Michigan’s Court of Claims is a court with limited jurisdiction and a narrow scope of focus for only cases brought against the State of Michigan. This might include a lawsuit filed against state agency or specific personnel. The judges that sit on the bench in the Court of Claims all have extensive trial experience, and they are heavily involved in case management.
The state court website describes this court as: “The Court of Claims is a court of statewide, limited jurisdiction (PA 164 of 2013) to hear and determine all civil actions filed against the State of Michigan and its agencies. These cases include highway defect, medical malpractice, contracts, constitutional claims, prisoner litigation, tax-related suits, and other claims for money damages.”
Court of Claims cases are not heard by a jury but instead presided over by one of the four judges assigned to this court. The court itself is located in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court appoints four Court of Appeals judges to the Court of Claims along with one Chief Judge. Two of the judges reside in district 1, one resides in district 4, and the other resides in district 2. This court also resolves some limited administrative agency appeals.
To assist the public or attorneys with filing a claim in the Court of Claims, the Michigan Courts website has forms that can be downloaded and they are called: Request for Court Records Form and Stipulated Scheduling Order Form.
Additionally, the same site offers contact information for the Court Clerk’s Office for support and guidance through the legal process and other resources to help individuals file claims, pay fees and move through the system more efficiently. The general public can also look up cases using the MiCOURT search program if they have basic information about the case.