9th Judicial Circuit Court
The Court has the authority to order defendants, parents and minors to reimburse the court for any expenses incurred in relation to their case.
Reimbursement may include: court appointed attorneys and drug screens. For minors, it may also include: placement costs, clothing, psychological testing, probation fees, medical, dental and/or optical care, psychiatric evaluations and counseling.
The court may attach wages or other property; or may assess additional penalties for failure to pay as ordered, including fines and jail.
Failure to comply with any payment agreement or court order may cause a defendant, parent/guardian or minor to appear for a contempt of court show cause hearing before a judge.
All individuals have the right to counsel at public expense. However, according to Michigan Court Rule 6.005, if a defendant is able to pay part of the cost of a lawyer, the court may require contribution and may establish a plan for collecting the contribution. Therefore, adult defendants are required to report to Trial Division court finance staff; and parents/guardians in juvenile matters are required to report to the Collection and Reimbursement Supervisor.
Adult Felony Cases:
Collections Office, 227 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo 269-383-8831
After arraignment in District Court, a defendant receiving a court appointed attorney must report immediately to the Circuit Court Finance Office at 227 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo. Circuit Court finance staff will conduct a short interview to assess the defendant's financial ability to pay. If payment of the full amount of attorney fees is possible, the defendant is expected to pay immediately. If full payment of the attorney fee is not possible, a payment plan will be established. If a defendant hires his or her own counsel, the defendant must contact Circuit Court finance staff within 24 hours of the District Court arraignment. Failure to contact Circuit Court finance staff may result in the defendant being charged a fee to be determined by the court.
Juvenile Related Matters:
Supervisor-Collections/Reimbursement, 1536 Gull Road, Kalamazoo 269-385-6051
After the Pre-trial examination, parents/guardians must report to the Collection and Reimbursement Supervisor for a financial assessment. A short interview is conducted to determine the parent/guardian's ability to reimburse the court for services provided. If the interview is not completed, parents/guardians may be charged the full cost of providing the minor's services. These costs may include, but are not limited to: attorney costs, placement costs, probation fees, drug screens and tether/GPS fees.
Collections Process - Trial Division:
- Date of Plea.
- Upon the taking of a plea, the court will inform the defendant that the court will be enforcing MCR 1.110.
- At the conclusion of the plea, the defendant will be handed a purple pay process sheet which indicates: "Pursuant to MCR 1.110, fines, costs and other financial obligations imposed by the court must be paid at the time of assessment, except when the court allows otherwise for good cause. You are hereby notified that if you are sentenced in the Circuit Court and ordered to pay fines, costs, attorney contributions or restitution, you will be expected to pay at least $460.00 of the total amount of these financial obligations on the date of sentencing. Payment may be made at the 4th Floor Clerk's Office, Room 401. The court accepts cash, money orders, and the following credit cards with proper identification: Visa, MasterCard and Discover."
Date of Sentence.
The Circuit Court maintains an aggressive collections policy. MCR 1.110 states: "Fines costs and other financial obligations imposed by the court must be paid at the time of assessment, except when the court allows otherwise for good cause."
All defendants, unless in custody, are to report to the finance personnel, located on the second floor of the Michigan Avenue Courthouse, on the day of sentencing. Finance personnel will determine if the defendant qualifies for a payment plan. The payment plan will identify the dollar amount to be paid and when that payment is due. The defendant will sign a copy of the payment agreement. Payments may be made at the 4th Floor Clerk's Office, Room 401 in the Michigan Avenue Courthouse. The court accepts cash, money orders and the following credit cards with proper identification: Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Late payments shall incur one or more of the following:
- 20% late fee if payment is 56 days past due
- Wage assignment sent to current employers
- Garnishment of state income taxes
- The finance staff may file a motion to show cause with the court.
- Show cause hearings will be scheduled at the same date and time as the Friend of the Court show cause hearings are held.
- The judge may appoint an attorney to represent the defendant at the financial show cause hearing. The attorney to be appointed shall be the same attorney that is appointed to represent individuals at the Friend of the Court show cause hearings.
- If the total amount of the defendant's obligation is paid before the show cause hearing, the show cause hearing may be cancelled.
- If the defendant fails to appear for the scheduled show cause hearing, a bench warrant may be issued.