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Items lost / left on aircraft are kept by the airline. Contact your airline directly regarding lost or damaged luggage at:
Items surrendered at the passenger security screening checkpoint are kept by TSA and are not eligible to be reclaimed. For articles left at a TSA security checkpoint, please contact the TSA at 866-289-9673 or the TSA website.
The airport’s lost and found is located in the Airport Administration office adjacent to the passenger terminal building. You may call 231-798-4596 during normal business hours Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance.
Learn about short term and long term parking on our Parking Rates page.
Muskegon is serviced by twice daily flights to and from Chicago O’Hare International Airport by United Airlines. Casino charter flights are operated by Sun Country Airlines and XTRA Airways.
The Held Check Policy, is a Board Policy inside the Finance Policies that states Checks cannot be released without Board Approval unless they meet one of the exceptions listed in the policy.
The Central Accounts Payable office processes invoices for payment once a week with an exception for holidays, and the Held Check Policy in the Financial Policies. In order for an invoice to be included it must first be entered by the department the vendor is contracted with for approval. To confirm if your invoice has been submitted for processing or get the status of an invoice that may be held by the Held Check Policy call the Accounts Payable Office at (231) 724-6115.
For a copy of your 1099-MISC Form contact the Accounts Payable Office by email at email@example.com or phone (231) 724-6214 and a second one can be sent to you.
Yes, both the County of Muskegon and our financial institution are required to keep your banking information confidential.
Yes, you simply no longer need to write a check to make your payment. The payment will be automatically deducted on the due date as indicated on your bill.
Contact us at 231-724-4721 as you normally would with a billing question. You will need to contact us within 10 days of the billing date to allow time to resolve concerns before the payment due date.
Not necessarily. You will need to allow 30 days for your enrollment to be processed. Continue to pay as you normally would until your bill shows that you have been signed up for automatic payment.
You will need to submit a new enrollment form (PDF). Contact us at 231-724-4721 and we will send one to you.
Payments may be returned by a financial institution for insufficient funds, closed accounts or other reasons. If your payment is returned for any reason you will be charged a processing fee. The County reserves the right to discontinue your participation in the program if your payment is rejected.
Cancellations must be received in writing. Simply print a copy of the termination form (PDF) or call us at 231-724-4721 and we will send you one. Your request will become effective 30 days after we receive written notification.
Formal Solicitations are Posted on www.bidnetdirect.com. Registration is required for the Bid Net Direct site. Registration options range from Free with the basic search options to fee base with more advanced features. Business are encouraged to review the options and to select the one that best fits them.
The Procurement thresholds are listed below:
Business that provide goods and services below the Formal Solicitation level are encouraged to contact the Purchasing Office or talk to the County Departments.
You can make payments in the following ways:
Assessment of costs is in addition to incarceration. Jail and prison time is not done in place of paying costs.
Circuit Court files are available to be reviewed on the 6th floor in Circuit Court records.
Assessments made by the court are due until paid in full. They do not go away.
Bankruptcy does not erase court debts.
The only way an Order to Remit Prisoner Funds will be cancelled is to have the case paid in full.
Questions regarding the withholding of funds by the prison(s) must be directed to the prison's financial unit at 517-780-6123 or 517-780-6533.
Restitution is disbursed monthly after the 15th of the month. It is disbursed via check or you can set up direct deposit by calling the restitution clerk at 231-724-6503. Any questions can be directed to our restitution clerk at 231-724-6503.
If you are not receiving public assistance and would like to start a case, you must submit an application for services. You can submit an application online. You can contact the Michigan Office of Child Support at 866-540-0008 if you have questions regarding your application.
If you are receiving public assistance, a case will be automatically started for you. You will receive a letter in mail with further instructions.
When a case is referred for establishment services to the Muskegon County Family Court, you will be contacted by a staff member to discuss how we will proceed with your case. Each case is different, and may require different actions to move forward. Generally, establishment of a case will include attending meetings at the Family Court, signing court documents, and in rare cases, appearing in front of a judge. In order to reduce the amount of visits you will need to make at the Family Court, please bring all documents that Family Court staff ask you to bring.
