44th Circuit Court
44th Circuit Court
Monday-Friday
8am-noon; 1pm - 5pm

Locations:
Howell Courts
Judicial Center
204 S. Highlander Way
Howell, MI 48843

Brighton Court
Monday-Friday
8am-noon; 1pm - 5pm
224 N First St
Brighton, MI  48116
Map to Brighton Court

Phone: 517-548-1120

44th Circuit Court

Honorable Michael P. Hatty, Chief Judge, 44th Circuit Court

Honorable L. Suzanne Geddis, 44th Circuit Court

Honorable Matthew J. McGivney, 44th Circuit Court Judge

Roberta L. Sacharski, J.D., Trial Court Administrator

44th Circuit, 53rd District Court and Probate Court Administrator


The Livingston County Courts will remain open for essential services only until April 13, 2020.  Essential services shall include the following:

Please see the Local Administrative Order for complete details.

53rd District Court:

•    In-custody weekday arraignments;
•    To the extent possible, previously scheduled in-custody hearings;
•    Hearings on emergency matters at the discretion of the Chief Judge.

44th Circuit Court:

•    In-custody arraignments;
•    To the extent possible, previously scheduled in-custody hearings;
•    The initiation of personal protection orders (PPOs);
•    Hearings on denied PPOs and violation of PPOs;
•    Emergency bond motions;
•    Emergency domestic motions;
•    Requests for emergency show cause and injunctive orders;
•    Infectious disease cases; and
•    Hearings on emergency matters at the discretion of the Chief Judge.

Juvenile Court:

•    Hearings involving in-custody juveniles;
•    Preliminary/emergency hearings involving child protective proceedings and/or PPOs;
•    Waiver hearings for youth to be charged as or the rights attributed to an adult; and
•    Hearings on emergency matters at the discretion of the Chief Judge.

Probate Court:

•    Emergency mental health hearings and petitions for pick up orders;
•    Emergency proceedings for guardianships and conservatorships;
•    Emergency orders and/or hearings on warning notices pursuant to MCL 333.5203
•    Hearings on emergency matters at the discretion of the Chief Judge.
           
Only essential clerking operations will be processed during the time period covered by this LAO.  Please refrain from contacting the Court regarding ordinary business issues until Sunday, April 5, 2020.  In person paper filings will not be accepted.  Essential filings shall be made by email, fax, or through the U.S. mail.  There will also be a drop box at the entrance of the Judicial Center in Howell for essential filings only.

All emergency motions for the District Court identified above should be emailed to: DistrictCourtHowell@livgov.com or faxed to: (517) 548-9445.
All emergency motions for the Circuit Court and proposed emergency orders, identified above, including PPOs, should be emailed to: wclerks@livgov.com or faxed to: (517) 548-4219.  Forms can be accessed at https://www.livgov.com/courts/circuit/clerk/
All emergency motions for the Juvenile Court identified above should be emailed to: juvenilecourt@livgov.com or faxed to: (517) 546-3731.
All emergency motions for the Probate Court identified above should be emailed to: probatecourt@livgov.com or faxed to: (517) 552-2510.



Notice of courthouse visitor restrictions

Due to the recent declaration of a State of Emergency in Michigan declared by Governor Gretchen Whitmer regarding coronavirus known as COVID-19, effective immediately, individuals entering any Livingston County Courthouse must advise the Court Security Officer prior to entering the screening area if they meet any of the following criteria:

•    Persons who have been in any of the following countries within the last 14 days:
China
South Korea
Iran
Any European Country
(This list may be updated as further guidance is received from the CDC.)
•    Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has been in one of the countries listed above within the last 14 days;
•    Persons who have traveled domestically within the United States where COVID-19 has sustained widespread community transmission;
•    Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency;
•    Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
•    Persons with fever, cough or shortness of breath.

ANYONE ATTEMPTING TO ENTER IN VIOLATION OF THESE PROTOCOLS WILL BE DENIED ENTRY BY A COURT SECURITY OFFICER.

These restrictions will remain in place temporarily until it is determined to be safe to remove them. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

If you have a scheduled appointment or are otherwise required to appear at one of the courthouses in Livingston County, and you are unable to appear because of the restrictions listed, you should proceed as follows:

•    If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
•    If you are an attorney and you are scheduled to appear in court before a judge, please contact that chambers directly (contact information may be found on the Court’s website);
•    If you are scheduled to meet with a District Court Probation Officer, please contact the Probation office at (517) 546-5950;
•    If you are a juror, please contact the Circuit Court Jury Clerk: (517) 540-7530 or the District Court Jury Clerk at (517) 540-7666;
•    For District Court matters, please contact  the District Court Administrator, Marisa Lutz at (517) 540-7637;
•    For Juvenile or Probate Court matters, please contact the Juvenile & Probate Court Administrator, Debby Shaw at (517) 540-7739;
•    For Circuit Court or any other matters, please contact the Trial Court Administrator Roberta Sacharski at (517) 540-7814


Juror Scam Alert
Warning: Please be on the lookout for fraudulent phone calls or emails regarding jury service. Through calls and emails, scammers are pressuring citizens to provide confidential data, threatening prosecution for failing to comply with jury service, and claiming fines are owed for missing jury duty. If you receive a call or email of this nature, please contact Detective Matt Young at the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office at (517) 546-2440.

The 44th Circuit Court of Livingston County handles felony criminal cases, civil liability cases where damages are alleged to be above $25,000, all Family Court cases including divorce, custody, support, and related cases, and all Juvenile Court cases.

Juvenile Court cases include Child Protection, Juvenile Justice, Adoption, and Personal Protection where protection is sought from a minor (rather than for a minor). For Child Protection cases, the Court’s responsibility is to protect the safety and well-being of children. For Juvenile Justice cases, the Court’s responsibility is to support the current and future safety of the community by providing services to support the success of youth and their families in avoiding future system involvement. Livingston County Juvenile Court works closely with other organizations serving youth and families in the community, and is affiliated with a national organization, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges as one of only 34 Model Courts in the country and the only Model Court in Michigan.

Family Court cases are conducted with the support of the Friend of the Court. Livingston County Courts recognize that often, there is stress and significant emotional challenge to the all members of the family during these cases. The Court encourages parents to be attentive to the needs of children, and to consider seeking services and support as needed. Although the Court does not endorse any specific providers of services, there are groups that encourage parties to consider peaceful conflict resolution, and provide access to resources to support that. More information can be found at Livingston Inter-Disciplinary Professional Association (LIPA) or Family Mediation Council – Michigan websites. Families are also encouraged to seek help from mental health professionals who work with families as appropriate.

Family Court is an area where many parties elect to represent themselves rather than hire an attorney. Parties who are representing themselves will be required to follow all of the rules of the Court. Court staff cannot  provide legal advice. Michigan Legal Help is a resource for individuals who represent themselves in Court. Click here for more information. Individuals interested in hiring a Family Law attorney who works in Family Law in Livingston County can visit the Livingston County Bar Association website or check other resources.

Court Administration handles important services that the court provides to the community. These include the Jury Commission, Court Appointed Attorneys, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) including Case Evaluation, and maintaining lists of Court Appointed Mediators, along with other services such as access to official transcripts of court proceedings, the opportunity to view videos of court proceedings with permission of the Court, and other administrative duties. Court Administration information.