57th Circuit Court buttonOnline Payments

Mailing Address: 200 Division St, Petoskey, MI 49770
Phone: (231) 348-1748
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      Following a shutdown of nearly two months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Emmet County Building reopened to the public on Tuesday, May 26. Pursuant to Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-02, court proceedings will be limited, allowing up to just 10 people, including staff. The courts will continue to encourage the use of two-way interactive technology for hearings when possible.
      Court dockets and hearing dates/times may be accessed through the record search function.

      In accordance with MSC Administrative Order 2020-02, the following also applies in the 57th Circuit Court:
         1. 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.
         2. Upon satisfactory completion of the screening requirements, the person will be escorted to the appropriate courtroom for the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the person will be escorted from the building.
         3. Physical access to court hearings will not be granted to any person who answers “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.
         4. 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.
         5. Nothing in this Policy shall be construed to limit the authority of the judge to control the 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.
      Hon. Charles W. Johnson
      Chief Judge 57th Circuit Court

  • Circuit Court Judge

    Honorable Charles W. Johnson
    Judge Johnson took the bench in the 57th Circuit Court on January 1, 1995. The Circuit Court is the trial court with the broadest powers in Michigan. In general, the Circuit Court handles all civil cases with claims of more than $25,000 and all felony criminal cases (cases where the accused, if found guilty, could be sent to prison). The family division of Circuit Court handles all cases regarding divorce, paternity, adoptions, personal protection actions, emancipation of minors, treatment and testing of infectious disease, safe delivery of newborns, name changes, juvenile offenses and delinquency, juvenile guardianship, and child abuse and neglect. In addition, the circuit court hears cases appealed from the other trial courts or from administrative agencies. There are 57 Circuit Courts in Michigan. Circuit court judges are elected for six-year terms.

    Circuit Court Administrator
    Email: cfitzgerald@emmetcounty.org
    Phone: (231) 348-1741

    In addition to her administrative duties, Cheryl also serves as the ADA Coordinator and the Collections Manager for Circuit Court. She works with offenders who have payment obligations to ensure timely payment of fines, court costs, restitution, and other financial assessments. Offenders wishing to make payment arrangements to avoid sanctions for nonpayment should contact the Circuit Court.


The following documents are available to download:
    • Petition and Affidavit for Personal Protection Order (domestic)
    • Petition and Affidavit for Personal Protection Order (non-domestic)
    • Petition and Affidavit for Personal Protection Order (non-domestic sexual assault)

Online records search is now available

The State of Michigan provides basic information for public cases and may be viewed online or by mobile device. Please note the online records search function does not work well with the Internet Explorer browser. It is recommended that users switch to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge when accessing the online records search here: https://micourt.courts.michigan.gov/CaseSearch/Court/C57

Friend of the Court

The Friend of the Court office is part of the family division of the Circuit Court and handles domestic relations cases where minor children are involved.

Circuit Court Referee

The Circuit Court Referee rules on motions regarding such issues as parenting time, child support, custody and other related disputes. The Referee works closely with Friend of the Court staff during these hearings. The Circuit Court Referee is Scott Beatty.

Important Information for Counsel and Litigants

The following information is available for counsel and litigants:

More information on Michigan Courts, including different courts of the state, court forms, court rules, and case codes types can be found at the Michigan Courts web site.


The 57th Circuit Court requires counsel and litigants to obtain permission prior to facsimile transmission of documents and cannot accept transmission of documents that exceed 20 pages.

Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us