FRIEND OF THE COURT

The Friend of the Court is the collection, enforcement, and investigative arm of the Circuit Court for domestic relations cases. To obtain a domestic relations order, the issue must be brought before the Court through formal legal action. This is accomplished through private attorneys, by action of one of the parties, or sometimes through the prosecuting attorney. The Friend of the Court does not become involved until an action has been filed in court.

Mailing Address: 200 Division Street, Suite G34 ~ Petoskey, MI ~ 49770
Phone:   (231) 348-1717
Email:  [email protected]
Location: The FOC office is located in the Emmet County Building on the ground floor in suite G34. All visitors must enter at the Lake Street entrance and go through security procedures currently in place. Except for specific holidays, the FOC office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including through the lunch hour.

FRIEND OF THE COURT STAFF

  • MARY ELLEN EMERY
    — Deputy Friend of the Court
  • SARAH PURVIS
    — Administrative Assistant

  • KAREN BISHOP
    — Financial Officer
  • KATE MOBLEY
    — Financial Officer

  • BILL DURKALEC
    — Case Investigator
  • SHERI FELS
    — Case Investigator

  • COURTNEY BLUMKE
    — Case Investigator
  • NADINE BAKER
    — Office Assistant


FRIEND OF THE COURT NEWS

    • Amanda Guarisco Appointed as New Friend of the Court
    • FOC Director Maurine Watts Retires After Four Decades Serving Emmet County Families
    • Friend of Court Celebrates 100 Years of Service


Enforcement

Action for enforcement by the Friend of the Court may begin with a complaint from either party or automatically through the Friend of the Court. Child support enforcement actions are initiated automatically by the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System(MiCSES). This begins with a letter or notice that an arrearage has been identified and this outstanding balance requires action. Failure to respond to this request brings further court action.

The enforcement of parenting time is only through written complaint of those involved. This issue can only be addressed to the extent that it is set up through the court order. Arrangements outside of this order, such as written or verbal agreements between the parties are not enforceable through the Friend of the Court. Additionally, the office cannot take action on parent/child issues such as haircuts, curfews, etc.

Caseworkers present matters scheduled for enforcement before a Judge or Referee at an enforcement or “show cause” hearing. The Friend of the Court does not directly represent either party in such a hearing. The caseworker may meet with the parties prior to the hearing to gather information and/or to resolve the non-compliance. The caseworker presents information from the Friend of the Court records and may make a recommendation at the hearing. The Judge or Referee will make the actual decision as to the disposition of the case.

If a party fails to appear for the hearing, a bench warrant will be issued.


ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES

The Emmet County Friend of the Court offers Alternative Dispute Resolution Services (ADR) to assist clients in resolving disputes regarding custody, parenting time, and change of domicile issues. ADR is a voluntary process that allows parties the opportunity to voice concerns and offer resolutions in a neutral setting. All ADR providers have been met SCAO training requirements. This service is offered to qualified clients free of charge. Your case investigator can assist you in scheduling an ADR meeting. If a case does not qualify for ADR Services, third party mediation services are also available.


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