49th Circuit Court

49th Circuit Court
Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy
Judge Kimberly L. Booher 
301 W. Upton
Reed City, MI 49677
Phone: (231) 832-3261 Ext. #2
Fax: (231) 832-6149

COVID-19 INFORMATION

MECOSTA-OSCEOLA COURTS
COVID-19 LOCAL PROCEDURES AND POLICIES

Until further notice, and pursuant to Orders of the Michigan Supreme Court, Mecosta and Osceola County Courts are closed to the general public.  That is, no one may personally appear at the courthouse for their court case. However, criminal and civil court cases will continue to the extent possible remotely through Zoom videoconferencing. Essential staffing levels will be maintained to fulfill our core functions and to protect the community. Due to these uncertain times, this information will be updated as possible but may not be current. If you have questions – please call the Court.

For further information regarding statewide closures during the COVID-19 pandemic please see: https://courts.michigan.gov/News-Events/Pages/COVID-19.aspx

49th Circuit Court (Mecosta and Osceola Counties)
Judge Kimberly Booher & Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy

We share with our judicial colleagues in Mecosta County and in Osceola County a strong desire to aggressively and promptly implement measures to protect the health of all involved in our local justice system while never losing sight of our obligations to respect the rights and needs of all involved. 

We will take all reasonable measures to limit face-to-face interactions with those involved in the justice system, including parties and attorneys, to the extent practicable.

We will work diligently to protect and honor the constitutional rights and protections of those participating in 49th Circuit Court matters, particularly those that are lodged in jail or prison. 

To fulfill the court’s obligations to conduct hearings in public (with rare exceptions allowing for closed hearings), the Court will broadcast hearings by connecting its Zoom video-conferencing program with a live-steam YouTube channel and/or making a video copy of a hearing through the Zoom video-conferencing program.  The official court record will continue to made by the Court’s court recorders.  

We will show grace and exercise discretion to extend deadlines and requirements so that to the fullest extent practicable no one is penalized in the court process because of interruptions and difficulties caused by the limitation on access to the courts.  

We will wherever possible avoid receiving hard-copy paperwork in person.  Faxing and emailing scanned documents is encouraged.  On-record determinations of indigence, etc., without using the forms, is encouraged.  Pre-trial forms, waivers of arraignment, etc. can and should be faxed or emailed; parties and attorneys need not appear in person for these matters. 

Criminal Matters
Until further notice, to the extent possible and consistent with MCR 6.006 and a defendant’s constitutional and statutory rights, the following hearings will be held remotely (Zoom video-conferencing or telephone):

  1. For in-custody defendants: pleas, sentencings, arraignments on the information under MCR 6.113 (unless waived), probation violation arraignments under MCR 6.445(B), and emergency motions regarding bond. 
  2. Criminal extradition matters for in-custody defendants pursuant to MCL 780.9.  The issue of bail will be addressed for those eligible defendants as provided in MCL 780.14.

All other criminal matters, including all non-emergency matters where the defendant is not in custody, shall be adjourned unless otherwise agreed by the parties (attorneys) and the Court.

All Criminal jury trials shall be adjourned until further notice. 

General Civil Matters
Until further notice, all civil matters, will be conducted remotely (Zoom video-conferencing or telephone).  This includes but is not limited to:
(1)   General Civil cases
(2)   Divorce cases
(3)   Infectious disease (ID) proceeding under MCL 333.5201 et seq.
(4)   Limited proceedings regarding personal protection orders (PPOs)

Cases that cannot be handled remotely shall be adjourned until further notice.  

Filing Court Documents
All pleadings are to be filed with the Osceola County Clerk’s Office or the Mecosta County Clerk’s Office, as appropriate. Please consult the clerk’s website for additional information regarding filing documents.
Mecosta County Clerk’s Office
            www.mecostacounty.org/clerk.html
Osceola County Clerk’s Office
            http://www.osceola-county.org/residents/county_departments/county_clerk/index.php 

Participating in Court Proceedings
In most cases the Court will provide information regarding participating in a hearing or court proceeding through Zoom video-conferencing to the attorneys or parties prior to the hearing or proceeding. To obtain further information from the court regarding participating in a hearing by Zoom video-conferencing, contact the individuals noted below.

Court Contacts
Terri Pontz—231-592-0780 or tpontz@mecostacounty.org
Mary Koster-231-592-0780 or mkoster@mecostacounty.org 

You may watch a live broadcast of our public court hearings via YouTube. The hearings are live, and will not be available to watch at a later time. No person may record court proceedings without the express written permission of the presiding judge. 

Judge Kimberly Booher - 49th Circuit Court
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC77T0ztp9xEWv2ZDwrRd3xw?

Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy - 49th Circuit Court
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMQZDs6LC1DpFI0HiWILDEQ?

 
49th Circuit Court – Family & Juvenile Division
Judge Tyler Thompson

Until further notice, all hearings will be held via Zoom videoconference in order to achieve social distancing. Every effort will be made to follow Constitutional Due Process guarantees giving due regard for the safety of all litigants, their attorneys as well as witnesses. All in-person civil hearings will be adjourned until further notice. As possible, hearings will continue to be held via Zoom videoconference. Participants will receive detailed Zoom videoconference instructions from the court, their attorney, or another party’s attorney prior to the hearing. 

All documents must be submitted by mail. If you have paperwork to file regarding an emergency hearing, it may be filed by fax or by email. Limited staff will be available to answer telephone calls as available.

        Mecosta:         tel.       231.592.0131
                                fax       231.592.0191
                                email   familyct@mecostacounty.org 
                                mail     400 Elm St., Big Rapids, MI 49307

Osceola:          tel.       231.832.6127
                        fax       231.832.6181
                        email   familyct@osceolacountymi.com  
                        mail     410 West Upton Ave., Reed City, MI 49677

 
Custody, Support, Paternity, and Divorce paperwork is filed with the County Clerk. Please consult the clerk’s website for additional information regarding filing documents related to these types of cases.
Mecosta County Clerk’s Office
            www.mecostacounty.org/clerk.html
Osceola County Clerk’s Office
            http://www.osceola-county.org/residents/county_departments/county_clerk/index.php

You may watch a live broadcast of our public court hearings via YouTube. The hearings are live, and will not be available to watch at a later time. No person may record court proceedings without the express written permission of the presiding judge. 

Judge Tyler Thompson - 18th Probate District & 49th Circuit – Family Division
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_Iyfm626l0-FkukB611Qg?


Osceola County shares the 49th Circuit Court with Mecosta County.  The Circuit Court handles:

  • Felony Criminal Cases
  • Major Civil Cases
  • Domestic Relations (Personal Protection Orders, Divorce filings).

The following link may be used for legal matters by those who are not represented: www.michiganlegalhelp.org