Michigan’s Circuit Courts are the general jurisdiction trial courts of the state. These are the highest trial courts, and they handle the most severe crimes and the most complex civil cases. The types of cases found in Maryland’s Circuit Courts are felonies where the offender would go to prison, civil suits of amounts higher than $25,000 and family issues such as divorce, adoption, protective orders and domestic abuse, paternity, child custody, guardianship, treatment and testing of infectious disease, name changes, juvenile issues and delinquency, emancipation of minors, child abuse and neglect and the safe delivery of newborns. Additionally, Circuit Courts resolve tort cases, real property cases, estate and probate matters, mental health cases where someone is to be involuntarily committed, exclusive civil appeals and criminal appeals.
Circuit Courts also handle appeals from District Courts and also administrative agencies around the state. Michigan has 57 Circuit Courts and 217 judges who are elected by voters for six-year terms. Michigan’s trial courts have an extensive administration department that handles things like fees, filing, grants, operations, policies and procedures along with other management assistance. These courts also host pilot programs and manage all the trial court resources.
The Michigan Courts website includes a Trial Court Directory where users can locate their court and find services to help them pay online, access docket records online, file paperwork or accept fax filings. Their website also includes a map of each district and the Circuit Court courthouses contained within it, detailed information about each judge and contact information for the Court Clerk’s Office.
On average Circuit Courts see about 252,000 cases per year. Of that total, 156,972 were for family-related issues, 40,276 were for civil actions, 51,848 were for criminal offenses, 3,343 were for appeals and 329 were for Court of Claims filings.