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Trial Court Policies and Procedures


The State Court Administrative Office provides management assistance and direction to the trial courts on the administration of the courts' business.  Some of this advice and direction is distributed by way of: (1) policy and procedural manuals produced for specific positions within the courts; (2) policy and procedure directives issued by the State Court Administrator as Administrative Memoranda; and (3) procedures, guidelines, and standards developed and implemented for various areas of court operations.


Administrative Memoranda

The State Court Administrative Office issues policy and procedure directives as necessary where there is no such direction in statute or court rule. The following index lists the Administrative Memoranda issued by the State Court Administrator since 1997.

Local Administrative Orders

A trial court may issue a local administrative order governing only internal court management.  Information about required and recommended local administrative orders can be found here, including model local administrative orders for some areas of court management.  These models can be downloaded from this site in Rich Text format.
The State Court Administrative Office publishes many procedural manuals pertaining to various aspects of trial court operations.  Trial Court Services maintains manuals for court reporters and recorders and district court probation officers as well as manuals for developing and implementing problem-solving courts.  The Michigan Judicial Institute publishes benchbooks and monographs.  The Office of Dispute Resolution maintains guides to ADR practices and procedures.  Child Welfare Services also provides resources on various procedures.

Standards and Guidelines

The State Court Administrative Office is mandated by Michigan Supreme Court orders and court rules to establish and enforce various standards.  In addition, the office develops guidelines and best practices to assist the courts with various aspects trial court operations, from both the administrative and judicial aspects.