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A support order means any order entered by the Circuit Court which requires the payment of money for:
The final court Order will include a child support obligation dollar figure, to be paid by income withholding for an employed parent (usually expressed in "$____/month"), a child care contribution, each parent's responsibility for medical insurance or uninsured medical expenses, each parent's responsibility to report certain changes in circumstances or coverage to the Friend of the Court, reimbursement for pregnancy and/or childbirth expenses and, if the parties agree, a provision for parenting time or custody.
A petition requesting an Order of Support must be filed in the Circuit Court. If both parties (and the Judge) agree on the amount, an order can be quickly entered. If the parties cannot agree, you can consult with a private lawyer, or apply online under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) IV-D services. You do not have to be on public assistance to seek help. DHHS will refer the support case to the Prosecuting Attorney, who can file an action in Circuit Court under the Family Support Act. Contact: Michigan Office of Child Support, Central Functions Unit, P.O. Box 30744, Lansing, MI 48909; Phone: 866-540-0008; Alternate Phone: 866-661-0005.
Once the support order has been entered, if the parents get back together and decide to end the family support order, they must contact their private lawyer or the Friend of the Court to stop the support order. It is not sufficient to just notify a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) case worker.
Child support is set by a formula in the Michigan Child Support Guidelines. (You may want to download the Michigan Child Support Guidelines Manual to better understand this process.) The formula considers both parents' income, the number of children and their custodial arrangements, other child support payments, etc. But every-day financial responsibilities like rent/mortgages, utilities, credit card debts, etc. are not factored in.
The child's medical costs may also be included in the child support order. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) MiChildSupport website has a free Child Support Calculator to help you estimate what will be ordered.
No. The Friend of the Court is responsible for enforcing payment orders and collecting delinquencies (although you may also hire a private attorney to file an enforcement action). Child support is generally collected through income-withholding from the parent's paycheck. If the person is self- or un-employed, payment must be made personally.
We can file a case for paternity and/or child support even if the absent parent lives in another state. In some cases, when that party is a former Michigan resident or other factors exist, we may still be able to file a case in our county.
If there are not sufficient ties to the state of Michigan, an action is filed under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). The papers are prepared in our office, filed with our court and forwarded to the state where the absent parent resides. The final court Order must be obtained in the other state. Although we process interstate cases right away, we cannot control the time it takes another state to obtain an Order. We will monitor the other state's efforts on a regular basis and contact you if additional information is required.
The Friend of the Court is responsible for enforcing payment orders and collecting delinquencies (although you may also hire a private attorney to file an enforcement action). There are several options: income withholding orders, show cause hearings (civil contempt hearings held with the Judge who issued the support order), tax refund intercepts, and liens on the payor's property are the most common methods used.
Note: Visitation and support orders are separate orders of the Court, with separate enforcement procedures. If you are not being paid the support monies to which you believe you are entitled, you may not withhold parenting time ("visitation") from the delinquent parent.
The Office of Child Support, the Prosecuting Attorney's office child support specialist, and the Friend of the Court have resources to locate people. But any information that the custodial parent has is accepted. Some helpful information that you can provide us is found on this Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) web page.
The parent responsible for paying child support must continue to pay support through the Friend of the Court (FOC), even if he or she leaves the State of Michigan. If child support payments stop, the parent who is owed the money has several options:
The following resources contain child support information:
Child custody involves two issues. Legal Custody refers to who makes the important decisions in the child's life: where the child lives, where the child goes to school, whether or where the child worships a religion, or consent to the child's medical procedures. Physical Custody refers to where the child lives. Each type of custody is specifically ordered as either Joint Custody or Sole Custody. With joint physical custody, the child lives with one parent about half the time and with the other parent about half the time.
With sole physical custody awarded to one parent, the child lives with that parent all the time but the non-custodial parent may still be awarded parenting time throughout the year (e.g, every other weekend, alternating major holidays, three consecutive weeks in the summer) if it is in the child's best interests. With joint legal custody, both parents share in making decisions on important issues dealing with the child, and must work together. A parent having sole legal custody makes all of the important decisions dealing with the child. Even if one parent is awarded full physical custody, the order might specify joint legal custody depending in the case's circumstances.
The Complaint filed by the Prosecuting Attorney's office to establish paternity or an initial child support order will also attempt to specify legal and physical custody of the child. If the parents agree to specific custody terms (example: parents share legal custody, and mother has full physical custody) the Prosecutor's Office will advocate for that in court. If the parents disagree, the Prosecutor's proposed Order to the judge may refer issues of custody, parenting and child support calculations to the Friend of the Court (FOC). At this point, the Prosecutor's Office is no longer involved in the case because the parents either represent themselves or hire attorneys to help them through the FOC investigation process. After an investigation and possibly fact-finding hearings, the FOC will make a recommendation to the Judge that could settle the debated issues.
Either party can file a timely objection, which then place the issues in front of the assigned Judge for a final decision. The Prosecuting Attorney does not appear in court on custody or parenting time ("visitation") issues or disputes in the Friend of the Court process. If you need help because you are being denied parenting time, you may contact the Friend of the Court for assistance once a judgment has been issued by a Circuit Court Judge, or you may seek the assistance of a private attorney who specializes in family law. If you believe that the other parent has "kidnapped" your child, contact the police. They will conduct an investigation and possibly refer the case to the Prosecuting Attorney to decide whether a crime has occurred requiring prosecution.
A petition/lawsuit must be filed in Circuit Court requesting that the court to grant you custody of your child(ren). If both parties agree and sign an agreement (called a Consent Agreement), that will be entered as a custody order (if the Judge approves the terms, too).
As mentioned, if paternity is established through an Affidavit of Parentage, the legal father does not gain enforceable legal or physical custody of the child. By Michigan statute, the mother keeps full legal and physical custody of her child until a court order changes this status. Often, the Acknowledged Father benefit from the formality of a child support order because his right to legal or physical custody will be addressed, and a court order giving him some level of physical or legal custody is more than he had through his acknowledgment of paternity form.
A custody order can be changed by filing a petition with the Circuit Court to modify the custody order - or the parents can sign a written agreement, which the Judge can approve and enter. This process takes place at the Friend of the Court's office, not with the Prosecuting Attorney's office. Usually, an existing custody order will not be changed unless there is a "material change in circumstances" since the custody order was entered.
The Friend of the Court (FOC) will provide domestic relations "mediation" to help resolve disagreements over the terms of custody. Mediation is a voluntary process where a neutral third party assists in settling disputes.
If the parties cannot agree on the terms of custody, or if mediation does not resolve disputes, the FOC will conduct an investigation and file a written report and recommendation with the Circuit Court based on factors listed in the Michigan Child Custody Act. The parents will get copies of the report and recommendation. A court hearing will follow before the Judge decides what to do about custody.
You do not have to have an attorney in order to file for a custody order, but it is a good idea because there are many complicated legal issues involved. Neither the Prosecuting Attorney nor the Friend of the Court can act as your legal counsel, or file a custody petition for you.
File a petition requesting that the court grant you visitation time with your child(ren). If both parties (and the Judge) agree and sign an agreement, that will be entered as a visitation order. A visitation order can be changed by filing a petition to modify the order, or the parents can sign a written agreement, which the Judge can approve and enter. The Friend of the Court will provide domestic relations "mediation" to help resolve disagreements over the terms of parenting time.
If the parties cannot agree on the terms of parenting time, or if mediation does not resolve disputes, the Friend of the Court will conduct an investigation and file a written report and recommendation with the Circuit Court, based on factors listed in the Michigan Child Custody Act. The parents will get copies of the report and recommendation. A court hearing will follow before the Judge decides what to do about custody. The Child Custody Act states that visitation shall be granted in accordance with the "best interests of the children." A child has a right to parenting time with the non-custodial parent unless the Judge rules by clear and convincing evidence that the visitation would endanger the child's physical, mental or emotional health.
First, contact your attorney (if you hired one to assist you getting the custody order). Otherwise, file a written complaint with your county's Friend of the Court (FOC), requesting that the FOC take action to enforce the order. Include specific facts, dates, times, etc, and the reasons given for the alleged denial of visitation. If the Friend of the Court has reason to believe that the Parenting Time order has been violated, the office may:
Allegations of suspected child abuse or neglect should be reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at 855-444-3911, a toll-free, 24/7 hotline. Your identity as the person who reported concerns is confidential. The hotline staff will take information from you and the case will be assigned to the appropriate local DHHS office's Children's Protective Services (CPS) investigation unit. You may also call 911 or your local police agency and provide your concerns and information about the child and family issues. Police officers work together with CPS investigators on issues of child abuse, and involvement of police does not guarantee that criminal charges will be requested or issued.
If the DHHS investigation determines that abuse or neglect has occurred, the Prosecuting Attorney may be asked to assist DHHS in filing a civil neglect petition in the Family Division of Circuit Court. The Friend of the Court must conduct an investigation when a party files a visitation or custody petition; allegations of abuse or neglect should be communicated to the Friend of the Court during this investigation.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website has a helpful page about parenting time issues. Many counties have local variations, which can be found on the Friend of the Court Bureau website.
After a referral from the Eaton County office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Prosecuting Attorney's office interviews the custodial parent and files a complaint in Circuit Court. The non-custodial parent is served with a copy of the complaint, and notice of a hearing date in Circuit Court. The Prosecuting Attorney's office schedules court appearances and arranges for DNA testing or buccal swabs from the parties. Finally, if paternity is established, the Prosecuting Attorney will prepare the Order for Paternity that is entered in the Circuit Court's Family Division.
Our Paternity and Child Support Specialists, please call at 517-543-4890, or 517-543-4897.
Paternity means "fatherhood." The term "establishing paternity" means making the biological father of a child born out of wedlock the legal father as well.
The parents and the child have the right to have a parent-child relationship. Establishing paternity gives a child born outside of marriage the same legal rights as a child born to married parents. Other reasons include:
Paternity is established in the following ways:
Note: A child can have only one legal father. If the mother is married at the time of conception or birth but her husband is not the biological father of the child, a voluntary Affidavit of Parentage is not allowed to make the non-husband the child's legal father unless a court has already determined in a court order that the husband is not the biological father.
In many cases, when the custodial parent or a child's legal guardian receives state assistance for the child (e.g, medicaid, food stamps, etc.), the Department of Human Services will send a referral to us to establish paternity and a support order, even if the custodial parent has not requested child support. The support money is used to reimburse the state for the coverage and services it spends on the child. The custodial parent must fill out and submit the IV-D Child Support Services Application/Referral form (PDF). It can be submitted by mail to:Michigan Office of Child SupportCentral Functions UnitP.O. Box 30744Lansing, MI 48909
You can also use the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) MiChildSupport website portal to apply for child support. In some cases, the custodial parent can call the DHHS Office of Child Support at 866-540-0008 and talk to a Support Specialist. Once your application has been properly filed, your case will then be referred to the Prosecutor's Office's Family Support Division and a case will be opened. The Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney's Child Support and Paternity Specialists can be reached at 517-543-4890, or 517-543-4897.