This may include items like your child's birth certificate, a copy of any prior acknowledgment of paternity, documents related to any marriages or divorces that you have been a party to, a government issued I.D., income information, and information regarding any parenting time arrangements you may have with the other parent.
Once the case is filed, Family Court staff will attempt to contact the other parent by phone. Additionally, an appointment letter will be sent to the other parent. At the appointment, a final order may be signed if both you and the other parent agree on the terms of the order. If an agreement cannot be reached, a hearing may be scheduled before a judge.
If the parent who is receiving public benefits for the child(ren) does not help the Family Court in establishing a case, the Family Court will notify the public assistance benefits worker of the situation. This may result in a reduction or termination of public assistance benefits.
If the other parent to the case does not participate with the Family Court, an order can still be granted and the Friend of the Court will then start to enforce the order.
When paternity has not been determined, DNA testing can be requested by either parent, or by the court. All parties will be notified of the date and time of the appointment to gather DNA samples. The appointment will be at the Family Court, and DNA samples are taken by swabbing the inside of each person's cheek.
DNA results are usually sent back to the Family Court within two weeks. Copies of the results are mailed to each party. If the results show that the man is not the biological father, the case will be dismissed. If a party is ordered to appear for DNA testing and does not, the Court may enter an order compelling that party to appear, or an order establishing paternity by default.
There is a cost for DNA testing, but if completed through a child support case, the cost is significantly lower. Only DNA tests performed by Family Court staff or completed by an approved laboratory will be used to establish paternity. A "home" DNA test cannot be used in court to establish legal paternity.
Child support is determined using the Michigan Child Support formula, which is required by state law. Calculations are based on the net monthly income of both parties and consider factors such as other children in the home. A child support order may include medical support costs, child care costs and if the parties agree, custody and parenting time provisions. You can estimate what your child support order may be online.
Please note that this is an estimate, and your actual order may be different depending on the information provided to the Family Court. The Family Court is required to complete the calculation in order to ensure accuracy.
Michigan law states that if a mother is married at the time her child is conceived or born, her husband is the legal father of the child. If the husband is not the biological father of the child, the parties must file an action with the court to make a determination that the husband is not the legal father. Family Court staff cannot represent any party in this type of action, and will continue to seek support with the legal father as a party until a court determines otherwise.
View the Michigan Legal Help website for more information on the revocation of paternity.
If you and the other parent do not agree on the issues of custody or parenting time, the Family Court's Establishment Division will note represent you in resolving the dispute. You will need to seek a private attorney at that time.
A limited guardianship is a voluntary arrangement by a court order when the parents want someone else to assume parental duties. A parent must consent to a limited guardianship.
The parent agrees to the custody of the child by the guardian and abides by plan drawn up that includes visitation and support. This is a mutually agreeable document that is reviewed annually in a written report the limited guardian files with the court. The guardianship does not exempt the parent from liability. In other words, if the child does something that the parent could be held legally responsible for in terms of money, the guardianship does not allow the parent to avoid that responsibility.
The placement plan explains to the court why the parent wants someone else to provide care for the minor. It also provides for parenting time and financial support for the minor. It further states the length of the guardianship and any other provisions needed for the minor’s care and custody.
A placement plan can only be changed through a court hearing. The parent(s) must be made be aware that parental rights could be terminated for failure to comply with the plan.
The authority of a guardian is more likely to be accepted as a legal caretaker. For instance, a guardian can apply for benefits due to the minor, such as SSI, insurance, etc.
A limited guardian may not consent to adoption, release a minor for adoption, or consent to the marriage of a minor.
Full guardianship provides the minor with stability and more certainty when the parents cannot or are unable to provide that environment.
A guardian has the powers and responsibilities of a parent. The guardian must provide for the minor’s education, social activities, and authorize medical or other professional care and/or treatment for the minor
The guardian must submit an annual report to the court on condition of the minor. It includes but not limited to medical care, mental health treatment, educational status of the child. It should clearly state the reasons to continue the guardianship.
