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.
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.