The following information and forms are intended for ATTORNEYS only.
Effective immediately, in all privately filed domestic relations cases, to include all new divorces, please include with the FOC 23, Verified Statement; the newly launched form DHS-1201D, a shortened version of the application for IV-D services.
A separate reminder that all judgments must include the Judgment Information Form, FOC form 100, ATTACHED.
Pursuant to direction from the Chief Judge, all objection hearings to Friend of the Court support recommendations are to be set before the Court, not the Referee.
ACCESS TO REFEREE HEARINGS
Administrative Order 2014-04 changes the Court policy on access to recorded Referee hearings. Attorneys are no longer able to request a copy of the hearing, for a fee, and view it independently. Rather, the attached order outlines that the attorney must contact the Circuit Court Administrator, Karen Chapman, at 231-627-8818, to arrange a viewing of the recording in the 53rd Circuit Court Office, in Cheboygan County.
Any party or attorney who wants to view a Referee hearing must make arrangements with the Circuit Court. Any request for transcripts of a Referee hearing must be done by requesting the form from Circuit Court and then finding a certified transcriptionist and paying the rate determined by that transcriptionist. The DVD will be provided by Circuit Court to the transcriptionist. Hearing DVD's are no longer provided by the Friend of the Court. Any costs associated with the above (if any) will be determined by the Circuit Court.
WORKING WITH THE FRIEND OF THE COURT
In domestic relation cases, the Friend of the Court is often the first level of contact when custody, parenting time, or child support issues are present.
If an appearance is filed by an attorney representing a client, all Friend of the Court notices and information will be copied to that attorney of record.
In turn, the Friend of the Court requests copies of all pleadings in a case, so that the Friend of the Court file is complete.
During the pendency of an action, clients who are represented by counsel, will be referred to that counsel, if they present our office with detailed issues or questions, specific to their case.
All new domestic relation cases, except for those that came from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, are scheduled for new case interviews with the Friend of the Court Investigator/Mediator, Teresa Remeur.
Generally, Ms. Remeur meets with individuals, without counsel present. However, an attorney of record may request to attend that meeting by submitting a written request at least 21 days prior to the scheduled date.
If parties are amicable to an agreement, and are represented by counsel, they may be encouraged to take that agreement back to their counsel for drafting, signatures, and entry.
ANY form of public assistance, received by ANY party in the case, mandates a review and recommendation of support. That includes receipt of cash assistance, food assistance, child day care, and/or Medicaid.
In these cases, a temporary support order may be entered, even absent a temporary order regarding custody and parenting time.
No case may opt out of Friend of the Court services if there is any form of public assistance for any member of the family.
The Friend of the Court will review and recommend spousal support only upon an order of the Court. That process will not be started upon an attorney request.
All motions, with the exception of property settlement issues, are heard first at the Referee hearing level, in the 11:00am time slot.
Evidentiary hearings are scheduled by the Referee, or the Court, for a two hour time slot, in the afternoon. The Friend of the Court maintains the calendar and will advise of hearing dates and time. Attorneys may not schedule evidentiary hearings without confirmation with the Friend of the Court (Mary Bur at 231-627-8869).
Attorneys are encouraged to file early for time-sensitive issues such as summer parenting time, change of school, or domicile, as the matter may take weeks to resolution.
Typically, in a calendar year, the Referee will have 24 hearing dates.
Each case is assigned a Financial Case Manager (one of four), but all custody and parenting time issues are coordinated by the one Investigator/Mediator, Teresa Remeur.
Case Managers are an attorney’s front-line access to case information. They may be reached via telephone, fax, or e-mail.
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM