Those who are representing themselves in court without an attorney should be aware of the importance of understanding the Michigan Rules of Court. A print version of the court rules is available at the law library in addition to the multivolume set of annotated reference books, Michigan Court Rules Practice (Published by West).
What are the Michigan Court Rules?
From the Michigan Courts website: “The Michigan Rules of Court are the rules adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court to govern Michigan's legal system and the judges, lawyers, and other professionals who are charged with preserving the integrity of that system. The purpose of the Court Rules is to establish uniform rules and procedures for all levels of Michigan's court system. These regulations ensure that cases are resolved without undue delay and that those who appear in court receive due process and equal treatment under the law.”
How are the court rules arranged?
There are nine chapters of the court rules, each chapter dealing with a particular category (civil procedure, district court, criminal procedure, appellate rule, e.g.). In addition to the rules of court, the Michigan Rules of Evidence, Local Court Rules, Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, Administrative Orders, Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct are also included. The nine chapters are:
- Chapter 1: General Provisions
- Chapter 2: Civil Procedure
- Chapter 3: Special Proceedings and Actions
- Chapter 4: District Court
- Chapter 5: Probate Court
- Chapter 6: Criminal Procedure
- Chapter 7: Appellate Rules
- Chapter 8: Administrative Rules of Court
- Chapter 9: Professional Disciplinary Proceedings
Here is a list of frequently asked about court rules:
- Disqualification of Judge (criteria required): 2.003
- Process, Who May Serve: 2.103
- Motions: 2.119
- Motion for Change of Venue: 2.221
- Subpoenas: 2.506
- Judgments and Orders, Post-judgment Proceedings: 2.600
- Motion Setting Aside a Default Judgment: 2.603(d)
- Debtor-Creditor (Garnishment Rules): 3.100
- Post-Judgment Objections to a Writ of Garnishment: 3.101(5)
- Small Claims Court Rules: 4.300
- Change of Name: 5.781
- Right to Speedy Trial (“180-Day Rule”): 6.004(a-d)
- Right to Legal Assistance: 6.505
Are there court rules that must be followed when a case has been filed in Federal Court?
Yes. Federal Court Rules differ from those used at the state court level. Like the Michigan Rules of Court, federal rules are arranged into categories such as civil procedure, criminal procedure, and evidence.
What are local court rules?
Local Court Rules are those rules that must be followed and applied in accordance with a specific court. Certain courts may require parties to adhere to certain rules that are not imposed upon parties whose cases are heard in other county court systems. Both the 8th District and 9th Circuit Courts have rescinded their local rules.
This information is not intended to substitute for legal advice or representation. Talk with an attorney if you have any questions about how this information applies to your own situation.