According to Michigan law, there is a procedure a person must follow when making comments or a complaint about the conduct of a judge or attorney, the friend of the court operation or employee, or other court employee. Complaints are answered within a reasonable period of time.
complaints against Judges
Complaints about the conduct of a judge of the State of Michigan are filed with the Judicial Tenure Commission.
Complaints regarding the conduct of federal judges must be filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The complaint cannot be about a judge's legal decision or an existing court order. A judge's decision can only be changed through the appeals process.
complaints against Attorneys
To make a complaint about the conduct of an attorney, contact the Attorney Grievance Commission by writing to 535 Griswold Street, Suite 1700, Detroit, MI 48226. See a list of disciplined attorneys.
complaints against Courts or their Employees
Concerns or comments about the administration of a specific court or the conduct of a court employee should be made to the court administrator or chief judge of the court involved.
complaints against Court Reporters or Recorders
Complaints or comments about a specific court reporter or recorder should be made, in writing, to the Michigan Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review, PO Box 30048, Lansing, MI 48909. See more information about the Michigan Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review.
complaints against Friends of the Court
Michigan law provides several ways to express concerns about operations of the friend of the court offices. Grievances or comments cannot be used to complain about a judge's decision.
Formal Grievance Procedure
The formal grievance procedure is for parties dissatisfied with the friend of the court's operations or employees. The grievance procedure requires a grievance to first be filed with the county friend of the court office. The grievance can be prepared on a grievance form or in a letter that is clearly labeled a grievance to the friend of the court office. The friend of the court must respond to the grievance within 30 days.
If parties are not satisfied with the office's response, they may file a further grievance with the chief judge for the circuit court, again using either the grievance form or writing a letter that is identified as being a grievance.
See the Trial Court Directory for the proper chief judge address or the list of friend of the court offices for the address of your local friend of the court office.
If you want information about your friend of the court case, the quickest and easiest way for you to get this information is to call your friend of the court office and use the interactive voice response (IVR) system.
Written Comments to Chief Judge
Issues relating to friend of the court operations can be made through written comments to the chief judge of the court in response to the annual review of the friend of the court. Each year, chief judges are required to conduct a review of the friend of the court, normally in June. Any comments received are included in the summary of the review and the report is filed in July.
Grievance to Citizen Advisory Committee
Comments on friend of the court operations can be made through a local citizen advisory committee. Each county's board of commissioners or executive is to appoint a citizen advisory committee for the friend of the court office. That committee is advisory only, but among its duties is a requirement to advise the chief judge and the county board of commissioners about the friend of the court's duties and performance and the community's needs relating to the office's services. A citizen advisory committee can only respond to grievances related to a business operations issue of the friend of the court office. Contact your county commissioner or a representative of the board of commissioners for information about your county's citizen advisory committee.