Pro Per: A person who represents himself/herself rather
than hiring an attorney is a “Pro Per” litigant
Standards of conduct: Persons acting on their own behalf
are held to the same standards and duties as an attorney admitted to the
practice of law in the State of Michigan. Such persons are expected to know
what the law requires and how to accomplish his or her purposed in
accordance with the applicable statues and court rules.
Judges and their staff cannot
provide legal advice. Most court employees are not lawyers so should not be
asked to provide legal advice. Employees of the court are only allowed to
provide procedural information. Litigants may refer to the Michigan Court
Rules and Michigan laws when seeking legal guidance.
Dispute Resolution Center: This is a non-profit
program that provides private and confidential mediation services on
a non-discriminatory basis to all citizens regardless of race, color,
gender, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, sexual orientation,
marital status, parental status, political affiliation, disability, or
ability to pay. The Dispute
Resolution Center assists individuals, groups, and businesses to
work out their disagreements outside of the
Self-Help Information Available: The court has free
self-help packets available for some types of proceedings. Contact the
individual court for assistance.
Attendance at Court Proceedings: Arrive at the assigned
judge’s courtroom or referee’s hearing room on the scheduled day and time
of your court proceeding. Arrive early to allow time for courthouse security measures.
Be prepared to spend most of the morning or afternoon in court. Your case
may be heard immediately or you may have to wait for other cases to be
When you arrive, check in with the
court recording clerk in the courtroom. The court recording clerk sits at
the desk next to the judge/referee in the courtroom.
What to Bring to the Court Proceeding:
All copies of your documents pertaining to the scheduled court
Paper for your notes.
Pen or Pencil.
If you are presenting a motion, bring the corresponding proposed
order to present to the judge if your motion is granted.
If your Motion is Granted: If you have a proposed order
prepared, pursuant to
MCR 2.602, tell the judge you have a proposed order to be signed then
ask permission to hand the order to the judge. If the judge signs the
order, take it to the main Court
Services' office and ask for a true copy of the order. Then serve a
copy of the order on each attorney/party of record.
If you do not have an order
prepared, you will need to prepare a proposed order, pursuant to
MCR 2.602, based on the judge’s ruling. Provide an extra copy of the
proposed order and a self-addressed envelope so the clerk can return a true
copy to you after the judge signs the order. After you receive the true
copy, make a copy of the order and serve it on the attorneys/parties of
If your Motion is Taken Under Advisement: The judge states
the need to review the motion on record and will either adjourn the motion
to another date or advise the parties in writing once s/he has considered
If your Motion is Denied: The judge will state the reasons
for denial on the record. The judge will probably direct the opposing
attorney/party to prepare a proposed order. If you want the reasons for
denial in writing, you will need to order a transcript of the hearing, and
you will have to pay for the transcript. See the Transcripts
page for instructions on ordering transcripts.