After your case is opened, you will be mailed an appointment letter. You will likely be asked to bring in some important documents (pay stubs, driver's license, child's birth certificate) on your appointment day. The information will be used to file a lawsuit against the absent parent so it is very important that all requested documents are brought to this initial meeting. A complaint will be prepared and your case will be filed with the court.
Once the support order case is filed, our office may schedule an appointment with the absent parent in our office. The court papers will be given to the non-custodial parent and case issues will be explained. A final Order, resolving the case by consent, might be signed at that time. If the absent parent lives far away or out of state, we will send them notice of the case by certified mail. They may then contact us by telephone or mail. At times, it is necessary to arrange for papers to be served by an outside agency if the absent parent does not respond.
Once the papers are served on the absent parent, the absent parent has a little less than a month to respond in writing to the facts alleged in the Complaint. If not, we will ask the Judge to enter a "default order" against the parent to establish paternity and/or child support. Payments will then be collected and obligations enforced by the Friend of the Court (FOC).
Both parents must sign papers acknowledging paternity. The Affidavit of Parentage (PDF) must be notarized and filed with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Central Registry Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. Before signing the form in the presence of a notary public, the father must provide pictured identification and his social security number (plus other identification, if necessary).
Yes. The completed Affidavit of Parentage form (PDF) can be mailed to:Central Paternity RegistryDivision of Vital Records and Health StatisticsMichigan Department of Health and Human ServicesP.O. Box 30691Lansing, MI 48909Phone: 517-335-8676
No. However, certified copies of the Affidavit of Parentage (PDF) are available from the Central Registry for $34 (additional copies are $16 each).
The mother (or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, if the child is receiving public assistance such as Medicaid, Women, Infant, and Children, etc.) may bring a paternity suit to have the matter resolved in court. The alleged father is entitled to a hearing in Circuit Court to prove whether he is the father. If the mother fails to cooperate with this process (including the filing of a paternity Complaint in court, attending court hearings, participating in DNA sampling with her child) her public assistance benefits could be affected.
Michigan has created a statutory process through the Revocation of Paternity Act (ROPA) (PDF) for a legal father to challenge his legal paternity. The process depends on how he was established as the legal father.
The ROPA laws should be carefully reviewed and followed to ensure that time lines and steps in the process are followed. Michigan Legal Help has some useful information, answering a variety of questions in this process.
The mother should call a Office of Child Support Specialist, toll-free at 866-540-0008, who will help her to identify and locate (if necessary) the father free of charge. The mother does not have to be on public assistance to seek help from a Support Specialist.
A DNA test is needed when the alleged father denies or questions paternity. In Eaton County, DNA testing uses a buccal swab, a painless Q-Tip®-like swab that is rubbed inside the mouth to painlessly capture skin cells containing DNA. The samples are taken from the mother, child and alleged father and are tested at a DCC DNA Diagnostic Center. The tests compare many different and complex details of the child's blood with similar details in the mother's and alleged father's blood.
The tests can accurately show that a man is not the father of the child, or a percentage of likelihood that he is the father (e.g, 99.99% probability). If the results show that the alleged father is not the biological father, the paternity case is dismissed. Because of its accuracy, the DNA test result generally settles the issue, so contested paternity trials are rare.
The court will decide who pays. In many case, the alleged father is ordered to pay when he is proven to be the biological father.
Yes. If a private attorney files a paternity case, they may arrange for DNA testing but Michigan law requires that the analysis occur through a certified lab. "At-home" DNA kits, like those that can be purchased at a pharmacy, are not admissible in court.
In Michigan, the mother's or father's age is irrelevant.
Both Michigan and federal laws permit paternity actions to be started anytime before the child reaches the age of 18. But, you should not wait to establish paternity. Your child has the right to expect regular and continued emotional and financial support from both parents. Give your child the best possible chance in life by getting paternity established now!
If the mother is married, her husband's name will be recorded on the birth certificate. In other circumstances:
Birth certificates are not automatically changed when an Affidavit of Parentage is filed, unless the change is made at the birth hospital before the birth has been registered. Changes to registered birth records can be requested based upon a properly completed Affidavit of Parentage, but the birth record correction must be requested on an Application to Correct a Certificate of Birth (PDF). A birth certificate can be changed to reflect the father listed on this Affidavit if no other man is recorded on the birth certificate as the child's father. Should a conflict exist, a court determination of paternity may become necessary.
Beside filing the notarized Affidavit of Parentage with the Michigan Department of Health Services Central Paternity Registry Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, the parents should try to agree on issues of child support, parenting time ("visitation") and custody. If the parents cannot agree, then they must get a court order.
In Eaton County, child custody and visitation issues are decided before the paternity order is entered. Other counties may handle the timing of custody and visitation orders differently. Check with your county's Prosecuting Attorney!
The following resources contain paternity information:
Professionally trained Public Safety Telecommunicators answer all 911 calls whether it is a wired or cellular telephone. Should the call require contact with another agency, we will transfer your call to the proper agency. If you are on or near the border with another county there is a chance your call will be answered by another agency. Please explain your location and you will be transferred to us.
Do not hang up. Allow the telecommunicator to answer and explain that it was an accidental call. We are obligated to call back and confirm there was no emergency. If we are unable to contact the caller but have an accurate location, law enforcement will respond.
There are many good reasons to use 911; for emergency you are unsure about your location; you do not know the non-emergency number; or you are in doubt if an incident is an emergency.
Eaton County Central Dispatch dispatches all police, fire and ambulance agencies in Eaton County.
Yes, in Eaton County you can text to 911.
Yes, our Center subscribes to a telephone translation service providing access to interpreters who speak more than 170 languages and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We keep Event Reports for ten years and recordings for one year. Recordings include telephone calls and radio traffic.
Eaton County Central Dispatch can provide an Event Report for the incident. You can also request recordings of the telephone call and/or the radio traffic between the responding units and dispatch. Recordings can be provided to you on a CD that plays on a computer or it can be emailed to you through a secure web site. Event Reports are kept 10 years and recordings for 1 year. Please refer to the website Freedom of Information (FOIA) page to send a FOIA request.
Eaton County Central Dispatch does not provide the police report or body cam videos. You request those from the police agency that handled the incident.
At this time, no, we are not able to process electronic documents.
Eaton County has decided not to require a permit to re-shingle a roof in most cases. If you are replacing more than 2-4X8 sheets of roof decking, a permit will be required. Please note that a roof may not have more than 2 layers of roofing materials installed no matter the type. A person or company contracting for this type of work must be licensed.
The building codes do require a permit for any buildings that exceed 200 square feet for residential buildings and 120 square feet for commercial buildings. This includes sheds and buildings that are pre built or manufactured.
Eaton County has decided not to require permits for siding replacement. We do require a permit for window replacement when the opening size is altered by making it larger. Please note that bedroom windows must either meet the minimum required egress size or be replaced with a window that does not reduce the current window opening size. A person or company contracting for this type of work must be licensed.
The building codes do not differentiate between a portable and fixed building. If a building exceeds 200 square feet in residential or 120 square feet in commercial properties, a permit is required.
In most cases yes. The code requires a permit for any deck that serves an exit door regardless of whether it is attached to the building or free standing. A deck that is at least 36" from another structure, and is less than 30" above grade and does not exceed 200 square feet would be exempt from a permit.
Addresses are assigned by Central Dispatch and the process is started when a building permit is obtained. An address is usually assigned within 2-3 weeks after the permit is issued.
In most cases yes. There are a number of things that require inspection even during minor remodeling project. It is best to call our office and describe the project to determine if a permit is required.
The utility companies require an inspection before power can be restored and an electrical permit is required for that inspection.
New structures are based on the square footage of the building type following the International Code Council's valuation table. Remodeling and alterations are based on the contract amount or value of the of the project.
The laws that govern licensing require a Michigan licensed contractor to do all work with the exception that a property owner may obtain permits on the property that they occupy or will occupy.
Yes, as long as all of the building and energy code requirements can be met.
You can find a blower door test contractor by going to www.michiganblowerdoor.com.
In any case where the house is occupied or personal items are present, we will require someone over the age of 18 to be there.
In most cases once the permits are processed at least a portion of the permit fee will be forfeited. Once inspections have been made, in most cases the fees are not refundable. Permit fees may not be transferred to another permit, project or property.
It depends on which type of power line. If it is a primary power line, which are the power lines that run from pole to pole and do not go to the house or other building, it is best to contact the utility company directly. For power lines going to a home or other building, the horizontal clearance is 18" and the vertical distance is 3 feet above a roof with a slope of 4/12 or greater and 8 feet from a roof with a slope of less than 4/12.
Consumers Energy https://www.consumersenergy.com/
Homeworks Tri-County Co-op https://homeworks.org/
Lansing Board of Water and Light http://www.lbwl.com/
The distances from wells, septic tanks and drain fields are set by the Barry Eaton District Health Department. https://www.barryeatonhealth.org/
Part 91 of Act 454 of 1994 requires a Soil Erosion Control permit for any earth change that disturbs one or more acres, or within 500 feet of a lake, stream or wetland. Exempted activities include agricultural practices and some logging and mining activities. Access roads to the logging and mining sites and ancillary activities associated with logging and mining operations are not exempt. The removal of clay, gravel, sand, peat, or topsoil is not considered “mining” and therefore requires a permit.
Possibly not. Permit wavers may be issued for projects within 500 feet of water that disturb less than 225 square feet and do not pose an erosion problem. You must still contact the Drain Commissioners office to obtain the waver, and must protect the adjoining waters from sedimentation during construction and until stabilization is complete.
Only if there will be disturbance within the 500 foot limit. Exceptions might be made for pole constructed buildings with unexcavated dirt floors.
Yes. Landscaping is considered a “disturbance” subject to regulation under Part 91.
All disturbed areas must be graded and seeded within 30 days of substantial completion of the exterior of your building and utilities. If you do not believe you are able to complete the work within the time allotted by your permit, you must contact the CEA to discuss temporary restoration requirements and to request an extension.
Call the Eaton County Drain Commissioner’s Office at (517) 543-3890. Many single-family homes do not require a Permit. This does not mean that they are exempt from the Soil Erosion Control Act and its associated penalties.
Contact the Barry-Eaton Health Department at (517) 543-2430.
For driveways connected to State Highways, call the Michigan Department of Transportation. For driveways connected to County Roads, call 1-877-88EATON All driveways crossing a lake, stream, river, drain or wetland must also contact the Eaton County Drain Commissioner at (517) 543-3870.
