53rd District Court

53rd District Court

Honorable Michael P. Hatty, Chief Judge, 53rd District Court

53rd District Court Judges

Honorable Shauna N. Murphy

Honorable Daniel B. Bain

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:
South Korea
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.


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

Resources for Legal Aid and other Law Related Organizations


List of Legal Aid and Other Law Related Organizations

 District Court News

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 53rd District Court is located at 204 S Highlander Way, Howell, MI.  The court hears the following types of cases:
  • Criminal - Misdemeanor and Felony matters
  • Civil - matters are divided into three different categories:
    • General Civil (up to $25,000) - cases involving lawsuits between two or more parties seeking money damages.
    • Small Claims - Cases where the amount claimed does not exceed a specified amount, Small claims cases should not exceed $6,000.  There are no lawyers or juries and no right to appeal.
    • Landlord Tenant - Proceedings to recover possession of premises and/or obtain a money judgment.
  • Civil Infractions - Traffic Tickets
  • Weddings