Probate Court

Probate Court

Honorable Miriam A. Cavanaugh, Chief Judge of Livingston Probate Court

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: 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: or faxed to: (517) 548-4219.  Forms can be accessed at
All emergency motions for the Juvenile Court identified above should be emailed to: or faxed to: (517) 546-3731.
All emergency motions for the Probate Court identified above should be emailed to: 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

What is Probate Court?

Probate Court has jurisdiction over the administration of estates of deceased persons and matters pertaining to trusts.  The Court also hears cases pertaining to guardianships and conservatorships for incapacitated adults, minors, and individuals with developmental disabilities.  The Court also hears petitions for the involuntary hospitalization and treatment of persons with mental illness.  The Probate Court follows the rules outlined in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC) that took effect on April 1, 2000, and the Michigan Mental Health Code.  In addition, the Court also handles miscellaneous issues that include unpublicized marriages, delayed registration of foreign birth, and Drain Appeals.
  Probate Court receives many inquiries for the "probation department", Probate Court has nothing to do with probation.  Please go to Courts Home to find information for the various courts' probation divisions.


Effective March 1, 2016, pursuant to Public Act 230 of 2015, filing fees on initial petitions for Guardianships, Conservatorships, and Decedent Estates shall increase from $150.00 to $175.00. 
Effective January 15, 2015, pursuant to Local Administrative Order P47 2014-15J, copy fees for court documents are now $1.50 per page. 
Accordingly, certified copies of letters of authority are now $13.00 each.

Check the Probate Court Dockets