Welcome to Newaygo County Circuit Court
Due to the high level of COVID-19 cases and transmission in our community we ask that visitors wear masks while in the courthouse. Staff members will also be wearing masks and will be ready to assist you with your court business.
You will find the most recent information regarding the Circuit Court’s response to COVID-19 and appearing remotely via Zoom for your court hearing. Also, you can find Circuit Court dockets as well as public case searches.
If you do not know where to start also see the following useful websites for court forms, payment options, and guidance. If you do not see what you need, please contact the Circuit Court at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you!
Circuit Courts – At A Glance
The Circuit Court is referred to as the “trial court of general jurisdiction” in Michigan because of its very broad powers. Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all actions except those given by state law to another court. Generally speaking, Circuit Court has original jurisdiction in all civil cases involving more than $25,000; in all criminal cases where the offense involves a felony or certain serious misdemeanors; and in all family cases and domestic relations cases such as divorce, paternity actions, juvenile proceedings, and adoptions.
The State of Michigan is divided into judicial circuits along county lines. The number of judges in a circuit reflects the volume of business in the court. If there is more than one county in a circuit, such as ours, judges travel from one county seat to another to hold court sessions. Our judges conduct court in both Newaygo County as well as Oceana County.
The Circuit Court also hears cases appealed from lower courts and from some administrative agencies of state government. In addition, the Circuit Court has superintending control over other courts within the circuit, subject to final superintending powers of the Supreme Court.
Circuit Court Divisions and Case Types
The Circuit Court is made up of three main divisions: Criminal, Civil, and Family.
The Circuit Court handles felony criminal matters. A felony is a category of criminal offenses punishable by more than one year in prison. Felonies involving persons under 17 are usually handled as delinquency cases in the Family Division of the Circuit Court where the minor resides (Juvenile Division link). For felonies involving persons over 17 the District or Municipal Court where the offense occurred typically handles the initial stages of arraignment on the complaint and the preliminary examination. If the District Court finds sufficient evidence, the case is bound over (transferred) to Circuit Court. The Circuit Court then typically handles the case after bind over including the arraignment on the information, pretrial, trial, plea, and sentencing.
Civil Cases are lawsuits between two or more parties seeking money damages of over $25,000.00, injunctions, or equitable relief. Claims of $25,000.00 or less are handled as a civil case in District Court. Municipal Courts can only handle claims up to $1,500.00. Venue may be proper in more than one court location. Typically, a case may be filed where the defendant resides, has a place of business, conducts business, or has a registered office. Sometimes the case may also be filed where the action arose.
Family Division Cases
The Family Division, a division of Circuit Court, has exclusive jurisdiction over all family matters such as divorce, custody, parenting time, support, paternity, adoptions, name changes, juvenile proceedings, emancipation of minors, parental consent, and personal protection proceedings. The Family Division is divided into two other divisions: Domestic Relations (Friend of the Court link) and Juvenile (Juvenile link). The Family Division also has ancillary jurisdiction over cases involving guardianships and conservatorships and proceedings involving the mentally ill or developmentally disabled.