Part 91 lists a number of penalties for failing to comply with the Act. In addition, the Eaton County Soil Erosion Ordinance imposes further penalties for willful violations. Following is a partial list:
1. A person who violates Part 91 (the soil erosion control act) is subject to a civil fine of up to $25,000 for each day of violation.
2. Permit fees are doubled for projects started without first obtaining a permit.
3. A cease and desist order may be issued until compliance is obtained.
4. The County Enforcing Agent may install or maintain control measures to bring site into compliance with Part 91 and bill the landowner for costs incurred.
5. A person may be ordered to restore all areas affected by the violation. This includes areas offsite that may have been affected. 6. Construction permits may be denied or revoked.
You will need to contact the Eaton County Assessment Administrator to obtain this information. The direct number is 517-543-3870 or you can send an email to Assessment Administrator.
A petition requesting the Court to grant an order for support must be filed with the Court. If both parties agree and sign an agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), that agreement will be entered as a support order if it is approved by the Court.
The Child Support Guideline and the Friend of the Court recommendation are used to assist the judge in making a decision concerning support amounts. The judge does not have to follow the Friend of the Court recommendation or guideline when making a final decision.
An attorney is not required in order to file a petition for support in a divorce action. However, an attorney may be helpful when filing papers and following specific rules. For paternity and family support actions, the Prosecuting Attorney can assist with the filing of a petition for support.
Yes, visitation and support are separate orders of the Court, with separate enforcement procedures.
Contact the Friend of the Court and request enforcement if the back support equals payments of four weeks or more. An attorney may be contacted to file an enforcement action.
Income withholding orders are not usually effective when a payer is self-employed. In these cases, the Friend of the Court may seek enforcement using one or more of the following options:
Contact the Friend of the Court office for further information concerning these options
Not without changing the Court order. Support is paid through the Friend of the Court in order that an official record of payments is maintained. To credit payments made directly to the custodial parent, a Court order must be obtained that directs the Friend of the Court to credit your account for a specific amount.
The Michigan Child Support Guideline requires the Friend of the Court to consider both parents’ income when making child support recommendations. If either party has had a large increase or decrease in income, they may wish to contact the Friend of the Court to request a review of the support order. If both parties can mutually agree to a change in the support order, and both sign a written agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), that agreement will be entered as an order, if approved by the Court.
Michigan Court Rules provide that the Friend of the Court may deduct unpaid fees from any support money paid after the fee is due (January 2 and July 2 of each year).
No, all child support payments paid while receiving public assistance must be sent by the Friend of the Court to the Department of Human Services. However, if the payer is making payments, the payee is entitled to receive from the Department of Human Services up to the first $50 of any child support paid each month. Please contact the local Department of Human Services support specialist for more information.
The law does not give the Friend of the Court the right to question how child support payments are spent.
Any employer or other person, referred to as a source of income, which owes or will owe income to the payer (the person owing money under a support order). Income is broadly defined to include (among other things):
source of income,
An order of income withholding is binding on an employer seven days after the employer is served by ordinary mail with a copy of the order of income withholding. Included with the order will be a notice of income withholding, which will give:
The order remains in effect until further order of the court or until the otherwise notified in writing by the Friend of the Court.
An order of income withholding for child support has priority over all other legal processes under state law against the same income. This means it takes precedence over garnishments and other payroll deductions (except taxes, Social Security deductions, and other income withholding orders for support).
An employer's failure to comply with an order of income withholding within seven days of service may result in a contempt finding by the court against the employer.
The Friend of the Court is required to advise employers if the order is changed. If the Friend of the Court serves the employer with a notice of modification of the order of income withholding, the amount withheld must be changed to conform with the court ordered modification within seven days after receipt of the notice of the modification.
The maximum amount taken out must comply with Section 303(b) of Title 3 of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 USC 1673(b)).
Although deductions for garnishments are limited to 25% of a person's disposable income, amounts withheld for child support can exceed 50% of the employee's disposable income for a work week in certain cases (such as when there are no other support obligations or there is arrearage in excess of 12 weeks). If withholding of more than 50% of the employee's income is required by the income withholding order, you should contact the Friend of the Court for information, or consult with an attorney.
An employer must identify each withholding payment by:
The employer must also provide its federal employer identification number to the Office of Friend of the Court.
When subject to more than one income withholding order with the same Friend of the Court Office, an employer may combine in a single payment amounts withheld from all employees and separately identify by employee name, Social Security Number, and case number the portion of the payment that is attributable to each individual.
Amounts withheld pursuant to an order of income withholding must be paid to the Michigan State Disbursement Office (MiSDU) within three days after the date of withholding.
Prior law required the employer to withhold an additional $0.50 for each payment made. However, this provision was repealed and is no longer in effect.
Payment to the Michigan State Disbursement Office (MiSDU) in accordance with an order of income withholding discharges liability to the employer as to that portion of the employee's income.
An employer is liable for any amount that it knowingly and intentionally fails to withhold from the employee's income following services on the employer of an order of income withholding, except as the payment amount is limited by the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
This means the court will require the employer to pay the amount that should have withheld, even if the employer paid it to the employee.
After served with an order of income withholding, the employer must notify the Friend of the Court if the employee's income from the company is terminated or interrupted for a period of 14 or more consecutive days. In such cases, the employer must provide the employee's last known address and the name and address of the employee's new employer (if known).
Yes, upon the Friend of the Court's request, the employer is required to provide:
An employer who refuses to employ, discharges, and disciplines or penalizes an employee because of an order of income withholding entered against that employee is guilty of a misdemeanor. The misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and the employer will be required to make full restitution to the aggrieved employee including reinstatement and payment of back pay.
The Friend of the Court (FOC) will review the support obligation on cases in the following situations:
You may either
The FOC can provide the in pro per forms, which the petitioner must then file with the appropriate court fee.
Yes, the Friend of the Court reviews and investigates in pro per petitions.
Not unless a court order specifies it or a petition was filed with the Circuit Court.
No, the filing of a petition is a formal court action.
Support will not be modified until a new order is entered.
If you choose to not apply the Michigan Child Support Formula recommendation, you will be provided a Uniform Support Order to complete and have signed by both parties.
No, the Friend of the Court does not review and make recommendations regarding alimony.
Case law states that child support will not be reduced based on a voluntary reduction in income.
The Michigan Child Support Formula already assumes all persons have certain living expenses. The Friend of the Court cannot deduct those bills before calculating support and making a recommendation.
Adult Circuit Drug Court: Christy Gleason 517-543-3392
J. Sauter Veterans Treatment Court: Kasey Heckman 517-543-2961
Felony DWI Program: Nick Rehagen 517-543-3296
Swift and Sure Probation: Kasey Heckman 517-543-2961
A petition requesting the Court to grant custody of child(ren) must be filed with the Court. If both parents agree and sign an agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), that agreement, if approved by the Court, may be entered as a custody order.
A petition to modify a custody order must be filed with the Court, or the parents can sign a written agreement changing custody (stipulation and consent agreement), which if approved by the Court, will change custody.
It is not required that you have an attorney to file a petition for custody. However, there are many complicated issues involved in a custody case and therefore attorney representation may be desired. The Friend of the Court cannot file a petition for custody in a party's behalf.
The Friend of the Court is required to provide Domestic Relations Mediation. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party assists in voluntarily settling a custody dispute. Both parties must agree to participate in this process.
Yes, a number of custody arrangements are possible. The most common are:
The Friend of the Court is required to:
Before the Court custody recommendation, the Friend of the Court must provide to each party or their attorney a copy of the report, recommendation and any supporting documents or a summary of the documents prepared or used by the Friend of the Court.
There are several options. including:
Allegations of abuse or neglect should be reported to the Protective Services unit of the Department of Social Services office.
The Friend of the Court has a responsibility to conduct an investigation when a party files a parenting time or custody petition and the matter is referred to the Friend of the Court. Allegations of abuse or neglect should be communicated to the Friend of the Court during the investigation/evaluation process.
The 56A District Court is located on the first floor of the Eaton County Courthouse, which is located at:1045 Independence BoulevardCharlotte, MI 48813
To determine the amount of your ticket, view our list of fines and points (PDF).
There are a variety of methods for paying tickets, including by mail, phone, or online.
You can set up a payment plan with the court to settle your violation.
The court closes for payments at 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. A drop box is available until 5 p.m.
Yes, unless your license has been suspended. Checks should be made payable to 56A District Court. Please include your ticket or case number on the check.
The mailing address for the court is:56A District CourtTraffic Division1045 Independence BoulevardCharlotte, MI 48813
Yes, you can pay online through GovPayNow. A fee is added for using this service. Learn more about making payments.
Yes, you can by telephone through GovPayNow at 888-604-7888. You will need pay location code (PLC) number PLC 6701 to use this GovPayNow service. A fee is added for using this service. Find more information about making payments.
Yes, you can make partial payments by setting up a payment plan.
To determine how many points are on a violation, view our list of fines and points for traffic violations (PDF).
You usually have 10 to 14 days to contact the court regarding your ticket. Check out contact information for the court.
Re-contact the court every two to three days until you are advised the court does have your traffic violation. Find contact information for the court.
The hours for the court are the following:
Walk-in arraignment hours are as follows:Monday1:15 to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday8:15 to 11:30 a.m.
You may request a court-appointed attorney after your arraignment and usually at your first Pre Trial Conference. The Judge or Magistrate will explain your options at your arraignment.
A warrant was issued because you failed to contact or come into court. You will need to appear at the court during business hours along with photo identification.
A warrant for failing to pay may be recalled upon payment made by email, phone, in person or by mail. A warrant for failing to appear requires a personal appearance.
Some violations are waivable. Read details about these types of violations and how to have them waived.
You failed to contact the court in the appropriate time period after you received a traffic violation. If you wish to dispute this ticket, you will need to post a bond in cash or by money order within 14 days of the default date.
You need to appear in court to explain why you haven't paid your fines or costs. If you pay the fines and costs in full, the hearing is removed off the docket and you do not need to appear. Please contact the court for a current balance.
Some hearings require you be personally present. View a list of these violations.
Jail arraignments are held at the discretion of the court. There is no specific time. They are held throughout the day.
The court is aware of your payment almost immediately, but it may take 48 to 72 hours to process.
Please contact the court for this information.
To find out your next court date, please contact the court.
State law has specific requirements as to how and when anything can be removed from a criminal record. You may only have one prior conviction (misdemeanor or felony), though certain types of crimes are prohibited such as:
It must be at least 5 years since the date of your conviction/sentencing. The process takes approximately 3 to 4 months from the application date to the hearing before the Judge. You may hire an attorney or handle the application yourself.
Please refer to the Michigan State Police for further information on the application to Set Aside or Expungement of criminal history records.
