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​Recent CommunicationsRSS feed icon

Trial courts receive new information and requirements that are relevant to court operations through Recent Communications. Information is posted regularly and the SCAO Biweekly Brief (a summary of postings for the previous two weeks) is e-mailed every other Thursday. Information is also available at SCAO Communications and FOCB Memoranda.  If materials are no longer available on this site, make requests to the State Court Administrative Office at


Communication Categories



General and Administrative Matters 


The State Bar of Michigan is offering  a free poster that includes contact information for lawyers facing ethical and mental health issues.  This poster can be downloaded at: or print copies can be obtained by contacting Molly Ranns, State Bar of Michigan, at​.

Judges are encouraged to attend upcoming Justice for All "town hall" meetings​ in Grand Rapids and Detroit to provide input that will help shape Michigan's plan to achieve 100 percent access to our civil justice system.​
​MCAP opens on March 1, 2020 for each court to submit their 2019 jury statistics report by March 31, 2020.​  We highly recommend courts review the supplemental worksheet and the updated FAQs before submitted their jury statistics data.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) was designated as 1 of 11 diversion airports for passengers flying in from n-CoV high risk areas in China. Region I is likely to have the most filings but all Regions should be reminded of the infectious disease process and resources.​  Please review the attached memo​.​​​
​The Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed that all proceedings in HYTA cases are closed and nonpublic​, including hearings.
This memo​ clarifies the use of MC 246 and MC 246a by probation officers.
The interest rate for money judgments effective January 1, 2020, including the statutory 1 percent, is 2.617 percent.  Click here for additional information and the history of interest rates

​Memo outlining the steps each trial court must take in January of 2020 to submit and verify 2019 caseload data​​ through the Caseload Reporting System (CRS).​
​This is a summary of all of the court rule amendments​ that will have the most impact on courts.  The rules became effective in September 2018, May 2019, and will become effective in January 2020 and January 2021.

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MiFILE (Statewide e-Filing Initiative)

​Where e-Filing is implemented, an electronic signature affixed by judges and select court staff must comply with SCAO standards.  See details for the signature, date and watermark court seal standards​.



​Introduction to the JIS Self-Service Portal and Ideas Forum​ webinar, February 27 at 11:30 a.m.  Click here​ to register
Save the Date!  MPRJA will host the 2nd Annual Adoption One-Day Conference at the Comfort Inn in Mt. Pleasant on April 24, 2020.
MJI Training Opportunity:  Probate Register Webinar Series​
Dates:  February 12 and March 3, online only
Michigan Judicial Institute Seminiar Announcement:  Court Support Staff Certification Training​
Date:  Tuesday, February 25, 2020 and Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Location:  Michigan Hall of Justice, Lansing, Michigan
​New Online Training for Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem​ in Child Protective Proceedings



 Reports and Publications

The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration report and recommendations and executive summary​ are now available.  Co-chaired by Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilcrist II, the Task Force was charged with recommending policies that expand jail alternatives; safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay; support crime victims; and improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
Three new resources have been created or updated to assist trial courts with transfers to a problem-solving court.  The resources include information about transfers of supervision, transfers of jurisdiction, problem-solving court fees and priority of payment, and frequently asked questions about transfers of supervision.  All resources can be found under the “Transfers” section of the Problem-Solving Courts Training and Resources page.​

The adult drug court, adult mental health court, and veterans treatment court Standards, Best Practices, and Promising Practices manuals have been updated. Updates include a new chapter about “Equity and Inclusion,” revised confidentiality laws, changes in terminology, and removing repetitive sections.​

The Manual for Court Reporters and Recorders has been updated​
​The purpose of the Friend of the Court Domestic Violence Resource Guide​ is to provide practical information to friend of the court employees about screening, detecting, and responding to domestic violence at various stages in the friend of the court process.
MCL 552.519(3)(d) requires the Friend of the Court Bureau to prepare an annual Friend of the Court Grievance Report​ for the Michigan Legislature.  This report summarizes the grievances that were filed with the friend of the court offices in 2018.  Also included as a supplement is a summary of the friend of the court citizen advisory committees' activities in 2018.​
The Friend of the Court Bureau has published a DNR License Lookup Tool​. ​This Excel tool allows friend of the court staff to identify DNR licenses that child support payers have purchased.  Several reports in the child support system show DNR licenses as a three-digit number without identifying the type of DNR license. This tool matches the three-digit numbers with the type of DNR license purchased.​
Chapters 4, 5, and 7​ of the Manual for Court Reporters and Recorders has been updated.
​The 2017 Annual Report​ of the Michigan Foster Care Review Board is now available.

Michigan's adult drug courts, adult mental health courts, and veterans treatment courts are achieving certification!  To assist with this shared goal, the State Court Administrative Office has updated the Standards, Best Practices, and Promising Practices manuals​ for each program type.  The manuals contain the certification requirements, including the model documents that a program can use to ensure that they fully meet the document requirements regarding confidentiality, due process, and the problem-solving court statute.

The SCAO has published a summary​ of its recent ADR Summit at which recommendations were provided for advancing ADR services in the trial courts.​​
Sections 7-05 and 8-03 of the Manual for District Court Probation Officers​ have been updated.
​Component 39 of the Case File Management Standards has been updated to include new case-type code (AU)​ for use in certain adoption-related filings.​​
A guide and information card regarding unaccompanied immigrant children and state courts are available.

