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Special Access Needs

 

Americans WITH DISABILITIES

If you need certain accommodations to access a Michigan court as a party to a case, contact the court.​ See details.
 

Foreign Language Interpreter

Any party to a case is entitled to a foreign language interpreter if they do not speak English. See details.

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Michigan Courts Self-Help Center

 

This site is designed to help you find legal assistance, learn about Michigan law, and represent yourself in some legal matters. This site does not provide legal advice.

The laws of Michigan do not allow the employees of the court or the judge to give you legal advice. You may consult with an attorney concerning legal issues, but you do not need an attorney to represent you. 
 
All adult citizens have the constitutional right to represent themselves in court. If you represent yourself, you are called a "pro se" or "self-represented" litigant and you are acting as your own attorney. 
 

Access to Justice and the Courts

All citizens of Michigan should have access to the court system. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a citizen and as a party to a case. Resources, such as brochures, other public information materials, and self-help forms and instructions packets are available to help citizens access the Michigan court system and to provide guidance to trial courts in areas such as sexual harassment, racial and gender bias, general discrimination, interpreters for non-English speaking and hearing impaired court users, and self-help services. Many of these resources can be found on this site.

 

Where Do I Start?

If you have already tried to resolve your dispute without going to court and you have decided you need to sue someone, you need to find out the court that handles your type of matter. If you have been notified to appear in court for jury duty or to response to a summons or a traffic ticket, read the notice or summons carefully because it will tell you the name of the court where your case has been filed.

 

There are three trial courts in Michigan: circuit, district, and probate. There are other courts for filing cases against the State of Michigan, for filing appeals, and for filing bankruptcy.

 

Legal Terms

To represent yourself in a court case, you need to understand some legal terms. Many common legal terms are defined in the Handbook of Legal Terms. For other legal terms, see Black's Law Dictionary at a law library, and maybe at a public library.

Other Services

 

​Resolving a Dispute without Going to Court

The Office of Dispute Resolution has information about mediation and other alternative dispute resolution to help you avoid having to go to court in certain situations.
 

Foster Care Review

If you are a parent whose child is in foster care, you can request that your case be reviewed by contacting the Foster Care Review Board.
 

Friend of the Court Bureau

The Friend of the Court Bureau provides public educational programs about domestic relations law, community resources, financial and other counseling, and employment opportunities. It also handles complaints against local friend of the court offices.

​Computer Use Warning

Anyone with access to your computer can tell what Internet sites you have visited. If you are a victim of domestic violence, it may be safer to access the Internet at a local library or other public place. But keep in mind that computers at public locations may store website information that you cannot control. If in doubt, contact a local domestic violence program or information provider for suggestions. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE for local contact information.