Corona Virus Information

Divisions

Family Domestic/FOC Filing Instructions

new Starting Tuesday, March 1, 2022, all Family Domestic Division and Friend of the Court filings, except for Personal Protection Order (PPO) petitions and motions related to PPOs, must be filed in person or via mail. There will be no email filing option. Please read through all of the instructions below, as the filing instructions have changed.

Email Filing System Processing Update

As of Monday, March 12, 2022, all filings submitted through the email filing system have been processed.

The current remote email filing system for domestic cases will be discontinued on March 1, 2022. No further filings will be accepted by the email filing system after February 28, 2022. The Wayne County Clerk’s Office will continue to process the filings submitted via the remote email filing system on or before February 28, 2022. The Court continues to work to develop a new electronic filing system that it intends to implement at a future date.


Parties and attorneys have the option of filing pleadings in-person or via mail as detailed below.

Please ensure you have read, understood and followed all instructions on this page before proceeding with your filing.

These instructions are not meant to be a substitute for parties and/or attorneys ensuring their filings are in compliance with all local, state, federal Court rules and statutes or other laws.

Personal Identifying Information

Per Michigan Court Rule 1.109(D)(9)(a), the following personal identifying information is protected and shall not be included in any public document or attachment filed with the court - (i) date of birth, (ii) social security number or national identification number, (iii) driver's license number or state-issued personal identification card number, (iv) passport number, and (iv) financial account numbers. If personal identifying information is required, it shall be included on the MC 97 Protected Personal Identifying Information for defendants, respondents, and decedents or the MC 97a Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information for all others.

Personal Protection Order Filings

If you are filing a Petition for a Personal Protection Order, please follow the instructions here.

In-Person Filing Hours

  • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm to 4:00 p.m.
  • Parties and/or attorneys must be in line no later than 3:30 p.m. in order to obtain service that day.

In-Person Filing Safety Requirements

  • All parties and/or attorneys visiting CAYMC for any purpose must answer health screening questions prior to entry to CAYMC.
  • In addition, all parties and/or attorneys must wear masks upon entry to and throughout their time at CAYMC. This includes while conducting court business.

Fee Waivers

  • Fee waivers shall be submitted to the physical Courtroom of the Chief Judge, 701 CAYMC, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Fee waivers need to be submitted and completed prior to going to 700A to file.
  • IF YOUR FEE WAIVER REQUEST IS DENIED: You have 14 days from the issue date to pay the filing fees or request a review. To request a review, fill out a Request for Review of Denied Fee Waiver and file it with the Clerk’s Office.

Filing Fees

  • Fees for in-person filings can be paid at the time of filing. Fees may be paid via credit card, cash, money order or an attorney check with the attorney’s P-Number on the check.
  • If mailing in a filing, the payment must be included and be a money order or an attorney check with the attorney’s P-Number on the check.
  • Information regarding the amount of filing fees can be found here.

Where to File In Person

  • All filers should report to room 700A to receive a number.
  • Once your number is called, you will be directed to room 201 to file your documents.
  • It is important that all documents are complete at the time of submission.

In-Person Filing of Pleadings Already Submitted by Email

  • Filings submitted using the email filing system prior to March 1, 2022, are currently in the filing queue and will be processed in the order they were received.
  • Parties or attorneys may re-submit these documents in person on or after March 1, 2022.
  • To ensure efficient filing of documents and to avoid paying additional fees, individuals seeking to re-submit the documents must:
    • bring a printed copy of the email containing the assigned filing number, and
    • bring a copy of the original filing payment receipt to the County Clerk’s Office at the time of in-person filing.
  • Failure to abide by this requirement will result in the additional payment of any required filing/motion fees.

Emergency Filings

  • Emergency filings MUST be marked as Emergency on the first page of the filing.
  • Emergency filings MUST have the Emergency Filing Fee Cover Sheet attached.
  • Once the fee is paid or the fee waiver form is approved, file the pleadings with the Clerk’s Office.
  • Once the pleadings have been filed with the Clerk, submit the pleadings via email to the assigned Judge’s Courtroom Email found at 3rdcc.org/zoom/family-division-domestic.
  • If there are problems or deficiencies with the pleadings, you will be contacted by the Courtroom.
  • Upon the Assigned Judge’s review, you will be provided a copy of the Order that is entered.

Motion Hearing Dates/ePraecipe

  • If you need assistance determining if your Motion shall be heard by the Judge or Referee, please review the Domestic Relations Docket Directive.
  • Judge Motions:
    • Once the Motion is filed with the Clerk, you will need to fill out a Family Domestic Praecipe online.
    • Once you have completed the ePraecipe and your ePraecipe has been processed, you will receive a completed copy back with your hearing date on it. Please note that the final hearing date may be different from what you requested on the ePraecipe, due to Court availability.
  • Friend of the Court Referee Motions:
    • Once the Motion is filed with the Clerk, you can either:
      • Fill out the Friend of the Court Praecipe online to receive your hearing date.
        • Once you have completed the ePraecipe and your ePraecipe has been processed, you will receive a completed copy back with your hearing date on it.
        • Please note that the final hearing date may be different from what was you requested on the ePraecipe, due to Court availability.
        • NOTE: For FOC Praecipe, be sure to select the FOC Praecipe checkbox in Step 3 to ensure your motion is properly scheduled.
      • OR you may go in-person to Room 900A CAYMC to obtain a Referee hearing date from the Friend of the Court Scheduling Office.
        • The Scheduling Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Parties must be in line by 3:45 p.m. for same day service.
  • Motion to Set Aside DP (FDFOC 4038) and Motion to Set Aside DS (FDFOC 4021)
    • These Motions must be emailed to the Courtroom of the Presiding Judge JudgeMACox-Court@3rdcc.org after they have been filed with the Clerk's Office.
    • The Presiding Judge's Courtroom will schedule the motion for hearing and you will receive notice of your hearing date.