If the parties mutually agree to a change of domicile and they sign a written agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), it will be entered as an order, if approved by the Court. If the parties cannot mutually agree on a change of domicile, they have the following options:
Please note: notification to the Friend of the Court or filing a petition does not allow a party to move from the state, prior to a Court order being entered.
The Court speaks through it's written orders, therefore, the Friend of the Court enforces only the written orders.
If a party feels that the written order is incorrect, they may want to order a transcript of the hearing from which the order was established. If they find that the order does not agree with the transcript, bring the concerns to the attention of the person who prepared the written order and request a change. A party can also file a motion with the Court asking the Court to correct the written order.
The Friend of the Court enforces custody, visitation, and support orders. The Friend of the Court does not have the power to enforce property settlement orders.
A Referee is a person who holds hearings and takes testimony and reports to the Court. A Referee can be either a Friend of the Court or an attorney employed by the Friend of the Court.
The Chief Judge of a Circuit Court may appoint a Referee to hear any domestic relations matter. A hearing before a Referee is not the same as a hearing before a Judge. The findings of a Referee are only recommendations to the Court, and are not final. These recommendations will become an Order of the Court if neither party files an objection.
State law requires that any written report and recommended order made by a Referee must be given to the parties and their attorneys before the judge takes any action on the recommendation. If a party disagrees with a Referee's recommendation, he or she has the right to a hearing before the Court. This hearing must be requested in writing within 21 days after receiving the Referee recommendation (request for a hearing on an income withholding order must be made within 14 days).
Contact the Friend of the Court Office for the address to which the written request for a hearing should be sent.
The state and federal governments have set up a parent locating service that can be used to:
The Friend of the Court, Prosecuting Attorney, and Department of Human Services support specialist can ask to use this service. The full name, date of birth, social security number, and last known address of the parent to be located is required.
Adoptions take place in Probate Court. The Friend of the Court must be provided copies of all Probate Court adoption orders. The child support order stops when children are adopted. The Friend of the Court is required to collect all support owed at the time of the adoption. Contact the Friend of the Court to arrange to pay all money owed.
One month before your term of service begins, you will receive your summons and a notice of the jury trial dates for the month. You will be assigned a group number which will be located at the top of your summons.
The evening before each of these dates please call the jury information number at 800-722-4790 to determine whether your group is to report for jury duty. The recorded message will be available on weeknights from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. If you are scheduled to appear on a Monday, you can call the designated number anytime between 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Monday.
Please note that it is highly unlikely that you will be asked to report on each of these dates as approximately 400 jurors have been summoned for the month.
If there is a grave illness in your family or an equally serious problem that would constitute an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience for you to appear in court on the dates specified, you must notify the jury clerk as soon as possible. Do not wait until the day your group is called.
The judges try to seat their juries in the morning, therefore, if you are not seated on a case, you are normally released in the early afternoon. If you are a juror on a particular trial, you should plan on being at the courthouse until about 5 p.m.
The average trial length is one day in District Court, one day in Probate Court and three days in Circuit Court. Occasionally a case will last longer. The judge will inform you of the expected length of the case during jury selection.
Please wear clothing that is conservative, clean and comfortable. Dress as if you were going to church or a job interview. Unacceptable items of clothing are:
Please park in the public lot on the east side of the courthouse (1045 Independence Boulevard), and enter the courthouse through the doors nearest the chimes. Use the stairs or elevator to go to the lower level and follow the signs to the jury assembly room.
These items may be used while you are waiting in the jury assembly room, however, they must be turned off in the courtrooms and during jury deliberation.
Coffee, sodas, snacks, and juice are available in vending machines near the jury assembly room and deliberation rooms. You may bring your own food, especially if you are diabetic or on a special diet. Open food and beverages are not allowed in the courtrooms.
If you are seated on a jury, in Circuit Court, all jurors eat lunch together, compliments of the county. If you are seated on a jury for District or Probate Court lunch is on your own.
Please bring your summons. You may also bring books or magazines to read while you are waiting.
You will be paid $15 plus mileage at the rate of $0.20 a mile for the first half day of service. Full day service is $30 plus mileage for the first day. Subsequent days of service are paid at the rate of $22.50 per half day or $45 per full day along with round-trip mileage. You will be compensated at the end of each day you are here.
You do not have to report, and your term of service is over.
As part of our annual Equalization Studies, our appraisers visit a number of parcels throughout Eaton County. The appraiser will measure the exteriors of the structures on the property and inventory their quality and characteristics. This is done in order to estimate market value, also called True Cash Value (TCV). If the property owner is not home, the appraiser will leave a County Door Hanger for future contact.
No, Equalization is not the assessor. The equalization process is part of the larger assessment process in the State of Michigan. A system of equalization is mandated by Article IX.3 of the State Constitution of Michigan and is further elaborated in MCL 211.34. Its purpose is to guarantee uniformity and equity across classes of property in counties (County Equalization) and in the state as a whole (State Equalization).
The Land Division Ace, ACT 288 of 1967, spells out the requirements for dividing land, both platted and unplatted, in the State of Michigan. Any proposed division must meet the requirements of the Act, and it may also be subject to additional local restrictions. For this reason, all applications to divide land must be submitted to the local township or city for approval. Once approved, Property Description will generate a new tax description (an abbreviated form of a legal description for purposes of assessment and taxation) and depict the child parcels on the map. As a result of its involvement in the land division process, Property Description has accumulated a limited archive of historical surveys, copies of which the public may obtain for a fee. You can find the Land Division Approval Process forms in our list of documents.
The goal of Equalization's appraisal or sales studies is not to modify individual properties' assessments; rather, it is the function of the local Assessor to annually establish assessed and taxable values on an individual bases. The scale of Equalization is greater. Any potential impact of Equalization would affect an entire classification of property in a local unit (for example, all commercial property in Delta Twp or all Agricultural properties in Benton Twp). The value that is calculated for your property will be analyzed as part of an aggregate along with other properties.
Property Transfer Affidavits (Form 2766), Affidavits Attesting Qualified Agricultural Property (Form 3676), and Principal Residence Exemption Affidavits (Form 2368) must be submitted to your local assessor.
An Equalization Study is designed to determine how closely assessed values within a classification are related to True Cash Value. It is a forward-looking comparison to the current year's assessed value. In the forward-looking comparison to the current year's assessed value. In the State of Michigan, as mandated by the constitution, property is to be assessed at 50% of True Cash Value. The results of an Equalization Study may determine that, for example, Industrial property in Delta is being assessed at only 48.71% of True Cash Value going into the next assessment cycle. Whether the ratio falls above or below 50% will determine the direction in which assessments in the local classification need to move as compared to the local assessor's independent analysis.
Appraisal studies are only conducted for property classifications in which there were an insufficient number of verified sales, and this scenario most usually applies when there are fewer parcels in any particular classification. Sample parcels within an appraisal study are chosen at random.
The Eaton County Friend of the Court is a division of the Circuit Court. The Friend of the Court is not a division of the Prosecuting Attorney's office. The Friend of the Court Act (1982 PA 294) makes the office responsible for:
Contact the Eaton County Friend of the Court at:Eaton County Courthouse1045 Independence Boulevard2nd FloorCharlotte, MI 48813Phone: 517-543-6850
The following resources are available:
This means the parents have the responsibility for setting up a mutually agreed upon schedule for parenting time, which is reasonable under the circumstances. If the parents cannot mutually agree to a visitation schedule, the following options are available:
If a temporary change in the parenting time schedule is necessary, contact the other parent to discuss making other arrangements. If a permanent change is necessary:
Yes, parenting time and support are separate orders of the Court, with separate enforcement procedures.
File a written complaint with the Friend of the Court office. If the Friend of the Court determines that either parent has violated the parenting time order, they have the responsibility to proceed with enforcement.
The Friend of the Court follows the written Order of the Court. Unless the Court order states each parent’s responsibility for clothing, the Friend of the Court does not have any enforcement power.
That is the custodial parent's decision. If the decision is made to deny parenting time in these circumstances, be prepared to explain to the Court at a contempt hearing why the decision was in the best interest of the child(ren).
Unless the Court order forbids such discussions, the Friend of the Court has no enforcement power.
The law requires the Friend of the Court to enforce parenting time orders. If the Friend of the Court refuses to comply with the law, you have a right to file a grievance regarding their procedures.
The parents of the child(ren) are bound by the Court orders. However, one or more of the following may be considered:
Dog licenses may be purchased in person at the County Treasurer's Office, the Animal Control, at many local township offices or at your veterinarian. Dog license information. A valid vaccination certificate must be presented at the time of purchase.
For online purchases go to the Eaton County Treasurer Dog License Online Purchase.
Complaints involving non-domestic animals are the responsibility of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at 517-284-6210.
The Inmate Family Guide has been produced and is provided to you in order to clarify some of the programs and regulations, here at the Eaton County Jail. Inmates in our facility are issued and/or have access to an Inmate Guide and are made aware of the rules and regulations of our facility upon arrival.
Inmates no longer are required to maintain a visitors list here at the Eaton County Jail.
All inmates are permitted and encouraged to have regular visits from family and friends. All visits at this facility are done using video visitation. Visitation appointments will need to be scheduled 24 hours in advance. You may do this by visiting the website https://securustech.net/video-products/ or by using the scheduler that is located in our front lobby that is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. daily except County observed Holidays. These visits are held here at the jail and are 30 minutes long. Inmates are allowed one (1) 30 minute visit per week.
Online visitation is everyday beginning at 8:00 a.m. and concluding at 10:00 p.m. daily. You will need to visit the website to download the application to your phone or computer and follow the steps to begin your scheduling. You will be asked to provide a picture of your driver’s license or other state issued picture identification as well as a picture of yourself (selfie). You will submit these 2 items to be approved for off-site visitation. Once these 2 items are received they will be approved, once you receive a confirmation email verifying that you have been approved you may schedule your first visit. Off-site visits are 20 minutes long and you may schedule up to 2 visits per day. These visits will cost a nominal fee that is set by the Securus Technologies Company.
Securis Online Video Visitation
Securus provides the Inmate video visitation service for the Eaton County Jail. For questions please contact Securus directly:
Telephone: 1-800-844-6591Email:Customer_service@correctionalbillingservices.comFax: 972-277-0714Web Access & Chat Link: www.securustech.net
Three new ways to add money to your inmate account or provide bail include:
Inmates may receive money orders made payable to the inmate, through the mail.
Address the envelope as:Eaton County Sheriff's Office - MO"Inmates Name"1025 Independence BoulevardCharlotte, MI 48813No personal or business checks, change or foreign money will be accepted for Inmate Trust Accounts.
