FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Is my child entitled to an attorney?
Yes, Either the court will appoint an attorney to represent the child or you may obtain an attorney of your choosing.
2. How do I get a court-appointed attorney?
All delinquency case on the formal docket are automatically assigned an attorney. If you are in need of an attorney who speaks Spanish, please tell us when you make the contact.
3. How much will it cost?
Please refer to the fee schedule page.
4. What if I cannot afford a court-appointed attorney?
You may qualify for a reduced rate once the court has been able to verify your
income. An attorney will still be appointed to represent your child.
5. Do I have to pay all at once?
No, you can make arrangements with the court staff to establish a payment plan. The reimbursement specialist will work with you to create such a plan. It is important that once the plan is established, you make regular payments as agreed.
6. What if I disagree with the charges or if my financial situation changes?
You may ask for a review hearing before a Referee who will review all of the information presented and make a determination. If you do not agree with that determination, you may ask for a haring before the Judge assigned to the case.
7. What other services can I be billed for?
There are many services you can be billed for which are related to your child. These can include out-of-home placements costs; counseling services; clothing allowances; and medication, among other things. Basically costs associated with the court’s decisions regarding your child’s care and maintenance are billable.
8. What is an out-of home placement?
This occurs when the court determines that the child must be removed from his or her present home. The child may be required to stay in Muskegon’s juvenile detention facility, may be placed in a foster home, or may be sent to a residential placement facility such as Boys town.
9. What is a clothing allowance and how much does it cost?
A clothing allowance is given when a child is placed and is in need of clothing. You will be billed the actual cost of the clothing purchased.
10. What medical attention or medication costs will I be responsible for?
Any medication or medical costs incurred by the court during your child’s placement.
11. Are both parent responsible for these bills?
12. But I’m divorced. Will my ex-spouse also receive a bill?
Yes, regardless of the divorce both parents remain legally responsible for the costs incurred This is true regardless of who has physical custody of the child. Each parent will be billed for 50% of the cost.
13. But what if I’m paying child support? Do I still get billed?
Yes you will still be billed for no more than 50% of the costs. However if your child is placed out of the home long term, you child support payments can be redirected to the court to cover the costs of your child’s placement. In that case you should contact the court at 231-724-6494.
14. I am a single parent. Do I have to pay all of the costs?
No, the maximum you will be billed is 50%
15. What if I need an interpreter?
Notify the court, in writing, as soon as possible; you should also specify which language you will need help with. The court will arrange to have an interpreter present for hearings at no cost to you.
16. What if I have questions regarding my billing?
Contact the court at 231-724-6494.
General Information | Juvenile Delinquency Processes
Frequently Asked Questions | Fee Schedule