Mailing Address: 200 Division St, Suite 280, Petoskey, MI 49770
Phone: (231) 348-1764
Fax: (231) 348-0672
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
POLICY REGARDING PUBLIC ACCESS TO COURT HEARINGS DURING BUILDING CLOSURES
April 29, 2020 – Effective immediately and until further notice, public access to court hearings held in the 7th Probate District Court will be provided as follows:
1. Court dockets will be posted to the court’s website as hearings are scheduled.
2. Despite the Emmet County Building/Courthouse being generally closed to the public, members of the public wishing to attend a court hearing open to the public will be permitted to attend the hearing in person in accordance with this policy.
3. A person wishing to attend a hearing shall contact the court at least one hour in advance of the hearing to arrange attendance. Upon arriving at the County Building/Courthouse, the person may enter through the main entrance of the County Building/Courthouse and advise the bailiff or other employee attending the door which court and hearing they would like to attend.
4. Any person entering the Courthouse must comply with applicable screening, social distancing, and other protective measures, including face coverings, ordered by the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, the Executive Orders issued by Governor Whitmer, and the Administrative Orders of the Michigan Supreme Court. All persons arriving at the Courthouse to attend a court hearing will be asked screening questions then-required by the local health department. The required questions currently include the following:
a. Whether the person is experiencing the following symptoms: fever (defined as 100.4 degrees or higher), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or diarrhea.
b. Whether the person has had any close contact in the last 14 days with someone with a diagnosis of COVID-19.
c. Whether the person has engaged in any activity or travel within the last 14 days that fails to comply with current Executive Orders.
d. Whether the person has been directed or told by the local health department or their healthcare provider to self-isolate or self-quarantine.
5. Upon satisfactory completion of the screening requirements, the person will be escorted to the courtroom for the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the person will be escorted from the building.
6. Physical access to court hearings will not be granted to any person who must answer “yes” to any of the screening questions or who does not otherwise satisfactorily complete the screening requirements. Access may also be denied to ensure compliance with social distancing or other public health requirements, or as determined by the judge. A person who is denied physical access for these reasons, or any person unable to attend in person for other good cause, may request remote access by other means by contacting the court at least one hour in advance.
7. Whether observed in person or remotely, court hearings may not be recorded or distributed in any manner without the express permission of the judge presiding over the hearing. Recording, re-broadcasting, and/or distributing a recording of a hearing, in any manner, without the permission of the court is an act of contempt punishable by up to 93 days of incarceration and/or a $7,500 fine.
8. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the authority of the judge to control his or her courtroom, or of the court to close court proceedings to the public where required by statute or court rule or in accordance with MCR 8.116.
Signed: Hon. Valerie K. Snyder, Chief Judge, 7th Probate District Court
7th Probate District Court Judge
Honorable Valerie K. Snyder
Judge Snyder took the bench in the 7th Probate District Court on July 19, 2017 after being appointed by Governor Rick Snyder following the retirement of Judge Frederick R. Mulhauser. The Probate and Family Court handles wills, administers estates and trusts, appoints guardians and conservators, and orders treatment for mentally ill and developmentally-disabled persons. The court also handles juvenile delinquency matters, child protective proceedings, and other family-related matters. There are 78 probate courts in Michigan with probate judges elected for six-year terms.
PROBATE COURT STAFF
PROBATE COURT DOCKET
Please check out these other resources for more information
• GUIDE TO MEDICAL AND LEGAL DECISIONS (pdf)
• PROBATE COURT FORMS APPROVED BY STATE OF MICHIGAN
• STATE COURT ADMINISTRATION OFFICE (SCAO) APPROVED COURT FORMS
• MORE RESOURCES AT MICHIGAN COURTS WEBSITE