Judge’s Copies

  • You MUST email the Judge’s Copy of any filing to the Assigned Judge’s email listed on the Family Division-Domestic tab of 3rdcc.org/zoom.

Stipulated Orders

  • All Stipulated Orders shall be submitted to the Assigned Judge's general e-mail address, which can be found at 3rdcc.org/zoom, for review.

Waiver of Parental Consent

  • If you have a case for a waiver of parental consent, please send an email to Presiding Judge Melissa A. Cox at JudgeMACox-Court@3rdcc.org with the initials of the Petitioner and the Petitioner’s date of birth. Someone from the Court will contact you back within 24 hours of receipt of the email.

Filing Objection to Referee Recommendation

Objections to a Referee Recommendation and Order must be filed with the Assigned Judge’s courtroom.

For parties without an attorney filing an objection to Referee Recommendation:

  • Complete the Objection to Referee Recommendation form.
  • Serve/mail a copy of the objections form to the other party and their attorney, if any.
  • Complete the Certificate of Delivery/Mailing section under the party’s signature on the Objection to Referee Recommendation form.
  • Email the completed Objection, along with a copy of the original Motion and Referee Recommendation and Order to the Assigned Judge’s courtroom email box found at 3rdcc.org/zoom/family-division-domestic.
  • The Court will notify all parties of the date and time of the judicial hearing.

For attorneys filing objections to a Referee Recommendation:

  • The attorney is to follow the same instructions above. The only change is that the attorney shall contact the Assigned Judge’s courtroom for a hearing date prior to filing the Objections.
  • The attorney must serve a copy of the objection and notice of hearing on the other party and their attorney, if any, and file a proof of service with the Court.

Email is the preferred method for filing; however, parties and attorneys can also mail the Objections directly to the Courtroom.

All hearings will be conducted via Zoom.

Filing Objection to Case Establishment Referee Recommended Judgment

Objections to a Referee Recommended Order of Filiation, Judgment of Support or UIFSA Judgment must be sent to the FOC for filing and scheduling. The objection may be sent to the FOC by email to PendingEstablishment@3rdcc.org, fax to (313) 237-9303, or mail to Wayne County FOC, 11th Floor Case Establishment Department, 645 Griswold St., Detroit, MI 48226. The FOC will schedule the objection for hearing before the Presiding Judge and mail notices to the parties. All hearings will be conducted via Zoom.

Filing Objection to Friend of the Court Child Support Recommendation

Objections to a Friend of the Court Child Support Recommendation must be filed with the County Clerk’s Office and a copy sent to the FOC for scheduling. Objections may be filed in person or mailed to Wayne County Clerk, 201 CAYMC, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226. A copy of the objection may be sent to the FOC for scheduling by email at Investigation@3rdcc.org, fax to (313) 237-9276, or mail to Wayne County FOC, P.O. Box 829, Detroit, MI 48231. The FOC will schedule the objection for hearing before the assigned referee and mail notices to the parties. All hearings will be conducted via Zoom.

Friend of the Court Copies of Filings

If you are filing pleadings with the clerk, and a copy of the pleadings needs to be filed with the Friend of the Court, please submit those to the Clerk at the time of filing. The FOCcopies@3rdcc.org is no longer in service for use.

Mailing of Filings

Parties and attorneys may continue to mail filings to the Wayne County Clerk by addressing them to Wayne County Clerk, Room 201, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Two Woodward Avenue, 48226.

If you are filing a motion by mail, whether to be heard by the Judge or by the Friend of the Court Referee, you will need to monitor the case on https://www.3rdcc.org/odyssey-public-access-(opa) to determine when the Motion has been filed with the Clerk's Office.

Once the Motion appears in the Register of Actions, follow the instructions above under Motion Hearing Dates/ePraecipe (link to that section), to obtain a hearing date.

Self-Help Center

  • Self-represented parties who need assistance can visit the Third Circuit Court’s Self-Help Center (SHC) located on the 19th floor of CAYMC.
  • The SHC will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • Individuals seeking to use the SHC must be in line no later than 2:00 p.m.; however, this deadline may be moved forward to ensure that all potential users have adequate time to use the navigation tools.
  • Navigators at the SHC cannot provide legal advice.
  • Visitors to the SHC can use the Michigan Legal Help Do-It-Yourself interview tools to prepare legal documents for filing with the Court.

Legal Resources

Below are some resources available for legal help with your filings. The Third Circuit Court cannot guarantee whether all of these resources are in full operation during this time. Their hours and services may be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Detroit Legal Services Virtual Clinic
Click here to schedule a virtual legal consultation with a member of the Detroit Bar Association!  The volunteer attorneys are available to assist with a variety of legal issues.

Lakeshore Legal Aid
lakeshorelegalaid.org
(888) 783-8190

William Booth Legal Aid Clinic
wblac.org
(313) 361-6340

Michigan Legal Help
michiganlegalhelp.org