Inmates have access to telephones located in their respective living areas. They are reminded that calls are collect calls only, and as such, consideration should be given to those receiving the calls. Inmates also have the opportunity to purchase phone cards from the Commissary. If the phones are abused and calls are made to anyone which are threatening, including calling and harassing witnesses or victims, or violation of telephone company rules, a block is placed on the telephone number and/or phone privileges may be suspended.
Securus is Eaton County's visitation vendor. Please visit Securus Technologies to set up an account and receive calls from the Eaton County Jail to your cell phone. Questions regarding the Inmate telephone service can be directed to Securus at 800-844-6591 or visiting Securus Contact Us for billing or connection problems.
You can obtain someone’s property after they have filled out the proper form with the jail booking office. You can come to the front of the Sheriff’s office, to the right of the flag pole, follow the sidewalk up to door number 3. This is the bond lobby, there is a button on the wall you will need to push this to be able to speak to a deputy in the jail. They will be able to help you with obtaining the property. This can be done from 8:00 – 5:00 Monday through Friday.
To bond someone out of jail you can come to the Sheriff’s office front lobby. You will enter the first vestibule. Located next to the vending machines under the message board is a telephone. You can dial 1452, 1453, or 1421 to reach a deputy in the jail. They will be able to assist you at this point.
If you have received an invoice from the Sheriff’s Office, you can pay this bill by credit card by calling 517-543-5041, Monday through Friday, 8:00 – 5:00.
We accept cash at the office, credit cards, and/or money orders/personal checks. Money orders and checks will need to be made out to County of Eaton.
You may also send in your payments to our office:Office of the Eaton County SheriffATTN: Financial Services1025 Independence Blvd.Charlotte, MI 48813
If you need to drop off medications for an inmate you can do this with the visitation receptionist inside the Sheriff’s office between the hours of 8:00 to 5:00. If you need to drop medications off after hours or on the weekends, you can do this at the bond lobby. This is located to the right of the flag pole, follow the sidewalk up the side of the building to door number 3. Push the intercom button located on the building. You will be able to speak with a deputy in the jail.
If you have medical questions, you can reach them by using the telephone in the vestibule that is located next to the vending machines under the message board. The extension is 5080. Please note that the medical department is busy passing medications and such and most likely will not be able to answer this phone, but you will be able to leave a message at this time if there is no answer. No over the counter medications will be accepted.
All reading material must be sent through a publisher to the inmate by the U.S. Postal Service or United Parcel Service. For more information on what items can be brought in for an inmate, read Inmate Family Guide and under Personal Items.
If you suspect you might have a warrant, please call 517-543-7500, ext. 4026, during normal business hours, Monday-Friday.
Yes, we do. There is a drop box in the lobby of the Eaton County Courthouse, 1045 Independence Blvd, in Charlotte. Medications are accepted during normal business hours Monday-Friday.
The Eaton County Sheriff's Office also has a drop box in the lobby of the Substation in Delta Township, 7708 Administration Drive (behind the Delta Township Fire Department).
Medications must be in original container. The only medications accepted are:
Unfortunately, many of us have received scam calls. If you suspect you have gotten a scam call and wish to report it, call 517-543-7500, ext. 1351 to reach Eaton County Central Dispatch. Depending on your preference, they could have an officer come to you or call you to advise you.
If you receive a scam call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, please call the IRS Inspector General at 800-366-4484.
Please note, the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and your bank will not contact you asking for money, your bank account numbers, or threaten you with arrest over the phone.
The Eaton County Sheriff's Office duty is to enforce the laws of the State of Michigan. If you wish to report concerns about potholes in your road/street or needed plowing and/or salting of your road/street, please contact the Eaton County Road Commission at 517-543-1630.
If you have an immediate safety concern about your road conditions, please call Central Dispatch at 517-543-7500, ext. 1351.
The determining of speed limits, placement of traffic lights, and signage is the responsibility of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). These determinations are made based on traffic pattern studies, number of accidents at a particular location, etc. The Eaton County Sheriff's Office cannot place, change, or move traffic signs or change speed limits. We are tasked with enforcing the laws of the State of Michigan.
If you have a concern about speed limits in your neighborhood, installation of a traffic light, rumble strips, etc., please contact MDOT at 517-373-2090 or email them at www.michigan.gov/MDOT and click on their Contact tab. There is an online form you can submit or their mailing address is at the bottom of the page.
Accident reports can be obtained from LexisNexis Police Reports.
Please direct all questions regarding firearms laws, registration, forms, etc., to the Michigan State Police Firearms.
Crimes are investigated by the police, not the Prosecutor. Crimes should be reported to the police department or other law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the crime occurred. For example, crimes occurring inside the City of Charlotte should be reported to the Charlotte Police Department. Likewise, crimes occurring within the boundaries of the following areas should be reported to their municipal police departments:
If the crime was committed elsewhere inside Eaton County, or in an area where the Eaton County Sheriff is the contracting law enforcement agency (e.g, Delta Township), the crime should be reported to the Sheriff. You may also contact the Michigan State Police Department. Once the initial investigation has been completed, the police department's report is filed with the Prosecuting Attorney. The Prosecutor reviewing the warrant request may send the case back to the police for further investigation. Ultimately, the reviewing Prosecutor decides what charge(s), if any, will be issued and when the charges(s) should be issued.
Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to "press charges" against the abuser, or to later "drop the charges."
All crimes are offenses against the community, not just the individual victim. Criminal complaints are prosecuted on behalf of the State of Michigan, not the individual who called the police or the person who may have been personally harmed by the defendant's conduct. Only the Prosecuting Attorney can issue or dismiss charges. This is important because it takes the responsibility for prosecuting the abuser off the victim's shoulders and puts it on the Prosecuting Attorney's, where it legally belongs. It also means that the defendant cannot "pressure" the victim into dropping the charges.
Although the decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute is ultimately up to the Prosecuting Attorney, the victim's opinion is important and the Prosecuting Attorney will take those wishes into account when making decisions about the case. A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a complainant's request not to proceed with a prosecution, including the nature and extent of the defendant's prior criminal history, the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant has other pending charges in the criminal justice system, and future danger to the community (including the current victim).
This request generally arises from assaults. Regardless of whether you have already been charged, if you believe that a crime has been committed against you, go to the appropriate police department to file a complaint and request an investigation. Your case will be reviewed on its own merits.
If your property was stolen and recovered by the police, it can sometimes be returned to you before the case is done; if the items are important pieces of evidence, in most cases we will need to keep the property secured in police custody. Ultimately, the decision whether evidence is released must be made by one of our office's attorneys.
Download our Request for Return of Property form (PDF), or email Jody Strang, our Victim-Witness Coordinator at 517-543-4835, for a copy. Return the completed form to our office so an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney can review it. You may be asked to present pictured identification.
If you are a defendant in a criminal or juvenile case, and you have an attorney, he or she will obtain a copy of the police report for you from our office; you can get a personal copy from your lawyer.
If you are a defendant and do not have an attorney, or are just an interested citizen, you can obtain a copy of a police report after the defendant has been arraigned on the charged offense. You will be charged for a police report and should appear in person at the Prosecuting Attorney's office to pick up the report. You should call ahead to request the copy, so that your copying fee can be determined, and sufficient time can be arranged by our staff to copy the report.
Most court actions require a specific form to be filed with the court. Some forms are "local forms," and were created for use in one court, and you may be able to get a free copy of a court form that you need by contacting the court clerk.
The Michigan State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) develops state-wide forms. Many are in PDF that can be filled in online, printed, and filed with the court.
Remember: Court forms are only tools to assist in the processing of a court case. The forms do 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.
The Michigan State Police operates the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) where anyone can search the official MSP criminal history record database for $10 per search, using MasterCard or Visa. Non-profit, charitable organizations may qualify for free ICHAT searches (PDF) if criminal history checks are needed on people who work with children or the frail elderly. For each search, you need the person's full name, sex, race and date of birth.
ICHAT's criminal history database covers only Michigan convictions, and is updated daily with felony and misdemeanor conviction information provided by law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys and courts throughout the State. Your search includes only Michigan felony or misdemeanor arrests where a person has been convicted in a court, and where the conviction has been added to that person's criminal history record. It does not include arrests without a conviction, outstanding warrants, federal arrests or arrests from other states.
A search for a criminal record from another state requires you to correspond directly with the criminal record repository of that state.
Criminal history documents in prosecutor files are confidential and will not be released to the public. Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) access rules prohibit prosecutors from releasing their reports to the public. Prosecutors may see broader information than the public's MSP iCHAT report about convictions. Prosecutors might see information on pending, dismissed or non-public outcome cases.
No. The Prosecuting Attorney's office only authorizes a criminal complaint; the court authorizes an arrest warrant, and the police department that investigates the case has the responsibility to find and arrest the defendant. The Prosecuting Attorney's office may not know if an arrest warrant is still outstanding, because that information is known by the police and the court. The defendant (or anyone asking about whether a warrant is still open) must contact the police agency handling the case. That department may be able to answer the question.
If the Prosecuting Attorney's office told a defendant that an arrest warrant was still outstanding, the defendant might flee.
If the case is pending in the Eaton County 56A District Court, search for the defendant's name on the District Court's calendar page. For other cases, our office may be able to provide you with information about upcoming court schedules if we filed charges against the defendant. Call us at 517-543-4801.
Crime victims can register online to receive automated email or text messages about scheduled court dates.
No. However, the Michigan Crime Victim's Compensation Fund may be able to help you with un-reimbursed medical expenses and lost income. With regard to compensation for pain and suffering, you may need to contact a private attorney.
Call the District or Circuit Court's probation department at the Courthouse at 517-543-7500 and ask for the probation officer who is assigned to the case. The probation officer can help you get your money if restitution was a condition of the defendant's probation and if the defendant is still on probation.
If the probation has expired and your restitution has not been paid in full, see a private lawyer. A criminal case restitution order is a court order that expires only when the restitution has been paid in full. If the court-ordered restitution covers all of your claims, then you do not have to separately sue the defendant. You can enforce the criminal case's restitution order like any civil judgment (e.g, garnishment of wages, attachment of property, etc.).
The Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division may be able to help, call them at 877-765-8388 (toll-free), or locally at 517-373-1140. They may also be able to refer you to an agency that can help you.
Our office occasionally has job openings. You should check the main Eaton County website for current employment postings. Other Prosecuting Attorney offices may have career opportunities for attorneys, clerical staff, victim services coordinators, investigators, etc. Check out the Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council website for recent openings. The U.S. Attorney's office and the Department of Justice occasionally post job openings, too.
Nobody becomes a Prosecutor for the pay. The rewards are in making a difference in the community, seeing that justice is done, and speaking for victims of crime. The pay scale for Prosecutors and Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys (APAs) varies from county to county. In Eaton County, APA salaries range from around $40,000 to $80,000.
