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Circuit Court Family: Essential Functions

Administrative Order No 2020-2, which was rescinded by Administrative Order No. 2020-19(1) on June 26, 2020, outlined essential functions for each trial court. Although AO 2020-2 was rescinded, “courts shall continue to process those cases listed as essential functions in addition to other cases as courts return to full capacity under the terms of Administrative Order No. 2020-14. Accordingly, the following topics were identified as essential functions in AO 2020-2:

Child protective proceedings. Courts must conduct hearings required within 24 hours of taking a child into protective custody pursuant to MCR 3.965 and MCR 3.974. Courts must also conduct permanency planning hearings that are required pursuant to MCL 712A.19a.

Domestic relations. Courts must review and determine requests for ex parte relief in domestic relations proceedings necessary for the safety and well-being of a litigant and/or children under MCR 3.207.

Friend of the court proceedings/tasks. Courts must conduct friend of the court arraignments on bench warrants pursuant to MCR 3.221(B). An arrested individual must be promptly arraigned if the underlying contempt hearing cannot be held within 48 hours. In addition, friend of the court offices should set priorities to continue (1) making staff available to record child support orders in MiCSES as long as there are unrecorded orders so the SDU can send out child support payments; (2) to the extent it is safely possible, continue making staff available to implement income withholding notices so payments can be deducted and paid automatically; if it is not safely possible to make staff available for this purpose, most income withholding notices should be issued automatically when there is a New Hire Directory match; (3) to the extent it is safely possible, continue making staff available to implement national medical support notices to allow health care coverage to be implemented as quickly as possible.

Juvenile proceedings. Courts must conduct (1) hearings required within 24 hours of a juvenile’s apprehension or detention pursuant to MCR 3.935 and MCR 3.944; (2) arraignments for in-custody designated and adult court waiver proceedings pursuant to MCR 3.951 and MCR 3.950. Subject to the information about adjournments in Administrative Order No. 2020-6 and jury trials in Administrative Order No. 2020-10, all other delinquency matters, including trials, must be conducted remotely using two-way interactive video technology or other remote participation tools. Courts must allow the use of video technology in matters involving forensic evaluations for competence to stand trial, competence to waive Miranda rights, and criminal responsibility.

Personal protection orders (PPOs). The court must conduct limited proceedings regarding PPOs, consisting of review and determination of requests for PPOs under MCL 600.2950 and MCL 600.2950a, review and determination of emergency request to extend PPOs pursuant to MCR 3.707(B), and initial hearing for in-custody respondent arrested for alleged violation of PPO to address bond under MCL 764.15b.

Safe delivery of newborn child proceedings. Courts must conduct safe delivery of newborn child proceedings under MCL 712.1 et seq.

Unemancipated minor abortions. Courts must conduct waiver for parental consent (PW) proceedings under the Parental Rights Restoration Act, MCL 722.901, et seq.

The court may hear other emergency motions at its discretion.


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