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​Michigan courts follow laws, rules, and other authority in operating their courts and processing cases. You will need to know some of this information if you are responsible for your own case. The court cannot represent either party in litigation.

 

Michigan Legal Help is a website that provides toolkits to help the self-represented person understand certain legal matters. These toolkits includes articles, frequently asked questions, interviews for completing court forms, and other valuable resources.

 

Another resource is Michigan Legal Aid, which provides help with legal problems to low income residents of Michigan. On that site you will find information about the law and about places to go for help with legal and related problems, including help with various court forms.

The Michigan constitution, statutes, case law, and court rules provide the framework for all court cases.

 

Law Libraries

Basic legal information of the type mentioned above should be available in any law library. You may also check with your local public library for legal resources. Many counties have a law library. Court rules and laws are also available through the internet; see below for details.

A law library contains statutes, court rules, case law, and other authority you may need to research in order to represent yourself. You may also find self-help books and research guides in the law library. The law librarian can help you find the books you are looking for, but cannot provide you with legal advice.

 

Michigan Compiled Laws

The Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) are laws the Michigan Legislature enacts. They are called statutes and provide the basis for many cases that are filed with the court. Of general importance is Chapter 600, the Revised Judicature Act of 1961. This chapter contains information relating to the organization and jurisdiction of the courts; the powers and duties of the courts and the judges and other officers of the courts; the forms and attributes of civil claims and actions; the time within which civil actions and proceedings may be brought in the courts; and pleading, evidence, practice, and procedure in civil and criminal actions and proceedings in the courts.

 

Michigan Court Rules

The Michigan Court Rules (MCR) are rules of court practice and procedure the Michigan Supreme Court enacts. Many statutes also specify court practice; if there is a statute and a court rule regulating a practice for the same court process and they are in conflict, the court rule should be followed. You must also follow any local court rules in your jurisdiction.

Michigan Court Rules Practice is a set of publications containing case law interpretation of the court rules. These volumes explain the basic purpose and effect of the court rules and discuss any special problems in interpreting the rules, the relationships with other rules, and other useful information. This resource is not available online.

 

Other Legal Resources

There are many sources of legal information in addition to the Michigan Compiled Laws and Michigan Court Rules. There are federal statutes and case law, state and federal regulations, the U.S. Constitution, the Michigan State Constitution, and local ordinances and charters.

 

Michigan Court Forms

There are many court forms available for use in Michigan.  The most common are

Court forms are only tools to assist in the processing of a court case. The forms will not guide you through the court process. If you do not have an attorney, you will need to understand the laws pertaining to your type of case.

 

For details on processing your case, search the types of matters under Types of Court Cases. Not all of matters will contain details about how to process your case, especially if a particular type of case is considered too complicated for handling through self-representation. If details for processing your case are not available, you may want to seek help from an attorney.

Court forms that are not "SCAO-Approved" are also available from local trial courts or from publications such as Michigan Court Rules Practice (available in the law library). Contact the court where you are filing your case to find out if it requires any local court forms.

the "SCAO-Approved" court forms. These forms are created and maintained approved by the State Court Administrative Office and are standardized for use in all Michigan's trial courts. Any statute or court rule authority for a form is located in the lower right-hand corner of the form.

 

All SCAO-Approved court forms are available from this website and can be filled in on-line using Adobe Acrobat Reader and then printed.  Some of the SCAO-Approved court forms are also available from Michigan Legal Help through a guided interview process that prepares the form for the user by asking a series of questions.  See the link on the left side.

 

Most court actions require a specific form or document to be filed with the court. If you are not sure which forms you need, this self-help center may be able to assist you once you identify the type of matter you have.