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Michigan Court Records

Michigan court records are provided to the public in a joint effort between the court system and Library of Michigan. Most of these records are available online, and are all considered public unless they involve a minor or contain identity-sensitive information.

Case decisions and records often include transcripts of testimony, court hearings and written opinions from justices and judges. Exhibits offered in court as evidence and current case disposition are also frequently of interest. Divorce records are commonly requested civil records, as parties involved often have to prove marital status when remarrying or reestablishing their identities.

Court forms and rules available from the Library of Michigan are an invaluable resource for anyone planning to represent themselves in court. Procedures and timelines for common types of cases are outlined by the library in an effort to aid the public in navigating their way through the court system without the aid of an attorney.

Michigan Court Records

History of Michigan Courts

Michigan court records began to be created and maintained with the Supreme Court’s creation in 1805. At the time it was only a territory and not technically a state. Initially, justices were given life terms, but these were reduced to four years in 1823. In 1835, Michigan’s constitution determined that justices would be appointed by the governor and hold seven-year terms. It also stated the court’s original and appellate jurisdiction covered common law and equity cases, quo warranto, habeas corpus, writs of certiorari and circuit court decisions.

The Library of Michigan was created in 1828 by the legislature. At the time, the library was charged with the responsibility to collect and store documents from the government and judicial branches. The library is physically located in Lansing, but offers access to court records online as well.

Michigan Court Statistics

Michigan Courts recieve 3,533,534 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 3,613,654 filings and gave 3,640,418 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 3,357,916 filings and had 3,398,371 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 3,613,654
2013 3,724,326
2014 3,456,288
2015 3,515,486
2016 3,357,916

Michigan Court Records Availability

The Library of Michigan offers access to legal publications, legislative actions, court decisions, law reviews and historical documents. Copies of Michigan statutes and the federal constitution are also located here.

The Michigan court system offers access to criminal and civil court records online when searching by docket number, party name, attorney name or court where original hearing took place. Small claims, divorce records and probate cases can also be found online when searching for Michigan court records.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,737,956 (51.8 %)
Domestic Relations: 114,563 (3.4 %)
Criminal: 897,140 (26.7 %)
Civil: 608,257 (18.1 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,760,510 (51.8 %)
Domestic Relations: 117,435 (3.5 %)
Criminal: 918,213 (27.0 %)
Civil: 602,213 (17.7 %)

Michigan Main Court Information

The Michigan Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort, and is housed in Lansing at the Michigan Hall of Justice. Seven justices serve the court in eight-year terms. This court hears criminal and civil appeals from the Michigan Court of Appeals. Justices meet to determine cases from August through July.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Michigan at year end 2016 has decreased by 2.9% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 117,847 with a rate of 1,192 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 117,847 3,613,654
2013 118,750 3,724,326
2014 116,801 3,456,288
2015 116,732 3,515,486
2016 114,563 3,357,916

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 117,847 116,003 1,192
2013 118,750 117,700 1,200
2014 116,801 118,541 1,179
2015 116,732 118,104 1,176
2016 114,563 117,435 1,154

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Michigan

More Domestic Relations Cases than Michigan:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Michigan:

State: Caseload:
Maryland 111,299
Indiana 97,578
Alabama 82,891
Arizona 79,645
Massachusetts 78,134

Michigan Caseload Statistics

Michigan’s Supreme Court averages almost 2,000 cases per year. In 2007 there were 2,612 filings and 2,625 dispositions. In 2013 there were 1,884 filings and 1,789 dispositions.

Michigan Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Michigan counts 169,202.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2014 873,590 170,231 703,039

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 109,296 cases, it went from 717,553 to 608,257 with clearance rates of 97% and 99%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 717,553 97
2013 667,458 103
2014 626,952 101
2015 622,687 99
2016 608,257 99