The guardian is not responsible for 3rd party liability (such as a suit for damages incurred by the minor, result of an automobile accident where the minor was at fault, etc.). A parent can be ordered to supply monetary support for the child.
In a limited guardianship the parent and guardian have a mutual agreement regarding visitation, child support; and the parent must sign the petition allowing the guardianship.
Full guardianship does not require the consent of a parent. It most frequently provides the minor with a more stable environment and longer-term relationship.
A full guardianship allows the guardian to give consent to a minor to marry, and with the court’s permission, can consent to the adoption of a minor.
The guardianship may be terminated by the filing of a petition with the court, or the minor becomes 18 years old.
The judge may terminate the guardianship at a review hearing.
If you have questions that are not answered, you should seek the advice of an attorney.
Yes, either the court will appoint an attorney to represent the child or you may obtain an attorney of your choosing.
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.
Please refer to the fee schedule page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Any medication or medical costs incurred by the court during your child’s placement.
Yes, both parents are responsible.
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.
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.
No, the maximum you will be billed is 50%.
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.
Contact the court at 231-724-6494 to ask your questions.
Requests for informal or formal hearings must be received 6 to 14 days from the date the ticket was issued. Failure to make a timely request for a hearing will result in entry of a default judgment against the defendant.To request an informal or formal hearing notify the court by phone, in person, or in writing that you are denying responsibility for your citation and specify if you wish to have an informal or formal hearing. Please notify the court of any dates and time that you will not be available to appear for your hearing. (The court will try to accommodate reasonable requests). Also, inform the court of the address you wish to have your notice to appear sent; if it is different from the address on your citation. A phone number where you can be reached during business hours 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. is appreciated.
You may testify on your own behalf, have witnesses testify on your behalf, and ask questions of the witnesses against you. It is expected that any questions will be concise, courteous, and not argumentative. You should also present any documents or other physical evidence you might have that supports your case. In general, remember that your hearing is your "day in court," so come prepared. Have your defense and questions ready.
You may ask witnesses to come in voluntarily, or if necessary, you may use the subpoena power of the court to obtain their attendance. Subpoena forms may be obtained from the court clerk.
Yes, if you are the party subpoenaing the witness. Check with the court clerk to find out current witness fee amounts.
You may be found:
If the officer does not appear, the case will be dismissed "with prejudice," which means you are not responsible for the offense charged and cannot be charged again in connection with the same incident.
If you fail to appear, the court will enter a default judgment against you. This means the court will automatically find you responsible for the infraction charged, set the fine and costs, and mail you a judgment notice requiring you to pay. If you do not pay the judgment within 28 days, the court will send you a 14-day notice. If you do not pay within 14 days of receiving the notice, your driver’s license will be suspended by the Secretary of State and the court may issue a warrant for your arrest.
Also, if you request an Informal Hearing and fail to appear at the hearing you may be assessed an additional fee.
Points are assessed by the Secretary of State’s office when it receives notice from the court that you committed a moving traffic offense. The magistrate who finds you responsible cannot adjust the number of points assessed against you.
If you are found responsible by the magistrate after an informal hearing, you have the right to appeal for a formal hearing before the district judge. If the judge finds you responsible after a formal hearing, you have the right to appeal again to circuit court.
Within 7 days of the judgment, you must complete an appeal form and file it with the court, together with an appeal bond equal to the fine and costs imposed by the magistrate. You do not have to pay a filing fee for the appeal.
Ask any court employee. He or she will answer your question, or find you someone who can. However, court staff cannot provide you legal advice.
The 60th District Court Probation Department keeps a list of A.A. and N.A. meetings in Muskegon County along with A.A. sign in slips. Or you can log into the Alcoholics Anonymous District 6 website for a list of meetings in Muskegon County.
You can get list of dates, routes, times or rates from the Muskegon Area Transportation System website.
If you are ordered to pay fines, costs or restitution you may be directed to report to the 60th District Court Collections Department to set up a payment plan and you must abide by that payment plan. If you are not ordered to report to the Collections Department you must abide by all the specific orders regarding your financial obligations.
You must report any and all Police contact to your Probation Officer immediately within 24 hours.
You are expected to be on time for your probation appointments. Showing up late or not at all for your probation appointments may be considered a probation violation. You are to check in with the Probation Clerks when reporting for your probation appointments.
You are subject to drug screens or breath tests as the Probation Department directs. You are responsible for any fees assessed for drug screens or breath tests if any.
You must keep the Probation Department informed of your current address, phone and employment. Do not assume the Probation Department is updating the Collections Department records this is your responsibility.
You must get permission from your Probation Officer before you are able to leave the State of Michigan.
Yes, the County has a variety of Economic Development Programs available.
Yes. Browse a list of Private Development Sites in the County.
To purchase a Muskegon County owned property as is, with or without a structure, complete the Commercial / Residential Purchase Application (PDF) and return it to the Muskegon County Economic Development Office. Complete a separate application for each parcel. Please review our Sale of County Real Property Policy before completing this application.
The First Call Network telephone emergency notification system is another tool that the county can use to alert people of an emergency situation. First Call Network makes telephone calls to those affected by the emergency, alerting them to the emergency situation and providing them with appropriate response instructions. The calls are made very quickly (212 per minute). First Call is an emergency notification service, so they have the phone lines and computer equipment. The system is available 24 hours a day, throughout the whole year.
The First Call system can be used for a number of different situations. Here is a list of some of the potential uses:
The messages can be recorded when the call is made to First Call or the message can be prerecorded and referred to when calling First Call for activation. The message will identify what the emergency is and provide you with the appropriate information to protect you. For example the message may request that you shelter-in-place if there is a chemical release. The message will refer you to the television or radio for further information.
The system can only be activated by authorized persons. Central Dispatch has the authority to activate the system. Central Dispatch would act on the commands given by the fire department or the police department.
The message is given twice to make sure the recipient gets the message clearly.
One of the biggest advantages of the First Call system over other systems is its ability to call outward from all directions from a single location. This will assure those most endangered from the incident are called first.
First Call's interactive system can ask for a response from the message recipient. After listening to the delivered message with this type of ending "Did you understand the message or Do you need assistance complying with this emergency notification," the message recipient can indicate their ability to respond by pressing the appropriate digital response. A detailed report will be faxed or emailed to Central Dispatch, which includes all interactive responses, addresses, and phone number of the citizenry requesting assistance.
Use this online form to make sure that your unlisted phone number is included in the First Call Network. This will assure that you will be notified by telephone in the event of an incident in your neighborhood. Submitting this form will ensure that you will be notified by telephone in the event of an incident in your neighborhood.This information will be submitted to Muskegon County Emergency Services. They will make sure that your unlisted number is included in the database. Muskegon County Emergency Services and First Call will use your information only for this purpose and will maintain the security of your information.
The County has contracted directly with First Call Network. The Muskegon Chemical Council has provided the funds to the county to purchase a five-year contract with First Call.
First Call purchases phone numbers and addresses from the phone company or other sources. At this time unlisted numbers would not be in the database. If you provide your unlisted number to Muskegon County Emergency Services, they will make sure that your number is in the First Call system. For further information on the First Call telephone emergency notification system, please contact Muskegon County Emergency Services.
Review the Muskegon County dog licensing locations page.
A delinquent tax is an unpaid tax that has been forwarded to the County Treasurer for collection on March 1 of the year after it was due. For example: taxes that are billed by your city, township, or village treasurer in 2009 and yet unpaid on the last day of February 2010, will be turned over to the County Treasurer as delinquent on March 1, 2010.
Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for Muskegon County positions and pass any required pre-employment tests are placed on an eligible list. The list of eligible candidates is sent to the hiring manager for consideration. Eligible lists remain in effect for 90 days.
All applications for employment with Muskegon County must be submitted online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/muskegon. Although we cannot accept resumes without an online submittal, the Muskegon County Human Resources office has computer work stations available to the public from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. We even have staff to help you through the application process!
97 East Apple Ave., Suite 110
Muskegon, MI 49442
OPAC (Office Proficiency Assessment Certification) testing is the pre-employment testing used by Muskegon County. If a position requires OPAC testing, the topics required will be found in the additional information section of each job announcement. Applicants must pass OPAC testing with a score of 60% or greater to be placed on the eligible list. Applicant's scores are good for one year and can be transferred to multiple recruitments.
Please understand that the hiring process can be lengthy. It is unlikely that you will receive any feedback prior to the expiration date of the job announcement. Most notifications regarding the hiring process are sent via email to each applicant's email address. It is vital that the email you provide is valid and one you check often. In rare cases, notifications may end up in a spam folder. Always check your spam file if you feel you have missed any notifications.
Finally, if you are in doubt regarding the status of your application, give us a call! The Human Resources office can be reached at (231) 724-6442, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Please have the title of the position ready when you call.
Applicants may submit any supporting documents they wish for each job announcement. At the end of the online application process the candidate is given the opportunity to upload a resume, cover letter, college transcripts, military discharge paperwork or any other attachment they feel appropriate for the position.
Unfortunately, all applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM, EST of the published closing date for each announcement. Late submittals will not be accepted.
Muskegon County recognizes the sacrifices made by our military service members and is proud to provide a Veteran's hiring preference for all honorably discharged Veterans of the United States military. Muskegon County will waive minimum college and/or experience requirements associated with individual positions in lieu of comparable military education, training, and service. In addition, all things being equal, Veterans will be offered employment over those without military service.
To receive the Muskegon County Veteran's hiring preference, applicants must submit a DD Form 214 or reserve discharge order. Active National Guard and Reserve soldiers may submit a letter from their unit commander stating the service member's military occupational specialty, end of service date, and verification that the service member is in good standing.
According to the Muskegon County Personnel Rules, minimum qualifications have been established for each position. Applicants are required to meet the minimum qualifications established in order to advance in the recruitment process. Any application that does not meet the minimum qualifications will not be accepted. Candidates that are not qualified will receive an email notifying them of the reason.
Absolutely! Simply visit http://www.co.muskegon.mi.us/humanresources/ and select Job Interest Card. Select any job categories that interest you and click "submit". Fill out the requested information and submit. Whenever a new job announcement from your selected category is published you will receive an email with a link to the online application!
If you cannot understand English and if you need assistance, a friend or a family member who can speak English can help to complete the online form, but you may have to appear in person in court in order to request a disqualification.
Remember that you have the ability to postpone jury service to a more convenient time. Since each court may have different instructions, read your summons carefully or contact your local jury office to find out the right way to request a postponement.
Michigan law (MCL 600.1348) makes it unlawful for any employer to fire or harass an employee who is summoned to court to serve as a juror. If you are harassed or fired, contact your local jury office or the judge assigned to your trial. The law also protects students and teachers.
Currently, jurors are paid $12.50 for a half day and $25 for a full day on the first day of service; and for each subsequent day of service, $20 for a half day and $40 for a full day, they serve either on a case or in the assembly room while available to be assigned to a case, plus 54.5 cents per mile, round trip, for mileage (MCL 600.1344).
Checks for jury service are computed at the completion of your service week are mailed to you at your home address. Checks should be received within two weeks after you complete service. Contact your local jury office if you have not received compensation or have questions.
If you have a dependent child or adult under your care, you may ask for a postponement or excuse from jury service by fax the question to 231-332-4049 or email Juror Response.
All people selected for jury service are selected at random. Names are selected randomly from State of Michigan driver license and personal identification card holder lists as required by Michigan law.