MCL 552-519(3)(d) requires the Friend of the Court Bureau to prepare an annual Friend of the Court Grievance Report for the Michigan Legislature​.  The report summarizes the grievances that were filed with the friend of the court offices in 2017.  Also included as a supplement to the grievance report is a summary of the friend of the court citizen advisory committees' activities in 2017.



Forms Revisions


Other Forms Information

Additional Domestic Relations forms have been posted for comment in preparation for the upcoming forms work group meeting.  Comments may still be submitted regarding the Civil and Criminal form proposals as well.  Comments received on proposed agenda items will be posted daily.  Proposed agenda items and comments will remain posted until the relevant committee meeting.

Courts may accept the (6/17) version of DC 102a, DC 102b, DC 102c, and DC 102d until stock is depleted if no demand for jury is being made.​


​"DC 102a, DC 102b, DC 102c, and DC 102d were revised in December 2019 and the translated versions are now available.

DC 102a-d zip file


​Proposed Michigan Court Forms Committee agenda items are published for a 45-day comment period.  Comments received on proposed agenda items will be posted daily.  Proposed agenda items and comments will remain posted until the relevant committee meeting is held.


Family / Probate

​SCAO has developed this memorandum​ to help FOC offices follow proper procedures for inactivating and closing FOC cases.  The memo also lists considerations the FOC may want to review to determine whether inactivation or closure is appropriate.
The FOCB will e-mail the 2019 SCAO 41 reports​ with MiCSES data to FOC directors in mid-January 2020.  FOC offices will be responsible for completing the non-MiCSES items of the 2019 SCAO 41 report and returning those reports to the FOCB by March 2, 2020.



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Civil Jury Instructions - Proposals Published for Comment


Civil Jury Instructions - Amendments Adopted within the Past 60 Days

  • Burden of Proof Compilation as Adopted

    Effective Date: 1/23/2020

    Description: MCIVJI 16.02; 16.02A; 16.04; 16.05; 16.06; 25.12; 25.22; 25.32; 30.03; 30.30; 35.02; 35.04; 36.05; 36.06; 36.15; 38.20; 75.11; 75.12; 80.02; 100.02; 101.04; 101.05; 101.06; 105.04; 105.04A; 105.12; 105.14; 105.32; 106.07A; 106.07C; 106.07D; 106.07E; 106.29; 106.29A; 106.35; 106.36; 107.15; 108.06; 108.06A; 108.09; 110.10; 110.11; 110.12; 110.13; 112.10; 113.07; 113.09; 114.02; 114.04; 114.06; 115.20; 115.21; 116.20; 116.21; 117.02; 117.21; 118.05; 119.01; 125.01; 126.01; 128.01; 128.02; 128.03; 128.04; 130.01; 140.42; 140.45; 140.53; 142.01; 170.44; 170.51; 173.02; 176.02; 179.10; 179.20;

  • MCJI 143 Sales Representatives’ and Commissions Act as Adopted

    Effective Date: 1/23/2020

    Description: [NEW] MCIVJI 143.01 Commission-Defined; [NEW] 143.02 Principal-Defined; 143.03 Sales Representative-Defined; 143.10 Payment of Commissions Due at the Time of Contract Termination; 143.11 Payment of Commissions That Become Due After Contract Termination; 143.12 When Commissions Become Due; 143.20 Failure to Pay Commissions Due at Time of Termination; 143.21 Failure to Pay Commissions Due After Termination; 143.22 Actual Damages/Intentional Failure to Pay Commissions When Due

  • MCJI 97.43A--Religious Basis for Refusing Medical Treatment as Adopted

    Effective Date: 1/23/2020

    Description: [NEW] M Civ JI 97.43A Legitimate Practice of Religious Beliefs

Criminal / Traffic

MCR 6.101 was adopted effective January 1, 2020, to eliminate the requirement to swear under oath before the court​​ and instead requires the complaint to be signed and verified under MCR 1.109(D)(3).  Courts may need to modify their procedures accordingly.
Modifications have been made to the reporting instructions and SCAO 24 for Summary of Drug and Drunk Driving Report​.  Reports are due by March 31.


Criminal Jury Instructions - Proposals Published for Comment


Criminal Jury Instructions - Amendments Adopted within the Past 60 Days

  • MCrimJI 35.11 as adopted

    Effective Date: 3/1/2020

    Description: [NEW] M Crim JI 35.11 Sale, Purchase, Installation, Transfer, or Possession of Automated Sales Suppression Deivce or Zapper, Phantom-Ware, or Skimming Device



Court Rules  

Adopted Proposals, Adopted Admin Orders, or Appointments

  • Description:

    Issued: 1/22/2020

    Effective: Immediately

  • Description: explicitly allows the use of cell phones and electronic devices in a courthouse and prohibits certain uses

    Issued: 1/8/2020

    Effective: 5/1/20

  • Description: requires the filer to identify nonpublic documents when they are submitted to the clerk, and stipulates that the filer waives any claim of confidentiality where such documents are filed without a designation of confidentiality

    Issued: 12/27/2019

    Effective: 1/1/20


Proposed Rules or Amendments

  • Description: would require counsel to be appointed to an indigent prisoner when an application for leave to appeal a grant of parole is filed by the prosecutor or victim

    Issued: 12/27/2019

    Comment Period Expiration: 4/1/2020

    Public Hearing:

  • Description: continues the process for design and implementation of the statewide electronic-filing system

    Issued: 12/18/2019

    Comment Period Expiration: 4/1/2020

    Public Hearing: