Circuit Court for State of Michigan Cases

Circuit Courts in Michigan have jurisdiction over the following types of matters under state law:

1. Arraignments for criminal high misdemeanor and felony cases.  A Circuit Court Judge has the power to modify or revoke an existing bond when warranted.

2.   Criminal  high misdemeanor court proceedings including pleas and trials in which the maximum punishment is greater than 1 year in the county jail,  Sentencing when a conviction is entered through a plea or at the conclusion of a trial.

3.      Criminal felony court proceedings pleas and trials.  Sentencing when a conviction is entered through a plea or at the conclusion of a trial.

4.   Civil lawsuits in which the amount is greater than $25,000;

5.   The familiy division of the Circuit Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all family cases and Domestic Relations Cases such as divorce, paternity actions, parenting time, child custody, child support, name changes, juvenile proceedings such as parental rights (for neglect and/or abuse) and delinquency, emancipation of minors, parental consent, personal protection orders, and adoptions.  The family division also has ancillary jurisdiction of guardianships, conservatorships, proceedings involving the mentally ill, and developmentally disabled individual proceedings.

6.  Appeals of District Court proceedings, and appeals of some administrative agencies;

7.   All The Circuit Court has superintending control over other courts within the circuit, subject to final superintending powers of the Michigan Supreme Court.  Superintending control is basically the legal power of the Circuit Court to direct a lower Court or an administrative agency to do a certain action.

The Circuit Court has the power to issue warrants; subpoena witnesses; and require the production of books, papers, records, documents, and other evidence; and to punish for contempt of Court. The Circuit Court may provide for pleadings and motions; issue process and subpoenas; compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses; enter and set aside defaults and default judgments; allow amendments to pleadings, process, motions, and orders; order adjournments and continuances; appoint attorneys to represent indigent persons accused of felonies; make and enforce writs and orders; and do all other things necessary to hear and determine matters within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court as provided by law.

Venue for criminal cases exists in the county in which the crime allegedly occurred (or in some instances within a mile of the border of the county). For criminal offenses that allegedly occur on the border between two different jurisdictions, Prosecution in both is allowable subject to double jeopardy considerations. If the criminal offense occurred in a motor vehicle, jurisdiction is proper wherever the vehicle passed in its journey.   Civil lawsuits generally are filed in the county where the cause of action arose, but it is always wise to consult with an attorney as to where venue might be appropriate for a cause of action relating to you.  To file a divorce case, the Plaintiff must be a resident of the county for 10 days, and the state of Michigan for 6 months.  Juvenile neglect, abuse, and delinquency proceedings usually occur in the county in which the child or children reside.  Personal protection orders can be filed in any county.  For any legal matter involving the Circuit Court is is hightly recommended that you consult with and/or retain an experienced lawyer before proceeding.

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