If in the past 12 months you have been called twice or have already served, contact your local jury office. Please let the jury clerk know that you have already served on a jury, including what court, and that you would like to clarify your current status as a juror. It is important for you to call to make sure the problem is cleared up. The certificate proves that you have served in case a question arises. If you were called but did not serve, keep your summons as a record. If you no longer have your summons or certificate of service, please contact the jury clerk of the court you served in and they will be able to provide you with the information needed.If you have been called again but it has been more than 12 months, your name has been randomly selected again. Please read the summons carefully and follow the directions.
If you need special accommodations (such as assistance with a wheelchair, hearing amplification, special seating), contact the local jury office and let them know what type of assistance you will need. If they cannot reasonably accommodate you, you may be excused from jury service.
The length of trials varies depending on how complex the issues are and how long jurors spend in deliberations. Most trials are completed within a few days or a week. The judge knows about how long the trial will take, and he or she will tell you the time frame when your group is called for jury selection.
Judges know how difficult long trials can be. Let the judge know whether it is a serious hardship for you to sit on a long trial. Be patient during this process because a lot of people have similar time concerns.
The judge and court staff work hard to reduce the time you spend waiting as a juror. However, waiting time cannot be completely eliminated. A trial is very important to the people involved and it is very important that things happen correctly. The law is also complex and many steps have to happen before, during, and after the trial. Try to be patient and come prepared with a book or other reading material to occupy your time while waiting. Court staff will try to explain delays when possible. Be assured everyone is working to avoid delays.
There are two types of trials that have juries:
Divorce trials do not have juries.
It depends. Judges decide whether jurors can take notes or ask questions during a trial.
The judge will take your privacy into consideration when making decisions about the case. The judge must balance the requirement in the federal Constitution that guarantees people a public and speedy trial on the one side against jurors' real concerns about privacy on the other side.
If you have concerns about privacy, please let the judge know. If a newspaper or television reporter, or a lawyer or a friend of one of the people involved in the case, approaches you during the trial, let the judge know immediately. Such contact is inappropriate during a trial. After the trial is over, the media and the parties in the case can contact you, but you do not have to talk to them. Call the judge in your case if you feel harassed.
Once the verdict is read in court by the clerk, the jury may be polled. Jurors are given a certificate for their service and can go home.Some jurors find it helpful to give the judge and attorneys feedback about the trial. Some jurors also ask fellow jurors for their phone numbers in order to discuss aspects of the case with other people who shared the same experience. If you do not want to be contacted after the trial, let the judge know.
Jury service is a civic duty that every eligible adult has. This service to your community is the most direct, hands-on involvement in government most citizens will experience.
If you honestly cannot serve, the law provides several undue hardship categories that can allow for an excuse for a summoned juror for up to one year. Email Juror Response or fax to 231-332-4049 the reason for your excuse. You may have to appear in court on the date on your summons in order to explain to the judge the reason for your excuse.
Yes. M.C.L. 600:1346 makes the following acts punishable as contempt of court:
We are a 24 hour facility open 365 days a year.
Interested local contractors should contact Tim Burgess, Muskegon County Land Bank Consultant at 231-724-6170 or Tony Moulatsiotis, Chair of the Muskegon County Land Bank Authority at 231-724-6217.
View properties available for sale in Muskegon County.
For properties requiring substantial amounts of rehab, complete the application form (PDF) and return to the Muskegon County Land Bank. Complete a separate application for each parcel.
In accordance with MCL 700.3951 and MCR 5.144, the Muskegon County Probate Court may administratively close a probate file. The Muskegon County Probate Court has implemented the following procedures to reopen an administratively closed file:
MCR 5.125(A)(1) requires that the Michigan Attorney General must be served in specific probate proceedings when the decedent is not survived by any known heirs, or the protected individual has no known presumptive heirs. These notices should be sent to the following address:Brenda Turner - Assistant Attorney GeneralState Public AdministratorP.O. Box 30736Lansing, MI 48909
A probate estate must be opened to obtain the medical records of a deceased person.