Each of Michigan's 83 counties elects a Prosecuting Attorney every four years (during the Presidential election). Depending on staffing needs and budgets, each Prosecuting Attorney may hire Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys (APAs). Small counties may not have any APAs, while the largest counties may have several hundred to handle high caseloads and the wide-ranging responsibilities imposed on prosecutors by statute.
Prosecuting Attorneys and APAs are lawyers, licensed to practice in Michigan. As with other, prosecutors generally complete a four-year college degree and then go to law school, which generally takes three more years. After graduation, most states (including Michigan) require lawyers to pass an examination to become licensed to practice law in that state. Michigan's "bar exam" takes two days, but other states' exams take three days.
Job openings in Prosecuting Attorney office occur periodically. If you are interested in working in a particular county, you should contact that Prosecuting Attorney for information on job openings, qualification requirements, etc.
Whether a witness receives any witness fee is within the discretion of the court. A court can order that you receive witness fees ($6 per morning or afternoon court session that you are ordered to attend), plus mileage ($0.10 per mile, round trip). If you have a date conflict you should email our Witness Coordinator, Jody Strang, immediately to discuss your conflict.
Many of the cases we handle involve facts and people that are emotional. Occasionally, that emotion is directed at the prosecutor, who is representing the community's interests in the case. Prosecutors in Michigan and throughout the country have been threatened, attacked, and tragically killed. But these incidents are rare. The physical risks in our jobs are not significant.
The Prosecutor's office cannot provide legal advice or take legal action in your divorce. You should consult with a private lawyer. We can help you obtain a child support order, but the Friend of the Court is responsible for enforcing the order. For more information, see our Family Support page, email Terri Sadler, Child Support Specialist, call 517-543-4897, or call Kevin Nilson at 517-543-4890.
Yes. Please see our Personal Protection Order (PPO) page.
Mr. Lloyd is the elected Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney, so his name appears on most criminal court documents, and our office correspondence. However, he may not be personally handling the case in court. Please contact our office to talk with the Prosecutor handling your case, or to arrange a meeting. If you still have questions or concerns, you may request an appointment with Mr. Lloyd.
The Prosecutor plays no role in whether you get a court-appointed attorney. You must ask the judge handling your case (generally at your arraignment). The judge will decide whether you are "indigent" (i.e, cannot afford to hire a lawyer) based on your income, assets and financial obligations, as well as the seriousness of the charge. For many misdemeanor cases, the judge will let you conduct a pre-trial conference on your own; if the case is not resolved to your liking at that meeting, you can apply for a court-appointed attorney.
A court-appointed attorney is not necessarily a "free" lawyer. The judge may still order you to repay the County for your attorney's bill.
No. All attorneys are governed by a State Bar of Michigan's Rules of Professional Conduct, which prevent them from speaking directly to anyone who is already represented by an attorney on the same matter. As long as you are represented by an attorney, we may speak only to your attorney. Any questions that you have about your case should be answered by your attorney. If you continue to be dissatisfied with your court-appointed attorney, you will have to contact the judge assigned to your case.
There are not enough prosecutors, judges, courtrooms, or trial days on the calendar to put all the thousands of cases every year in Eaton County before a jury. For those defendants taken to trial, or for those who plead guilty before a trial, there are not enough jail cells in the state to hold them. These practical demands, plus the following are all interests that are considered by the Prosecutor when deciding how to proceed:
A plea agreement is always designed to balance these competing interests. Most cases are resolved in a relatively short time by the defendant's plea, many times a plea to the charged offense.
Eaton County is located in the south-central area of Michigan's lower peninsula (the part that looks like a mitten). Eaton County is bordered to the east by Ingham County (Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Okemos, etc.), to the north by Clinton County (DeWitt, St. Johns, etc.) and Ionia County, to the west by Barry County (Hastings), and to the south by Calhoun County (Battle Creek) and Jackson County. Eaton County is easy to get to. Interstate highway I-69 (which runs from Port Huron, MI south through Indiana and beyond) spans Eaton County, from our north-east corner to our south-west. Interstate I-96 (which runs from Detroit to Lake Michigan) travels along our north-east corner and northern border.
Eaton County had 103,655 residents in the 2000 census. The City of Charlotte (population 8,389) is the county seat. Our largest concentration of residents is in Delta Township (population 29,682), in the County's northeast corner, adjacent to the City of Lansing. Some of the communities in Eaton County are:
Call or visit our office. Each work day, an attorney is assigned to answer such questions. However, the Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is not a "free legal clinic." We cannot give legal advice on private legal issues.
Anyone who has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused by a current or former spouse, a family member, a domestic partner, the other parent of your child, a current or former roommate, or a current or former person in a dating relationship. (This is called a "domestic PPO.")
Anyone who has been "stalked" - repeatedly harassed to the point of being terrorized, intimidated or threatened. (This is called a "stalking PPO.")
Yes and no. A minor cannot get the personal protection order (PPO) in his or her own name. An adult must be appointed by the court as a "Next Friend" for a minor under 17 years of age (or a legally incapacitated person). An unemancipated minor cannot get a PPO against his/her parent.
Yes and no. Michigan now allows personal protection orders (PPOs) to be issued against a minor - someone under 18 years old. (See Forms CC 375M (PDF) and CC 377M (PDF).) But a parent cannot get a PPO issued against his/her own unemancipated minor child. Don't forget: many of the same "no contact" protections that you can receive through a PPO can be added as bond or probation conditions if the minor is prosecuted for assaultive, destructive, harassing or stalking behavior.
A "do-it-yourself" personal protection order packet, containing instructions and all necessary forms, is available in the Eaton County Courthouse at:County Clerk's Office/Circuit Court Clerk's Office1045 Independence Boulevard1st Floor/2nd FloorCharlotte, MI 48813
The Circuit Court Clerk's staff are not lawyers, and are prohibited from giving legal advice on how to fill the forms out, what to include, etc. The staff cannot assist you beyond explaining internal procedures of the court. Some domestic violence organizations (such as Eve, Inc. (End Violent Encounters) hold clinics to assist with personal protection order (PPO) paperwork. Contact local women's shelters in your area or local legal aid organization to see if they provide this service. Your local Prosecuting Attorney may also be able to help review your papers, and may suggest additional information that you should include.
Assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Barry and Eaton Counties with legal advice, and provides support through the criminal justice process. All services provided are free, including court accompaniment, referrals to community resources, assistance with PPOs, information and assistance on child custody and divorce. Read the Safe Place Victim Advocacy Program brochure (PDF).
Legal advocates and PPO advocates can only offer guidance and support, but cannot provide legal advice or representation.
If you are in immediate danger, you may request an "ex-parte" order, which will take effect immediately without a hearing and without advanced notice to the other party. If you want an ex-parte order, you must convince the judge with specific facts contained in your motion that you are in danger of immediate and irreparable injury, harm or damage (injury that cannot be repaired by a court order after the injury happens) if the personal protection order (PPO) is not issued. "Ex-parte" PPOs do not require a court hearing, unless the defendant requests a hearing to modify or terminate the order.
"Non-emergency" PPOs will require a hearing in front of the circuit court judge before the PPO will be issued. At this hearing, the judge will listen to testimony by witnesses regarding what has happened that necessitates a PPO.
The facts that you include in the personal protection order (PPO) application are very important! Tell the Judge what your relationship is with the respondent, and what has happened recently that makes you need a PPO. In short, tell why you need to be protected. The forms give you very little room to include facts, but you can attach additional pages. Include detailed facts to support your need for a protection order.
If you can support the facts with evidence, do it! Attach:
A copy of your motion and anything you attach to your request for the personal protection order (PPO) will be given to the person you want restrained. If you do not want to include your home address or phone number in these documents, tell the Court Clerk who assists you. She can help you fill out an edited version of the documents with that personal information deleted, which will be served on the defendant. However, you still must give the court a contact address so the Court can send notices to you.
No. "Non-domestic" relationship personal protection orders (PPOs) require clear facts proving "stalking" before a PPO can be issued (i.e., more than one incident or threats, harassment, etc.). "Domestic" relationship PPOs can be issued after a single incident.
A law enforcement officer or person licensed to carry a gun has no special protections against a personal protection order (PPO) petition.
Note: You must advise the Court if the person you are trying to restrain is a law enforcement officer or person who must carry a weapon as a condition of employment! Check the appropriate box in item 2 of either PPO Petition form (CC 375 (PDF) or CC 377 (PDF)). As of July 1, 2000, a Respondent's employer must be notified immediately if a PPO is issued against a person who is identified in pleadings as a law enforcement officer! Also, the County concealed weapons licensing board must be notified if a PPO prohibits a Respondent from owning or purchasing firearms.
There is no filing fee for personal protection order (PPOs). However, the cost of serving a copy of the PPO on the restrained person (which is the petitioner's responsibility) may vary depending on who does it.
The following steps occur:
Yes. If you have a valid Michigan personal protection order (PPO) that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid PPOs granted in the United States receive "full faith and credit" in all state and tribal courts within the U.S, including U.S. territories.
Each state must enforce out-of-state PPOs in the same way it enforces its own orders. Meaning, if your abuser violates your out-of-state PPO, she/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. This is what is meant by "full faith and credit." To make this even clearer, every Michigan PPO says that the order is enforceable in any state as long as the defendant has been notified of the order. MCL 600.2950(11)(b).
A PPO is valid anywhere in the USA if:
Yes. Temporary ex-parte orders can be enforced by other states, just like any regular personal protection order (PPO), as long as the abuser has been served and will have the opportunity to have a court hearing set before your temporary order expires.
The state where you are going cannot extend your temporary order, or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court).
As of April 1, 2002, a peace officer, without a warrant, may arrest and take into custody a person when the officer has positive information that a "foreign protection order" has been violated in Michigan. An officer may rely on a copy of the order if it contains all of the following:
Verification on L.E.I.N. or the NCIC national protection order file is not required. The officer may rely on the petitioner's or respondent's statement that the respondent has received prior notice of the order. A person who violates a foreign protection order that is a conditional release order or a probation order issued by another court in a criminal proceeding is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days and/or $500. (See 2001 PA 197; MCL 600.2950m.)
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your personal protection order (PPO) enforced in another state. But, many states have laws or regulations about enforcement of out-of-state orders. These rules differ from state to state, so it is important to find out what the rules are in the other state before you try to get your PPO enforced there. For example, a state may ask you to "register" or file your order so that the court and the police know about it.Although knowing the state rules can make enforcement easier, a valid PPO is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.Note: It is important to keep a copy of your PPO with you at all times. It is also a good idea to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting to ensure that your out-of-state order can be enforced in a timely manner.
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your personal protection order (PPO). A certified copy says that it is a "true and correct" copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it or embossed (raised) seal.
