arraignment on the information, the district court must do so in accordance with the administrative orders of the trial court. [MCR 6.110(I)]
Standards for Charging Friend of the Court Investigation Expenses
Effective January 8, 2010, MCL 552.505(3) was amended to permit friend of the court offices to charge parties an amount for the expense of conducting a custody or parenting time investigation, when a party requests one, pursuant to standards issued by the State Court Administrative Office. SCAO Administrative Memorandum 2010-05
establishes the standards for charging a party for the friend of the court's expense of conducting an investigation ordered under MCL 552.505(1)(g). Given statewide variation in the amount expensed to conduct an investigation and differences in local practices, each circuit that decides to charge for these expenses must first enter a local administrative order to establish local procedures based on SCAO Model LAO 34. Select model LAO 34
. (Rev. 10/10)
Use of Interactive Video Technology
(in Enumerated Delinquency Proceedings, Child Protective Proceedings, and Probate Matters)
Effective May 1, 2007, MCR 3.904 and MCR 5.738a allow courts to use interactive video technology (IVT) in enumerated delinquency proceedings, child protective proceedings, and probate matters. In addition, Administrative Order 2007-1
encourages courts in appropriate circumstances to expand the use of IVT to delinquency proceedings, child protective proceedings, and probate matters that are not enumerated in MCR 3.904 or MCR 5.738a by seeking a local administrative order (LAO). Select model LAO 28
. (Rev. 2/08)
Waiver of Jurisdiction Over Civil Infractions Committed by Juveniles
Under MCL 712A.2e and MCL 600.8379(1), the circuit court may enter into an agreement with the district court to waive jurisdiction over all or specifically named civil infractions alleged to have been committed by juveniles within the geographic jurisdiction of the district court. Courts making such an agreement must submit a joint local administrative order to the State Court Administrator. [MCL 712A.2e, MCL 600.8379(1)] Select model LAO 12
. (Rev. 8/99)