9th Judicial Circuit Court

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Vision and Mission Statements of the Kalamazoo County Courts

Core Values:

Just
User-Friendly
Service
Timely
Integrity
Collaborative
Effective

Mission of the Courts of Kalamazoo County

Uphold the law and provide justice for all.

Vision for the Future

As a leading and innovative court system, our vision is to:
.....Enhance public trust, respect, and safety.
.....Resolve legal matters in a fair and timely manner.
.....Promote the success of individuals, families, and youth.
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Circuit Court Jurisdiction

The Michigan Constitution vests the judicial power of the State in one court of justice which includes one Supreme Court, one Court of Appeals and one trial court of general jurisdiction known as the Circuit Court.

The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction in Kalamazoo County. The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court has county-wide jurisdiction for:

  • criminal felony cases with a potential sentence of one or more years of incarceration
  • domestic relations matters
  • juvenile matters pertaining to delinquency or criminal activity
  • child protective proceedings
  • adoptions
  • name changes
  • emancipations
  • general civil actions involving claims of $25,000 or more
  • county wide appeals from District Court and administrative agencies of state government and local government boards.

In 1996, the Legislature created the Family Division of Circuit Court by transferring to Circuit Court jurisdiction over many cases previously handled by the Probate Court and required Circuit Court and Probate Court to develop a plan for the Family Division.  MCL 600.1001 et seq. The legislation contemplated that some probate judges would serve in the Family Division.  There are five elected Circuit Judges in Kalamazoo County.  One elected probate judge and on elected district judge also serve in the Circuit Court Family Division.

The Circuit Court consists of a Family Division and a Trial Division (civil and criminal divisions), supported by Technology Services, Finance Services, Problem Solving Courts, Friend of the Court and Juvenile Home.

The Chief Judge is responsible for the administration of the Circuit Court. The Court Administrator, appointed by the Chief Judge, is responsible for all administrative and non-judicial operations of the court.

The County Clerk is the clerk of the Circuit Court. The County Clerk is one of the elected county officers provided by the Constitution. The Circuit Court monitors and maintains court records under a cooperative agreement with the County Clerk/Register. The Chief Court Clerk and their staff are deputy county clerks and are responsible for all official records at the Circuit Court.

Both the Friend of the Court and the Juvenile Home are administrative units of the Circuit Court under the Family Division Plan adopted by the Kalamazoo County Probate Court and the 9th Circuit Court. The Friend of the Court and the Juvenile Home are also Circuit Court operations. The Friend of the Court was created by the Legislature as part of the Circuit Court.  MCL 552.501 et seq.  The Friend of the Court is an employee of the Circuit Court, supervised by the Chief Judge.  MCL 552.503.  

The Juvenile Home is authorized by statute.  MCL 712A.16.  The Juvenile Home in Kalamazoo County is operated by the Circuit Court pursuant to a longstanding arrangement with the County Board.  See MCL 712A.16(6). 

The court has many responsibilities and programs that are not described within the summary.  The Chief Judge, Court Administrator and court staff welcomes inquiries about any aspect of the court's responsibilities and operations.  It is the mission of the 9th Circuit Court "to be a leader among Michigan courts in the provision of justice, innovative financial efficiency, service to people and protection of the public's safety."

Disclaimer

This website was created by the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court as a public service. All information on this site is intended to be accurate, complete and timely; however, neither the Court nor Kalamazoo County warrants the accuracy of the information contained herein nor are they responsible for any errors or omissions and they assume no liability for its use. While the information on this site may be about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice. This site includes links to other sites on the Internet. The Court and the County do not endorse any linked sites nor do they assume any responsibility for the content or availability of those sites.