In Michigan, a certified order has a court seal on it and either the judge’s original signature or a stamp of the judge’s signature along with a “true copy” stamp. When the PPO was issued, you should have received two certified copies of the order (MCL 600.2950(15)(b)). If your copy is not a certified copy, go back to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk's office for a certified copy. There is usually no fee to get a certified copy of a Michigan PPO, but you may have to pay for the copies.
Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children's school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, etc. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
If your personal protection order (PPO) is registered in the new state, it is easier for law enforcement officials to verify that your order is valid. When police officers arrive on a scene, they generally check to see if your PPO is registered in the state's registry. If it is not listed in the state registry, the police officer will have to look through the national registry or call the court where the order was issued. This takes longer and it could mean that your PPO is not enforced right away.
When you register your PPO in a new state, some states (not all) will notify your abuser that the PPO has been registered in the new state. If you do not want your abuser to find out what state you have relocated to, it is important to understand what the rules are in your new state.
You do not need a lawyer to get your personal protection order (PPO) enforced in another state. However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your PPO, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
You may also want to check with the prosecutor in the county where you are to see if that office can help. PPO violation hearings can turn into "mini trials" with witnesses, testimony, exhibits, etc. The local prosecutor may be required by state law to help put your evidence before the court.
You are not required to tell the court in Michigan if you move. However, it might be a good idea to give the court a current address so that you can be notified of any actions that are taken regarding your personal protection order (PPO). Ask the court to keep your contact information confidential if you do not want the defendant or others to find you by looking in the court file.
Yes. There are two kinds of Personal Protection Orders (PPOs):
Note: Stalking must involve two or more "separate and non-continuous" acts. A single incident made up of a series of continuous acts, each immediately following the other, is not "stalking."
A restraining order (including a personal protection order) is a civil action between citizens.
A "no-contact" bond condition can be imposed on a defendant during a pending criminal prosecution. It means that a defendant can not personally, or have a third-party contact, call, write, etc. the victim or any other party with whom the judge orders the defendant to have "no contact." This is a common bond condition for defendants charged with violent or assaultive crimes, and protects victims if the defendant is released from jail while the charge is pending. Like all other bond conditions (e.g, appearing at future court proceedings, not violating criminal laws, not leaving the state, etc.), any violation could cause the judge to raise or revoke the bond, in which case the defendant could remain in jail until the case is finished.
A judge has the discretion to issue (or not issue) any bond condition, as he sees fit. A "no-contact condition" stays in effect for the entire duration of the criminal case, or until the victim requests that it be removed or "lifted" (with the judge's approval). A "no-contact" provision can also be imposed at the sentencing as part of the conditions of probation.
If you do not meet the requirements to get a personal protection order (PPO), you may be able to get a "peace bond" which is available at the District Court Clerk's Office. Peace bonds are often used for neighbor and non-violent family disputes that do not support the issuance of a PPO.
If your situation is an emergency, call 911! Otherwise, call the nearest police department:
No. A police officer may make a warrantless arrest of a personal protection order (PPO) respondent if the officer has "reasonable cause" to believe that he violated the PPO.
Always carry a copy of your PPO! A Police Officer can then quickly confirm the terms of your order when investigating your report that the Respondent has committed a violation.
The personal protection order (PPO) statute does not impose a time limit on the police officer's arrest authority, so a warrantless arrest may happen even if the respondent has left the scene of an alleged violation. If the police cannot find the respondent, they may choose to file a warrant request for Stalking; repeated violations of a PPO may constitute the crime of Aggravated Stalking.
The police may arrest the restrained party if he was previously served with a copy of the personal protection order (PPO). The police are encouraged to arrest if they have evidence of a PPO violation, but they have discretion to arrest or not arrest. If arrested, the restrained party will be brought to a Circuit Court judge within 24 hours. At that time, the Judge can set a bond; if the respondent posts the bond, he can be released.
The Judge will also set a date for a Show Cause hearing where you and other necessary witnesses will testify about the how the Respondent violated the PPO. The Eaton County Prosecutor's Office may be involved in this Show Cause hearing.
The police might not arrest the restrained party, especially if the officer did not witness him commit the acts violating the personal protection order (PPO), or if there was insufficient proof that the respondent had been served with the PPO papers before the alleged violation occurred.
If the restrained person is not arrested, you will have to file a "motion to show cause" in the Circuit Court Clerk's office to have a hearing about the PPO violation. A "show cause" action focuses on whether the respondent should be held in contempt of court for violating the PPO. Like the original PPO application, you will have to write out what the respondent did and said, and attach supporting witness statements, police reports, photographs, etc. Your motion to show cause will be reviewed by the Judge.
If he believes that a violation likely occurred, he will schedule a show cause hearing and will issue a show cause order directing the defendant to appear in Court to respond to your allegations that he violated the PPO. You must attend the show cause hearing; bring eye witnesses and supporting evidence, because testimony will be needed if the respondent disputes what you alleged in your motion. To help you document PPO violations, download our Stalking Victim's Log (PDF).
The Prosecuting Attorney must prosecute all arrest and non-arrest criminal contempt proceedings, unless the petitioner retains his or her own attorney for this purpose.
A personal protection order (PPO) is a court order, so any violation proven beyond a reasonable doubt is criminal "contempt of court." The Judge can send the violating respondent to jail for up to 93 days for each violation, and/or impose a fine of $500, and (as of July 1, 2000) can place the Respondent on probation up to 2 years in lieu of jail time.
Personal protection order (PPO) violations happen in seclusion and public, at night and in broad daylight. Many times, police are not present when the violations occur. The constant is you. Therefore, your help is necessary in order to prove that a violation occurred.
Preserve all available tangible evidence of the PPO violation, such as notes or letters, answering machine messages, etc. Keep written notes of when and where the violations happened, what was said and done, who else may have seen or heard the respondent's conduct, etc. Take photographs of property damage. Give all of these to the police or Prosecutor.
To help you document PPO violations, download our Stalking Victim's Log (PDF).
Yes. Michigan statutes clearly state a Legislative intent that criminal sanctions be imposed in addition to whatever criminal penalties apply for a separate criminal offense. (See MCL 600.2950(23) and 600.2950a(20).) Also, appellate decisions have stated that separate convictions did not violate double jeopardy, even though they were based on the same conduct. (People v Coones, 216 Michigan App 721, 500 NW2d 600, 603 (1996)).
The personal protection order (PPO) is directed to the respondent's behavior, not the petitioner's. Regardless of the petitioner's wishes for contact, the respondent will have violated the court's order. The petitioner's invitation or consent may mitigate sanctions, but it is no defense to the violation.
A petitioner should not "send the wrong signals" to the respondent by actually or seemingly allowing contact that violates the PPO. The PPO means what the order says and applies when the order says, not just when it is "convenient" to the petitioner for the terms to apply. If you do not want or need the PPO in effect any more, move to set it aside or modify it.
Only a court can change a personal protection order (PPO); the parties cannot do this privately or informally. If you decide to get back together (reconcile) with the person you had restrained, or you no longer want the order to remain in effect, either you or the respondent must file a motion in court to "dissolve" the order. Otherwise, the order will remain in effect until the date the judge originally set for it to expire. A form to modify (change the terms of) or dissolve (dismiss) a PPO the PPO is available in the County Clerk's Office. The same form is used to change any of the terms of the order (i.e, your new home/work address).
The respondent may move to modify or rescind the PPO within 14 days after service or actual notice, or for good cause shown after the 14 days have elapsed. A hearing must be held within 14 days after a request for modification or rescission. A motion is also necessary to obtain a PPO which is effective longer than the time allowed in the ex-parte order.
There is no filing fee when parties seek to modify or terminate a personal protection order (PPO).
Anyone who is over the age of 18, other than you, can serve the respondent. There are 3 ways service of process can be completed:
As of July 1, 2000, a law enforcement officer or clerk of the court who has knowledge of the existence of a personal protection order (PPO) may serve the PPO on the Respondent or give oral notice of the existence of the PPO. After doing so, he/she must file a proof of service or proof of oral notice with the court.
Once the respondent is served, you must file separate "proofs of service" that your agent has handed both the Petition for personal protection order (PPO) (either Form CC 375 (PDF), CC 375M (PDF), CC 377M (PDF), or CC 377M (PDF)) and the Court's PPO Order (either Form CC 376 (PDF), CC 380 (PDF), or CC 380M (PDF)) to the respondent. The proof of service forms for each are virtually the same, and are located on the back sides of the Petition and PPO forms. The proof of service requires information on the date, time and place where service occurred. File the completed forms with the Circuit Court Clerk.
The order goes into effect as soon as the judge signs it. The personal protection order (PPO) can be enforced immediately. However, if the Respondent has not yet been served with a copy of the PPO, he will be orally informed of the terms of the order by the responding police officer and given an opportunity to comply with the order.
The County Clerk's office is responsible for providing a copy of the order to the local police agency so that it can immediately be entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).
Please see our Criminal Case Process page for a summary, from the crime occurring through sentencing and appeals.
Under the Crime Victim's Rights Act (1987 PA 85), a "victim" means an individual who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime. If the victim is deceased, then that person's spouse, child, parent, guardian or grandparent might qualify. If the victim is a minor (under age 18), then the victim's parent, guardian, or custodian may choose to exercise the child-victim's rights. If the victim is mentally or emotionally unable to participate in the legal process, then his or her parent, guardian or custodian may exercise the rights.
Concerns about your well-being and safety after being victimized or witnessing a crime are normal. If you have any fears or receive any threats concerning your involvement in a case, you should immediately contact the law enforcement agency that investigated the case, or the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. In an emergency situation, call 911.
Do so as soon as possible so that the threats can be documented and appropriate action taken. There are laws to protect you against people who attempt to bribe, intimidate, threaten, or harass you. Create a safety plan so you know what you would do if any threat concerns you.
If you feel that you are being stalked, you can do a lot of things to protect yourself. There is no single response that is appropriate for all stalking victims. Here are some suggestions:
In representing a client, a defense attorney may contact you and want to talk to you about the case. Keep in mind that you do not have to talk to anyone about the crime, including the defense attorney or their investigator prior to testifying in court. If you choose to do so, always request proper identification and an explanation of the purpose of the interview. If you have any concerns about talking with a defense attorney or their investigator, you are encouraged to contact the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in charge of your case and to have him/her with you at the time of the interview.
Sentencing in Michigan varies with the crime and can be the most confusing part of the criminal process. A few crimes have mandatory sentences, but most often the sentences are at the judge's discretion. Because of that, a prosecutor can only guess (or hope) what the actual sentence may be.
Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to "press charges" against the wrongdoer, or to later "drop the charges". All crimes are offenses against the community, not just the individual victim. Criminal complaints are prosecuted on behalf of the State of Michigan, not the people who called the police or those who were personally harmed by the defendant's conduct. Only the Prosecuting Attorney can issue or dismiss charges.
This is important because it takes the responsibility for prosecuting the wrongdoer off the victim's shoulders and puts it on the Prosecuting Attorney's, where it legally belongs. It also means that the defendant cannot "pressure" the victim into dropping the charges.Although the decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute is ultimately up to the Prosecuting Attorney, the victim's opinion is important and the Prosecuting Attorney will take those wishes into account when making his or her decisions regarding the case. A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a complainant's request not to proceed with a prosecution, including the nature and extent of the defendant's prior criminal history, the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant has other pending charges in the criminal justice system, and future danger the defendant poses to the community (including the current victim).
Call the District or Circuit Court's probation department at the Courthouse at 517-543-7500 and ask for the probation agent who is assigned to the defendant. Update the probation officer if payments have not been made and the probation officer can help you get your money if restitution was a condition of the defendant's probation, and if the defendant is still on probation. Otherwise, see a private lawyer, because the restitution order is a court order that you can enforce like any civil judgment.
Download our Request for Return of Property form (PDF), or contact Jody Strang, our Victim-Witness Coordinator at 517-543-4835, for a copy. Return the completed form to our office so an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney can review it. You may be asked to present picture identification.
The Michigan Crime Victim Compensation Fund was established to provide financial help to crime victims who suffer personal injury (bodily harm) or lose earnings or support because of the crime. Our Victim Assistance Coordinator will be able to help with any questions you might have.
The actual amount of compensation, if any, depends upon the facts of each case. Do not try to decide for yourself whether you are eligible. If you have any doubt, file a claim and the Board will decide. Compensation to crime victims is limited in many ways, including:
The actual amount of compensation, if any, depends upon the facts of each case. Do not try to decide for yourself whether you are eligible. If you have any doubt, file a claim and the Commission will decide.
Note: The minimum loss requirements will be waived for persons retired by reason of age or disability, and for the expense of forensic medical exams for sexual assault victims.
The following losses aren't covered:
Note: These losses might be recoverable through court-ordered restitution as part of a convicted perpetrator's criminal sentence, or through the enforcement of a judgment obtained in a civil lawsuit against the wrongdoer.
Money to support the Crime Victim Compensation Fund is paid by criminal defendants convicted in Michigan's courts, plus from some criminal fines in Michigan's federal courts.
The Crime Victim Services Commission will consider you to be a "crime victim" if:
The following conditions apply:
Note: The Prosecuting Attorney does not represent the Crime Victim Services Commission. The Prosecuting Attorney cannot waive any requirement of the law or rules of the Commission.
Obtain and completely fill out an application form (PDF). Forms are available from the Crime Victim Services Commission, our office, police or sheriff's departments, and victim assistance agencies. Your claim must be filed with the Commission not later than 1 year after the occurrence of the crime. File the claim by mailing it to:Crime Victim Services Commission320 S WalnutLansing, MI 48913Phone: 517-373-7373
Submit the following information:
Note: Do not submit false information! Doing so to get money from the State is a crime. People who get money to which they are not entitled, because of false information, cheat legitimate crime victims from limited monies that the State of Michigan provides for them.
File your claims at the following times:
You do not have to wait until the investigation or trial is over.
Except in unusual circumstances, you do not need an attorney but you always have the right to hire or consult with one. The Commission investigates each claim and is willing to deal directly with you without an attorney. You can hire an attorney at any stage of the process. However, any attorney fee must be paid by you, and Commission rules do not limit the amount that an attorney might charge you.
Yes. The Commission is the payor of last resort. Payments from insurance or public funds for out-of-pocket expenses, lost earnings or support (except disability or death benefits paid to a peace officer) are primary resources, and must be paid and reported to the program before any award for remaining compensation is considered by the Commission. The claimant must repay the State of Michigan out of any later insurance settlement or court-ordered restitution covering a loss reimbursed by the Commission.
Your application will be reviewed by Commission staff for completeness. An incomplete form will be returned to you with a list of the information or additional paperwork that are needed.
Your claim is assigned a claim number. The Commission will notify the Prosecuting Attorney that a claim for compensation is pending. A claim specialist will conduct an investigation to verify the validity of the claim and the extent of any compensable loss. The claimant may be requested to provide documentation if the Commission is otherwise unable to verify the claim.
This depends on the accuracy and completeness of your application, and how long it takes to get additional information the Commission needs to investigate.
You will be notified in writing with the record and findings of your claim. If it is approved, the decision will show itemized payments, which will be made within a few days; if you owe money to your medical providers, the Commission will pay the providers.
If your claim is denied, the Commission will notify you in writing, and the legal reasons will be explained. If you are dissatisfied, you have 30 days to appeal the individual Commission member's decision to the full Crime Victim Services Commission. You may request an evidentiary hearing. The decision of the full Commission is final. If still dissatisfied, you may file a request for leave to appeal with the Court of Appeals within 30 days after the Crime Victim Services Commission's final decision.
A person's papers and testimony before the Commission are private. The Commission may tell only whether a person's claim was approved or denied. Any other information will only be released by a court order.
Witnesses are not limited to "eye witnesses." You may have seen or heard the crime happen or may know something about it. You may also know something about a piece of evidence or may know something that contradicts another witness' testimony. You may not think that what you know about the case is very significant; however, small pieces of information are often required to determine what really happened. If you wonder "why" you are testifying in a particular case, ask the Assistant Prosecutor handling it (or our Witness Coordinator); there is probably a common-sense reason.
Your presence and willingness to testify may be the deciding factor in determining what will be done in the case. Many defendants hope that you or other witnesses will not show up. Your mere presence at the Courthouse before the trial may cause the defendant to plead guilty.
The defendant must be present in court to hear what all the witnesses say about him. The lawyer for the defendant is called the defense attorney and will ask you questions after the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney does.
You may bring friends or relatives with you to court, and they can probably sit in the courtroom while you testify, but they cannot 'help you answer a question' (verbal or non-verbal cues to you). If they are also a witness and have not yet testified, they will generally have to wait outside the courtroom for their turn - this is called "sequestration.") Our Victim/Witness Advocate may also be with you, if you request.
Your court room time, while actually testifying, may not take long; it depends upon many factors. Most of the time you will just be waiting for your turn to testify. You and your family and friends are encouraged to bring a book or magazine to read while you wait.
No one can tell in advance how many times or how long you will have to be in court. The process of justice takes time. The number of times you may be called to appear in court and the delays you may encounter are the result of many factors, including pre-trial motions or other scheduled events with your case, or congestion on the judge's court calendar.
The stages involved in processing a criminal case are summarized on our Criminal Case Process page. In general, your first and only appearance for misdemeanor offenses will be for the actual trial. In a felony case, the first time you appear as a witness may be for the preliminary examination. On rare occasions, pre-trial motions by the defense attorney or by the prosecuting attorney may require additional hearings before the trial begins, which may require witness testimony.
All witness fee payments are made by check, through the court handling your case.
Whether a witness receives any witness fee is within the discretion of the court. A court can order that you receive witness fees ($6 per morning or afternoon court session that you are ordered to attend), plus mileage ($0.10 per mile, round trip). If you have a date conflict, you should contact our Witness Coordinator, Witness Hotline at 517-543-4835 immediately to discuss your conflict. In some cases, the Prosecuting Attorney handling the case can put you "on call" (so that you can go to work or school on the day you are subpoenaed, and you will be called at a pre-arranged phone number an hour or so before you are needed in court).
Witnesses receive witness fees and mileage only when they appear in court at the scheduled time. You will not receive a witness fee or mileage if your case (or your individual appearance) was "called off" or if you do not appear.
If you are lawfully subpoenaed to court, an employer cannot prevent court attendance. When appropriate, the Prosecuting Attorney's Office will contact your employer to discuss the importance of your role as a witness. We can also provide you with a note, on our letterhead, confirming the days/hours when you were in court.
Call our Witness Hotline at 517-543-4835 or 517-543-0738 (Charlotte/Lansing).
Foreign language interpreters and interpreters for the hearing and/or speech impaired are available. If you are in need of interpreting services while in attendance at court, contact the Prosecuting Attorney Victim/Witness Coordinator as soon as possible.
Concerns about your well-being and safety after being victimized or witnessing a crime are normal. If you have any fears or receive any threats concerning your involvement in a case, you should immediately contact the law enforcement agency that investigated the case, or the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. In an emergency situation, call 911. Do so as soon as possible so that the threats can be documented and appropriate action taken. There are laws to protect you against people who attempt to bribe, intimidate, threaten, or harass you.
Our Witness Assistance program helps the witnesses that the Prosecutor's office subpoenas to court, not witnesses whom the defendant subpoenas.
The lawyer assigned to your case depends upon where your case is located and the type of charges filed against you. You will be assigned a lawyer from the attorney roster at the Eaton County Public Defender Office. All assignments are made within 24-48 hours of your Arraignment.
You should talk about your case ONLY with your lawyer. Do not post anything about your case on social media, including Facebook. Remember - anything you say or write can be used against you.
No. All residents are lodged on a court order.
Parents, step-parents, grandparents, and legal guardians.
Medication can be dropped off at any time; we are open 24/7. All medications must be in the original packaging. We will also need the doctor's name and office the medication was prescribed.
All residents receive a medical exam within 7 days of admit and when needed for additionalmedical issues.
Please call the youths probation officer at 517-543-6003 to inform them of the appointment and transportation will be arranged.
Parents are not allowed to call and speak to their child. However, residents who are on the appropriate levels may call home weekly with a phone coupon.
No. All food, clothes, and hygiene items are provided. Although if your child is in Residential Treatment or Community Based Treatment you may chose to bring them in their own clothes but will need to follow the clothing guidelines.
Yes. Residents attend school Monday-Friday, 8:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Our school services are provided by teachers from the Grand Ledge School District.The school is compliant with special educational services. If you child attends LINK they are required to bring in school work from their own school to work on for the duration of their time in LINK.
All incoming mail must be sent through the United States Postal Service. Mail is not allowed to be dropped off at our facility. Send mail to: 822 Courthouse dr., Charlotte, MI 48813.
All court information should be obtained by calling the Eaton County Juvenile Courts at 517-543-6003.
Yes, you will need administrative approval. Please coordinate those visits with the resident's Probation Officer. If your child does not have a Probation Officer, please contact the Youth Facility and ask to speak to an administrator.
You are allowed to drop off store bought snacks. The snacks have to be store bought and sealed in their original packages as well as there has to be enough for the entire unit. (A unit has a total of 8 residents).
Residents are still required to come even if they miss the van. This means that the youth will have to find a ride of transportation and can schedule an Eatran or the youths guardian/parent can drop them off at the facility.
EATRAN phone number:517-543-4087