A formal Petition for Probate and / or Appointment of Personal Representative (PC 559 (PDF)) must be filed and include a request that a special personal representative be appointed. A Muskegon County Probate Court will not appoint a special personal representative on an informal application.
For additional information, view the Decedent Estates page.
If You Think Your Own Will May Be on File, the Court Will Check Its Records After You Present Photo Identification. If You Are Unable to Come to Court, Your Lawyer May Present Form PC 548, Authorization to Release Will Held for Safekeeping.
If You Are Looking for a Will Held for Safekeeping for a Deceased Person, You Must Present a Death Certificate.
Wills not admitted to a probate estate:
Wills admitted to a probate estate:
The Court accepts in-state checks, certified checks, and money orders. The Court does not accept credit cards or out of state checks.
View information online to find out if you need an EIN.
Visit the IRS website to apply. Please note that this is through the IRS, not Probate Court.
The filing fees are the following:
An estate must be opened if a person dies with property in their name alone (not joint), or owns an insurance policy or retirement benefits and has not named anyone as a beneficiary or has made the money payable to the estate. A personal representative is appointed by the Court to handle the administration of the decedent’s estate
Estate under $21,000:
Estate over $21,000:
A personal representative may be formally appointed by a Probate Judge after a petition is filed in the Probate Court. The petition can be filed by an interested person to the decedent’s estate. When the petition is filed, unless waivers and consents from all interested persons are attached, a hearing will be held. The person who files the petition has the responsibility to properly notify the persons who have a right to know about the hearing. On the date of the hearing, the petitioner and anyone else who wants to take part goes before the Judge and explains the need for a personal representative.
A personal representative may be appointed informally by filing an application directed to the Probate Register. An applicant seeking appointment in an informal proceeding must give notice and a copy of the application to each person having a prior or equal right to appointment who has not waived the right. Such a waiver may be accomplished by filing a Waiver and Consent. A proof of service must also be filed with the Court.
The person appointed personal representative is required to file an Acceptance of Appointment and possibly a Bond to protect the estate’s assets. After filing the Acceptance of Appointment and Bond (if ordered), Letters of Authority will be issued to the personal representative. The Letters of Authority give the personal representative the right to perform the following duties, unless the Court restricts their authority.
If the personal representative does not timely perform their duties, any interested person or the Court itself may start proceedings to remove the personal representative or to force them to take action. The personal representative may be held liable for losses caused by his or her mistakes or for failing to act quickly and sensibly.
No. You can decline to serve as personal representative. If you decline, the Court will appoint someone else. Once you are appointed, you cannot resign without the Court’s permission.
Yes. The amount must be reasonable and is subject to review by the Court. The fees cannot be taken until the administration of the estate is completed.
Yes. You can use attorneys, accountants, investment advisors or other professionals to help assist in estate administration. The fees of these professionals are subject to review of the Court, and if reasonable, can be paid from the estate. Even if you hire experts, as personal representative, you are still responsible for the estate’s administration.
If you have questions, please seek legal advice from an attorney. By law, court employees are not permitted to give legal advice.
When an adult becomes unable to make responsible decisions, then that adult may be in need of a guardian, conservator, or other alternative. The law states that a guardian may be appointed if a Court determines that a person is an incapacitated individual. The law defines an incapacitated individual as:
A conservator may also be appointed if the person is unable to manage his or her property or finances effectively.
Generally it can be said that the guardian makes decisions about the person, such as medical or housing decisions, and the conservator makes decisions about the property or the finances of the person. A guardian and a conservator can be the same person or institution or they may be different. For example, a guardian could be a person and a conservator could be a trust company or bank.
A guardian or conservator may be appointed by a Probate Judge after a petition is filed in the Probate Court. The petition may be filed by anyone interested in the well being of the adult. When the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled. In addition, the Court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the situation and make a recommendation to the Court prior to the hearing.
On the date of the hearing, the petitioner and anyone else who wants to take part in the hearing goes before the Judge and explains the need for a guardian or conservator. The Judge will decide whether to appoint a guardian and/or a conservator.
The person who is appointed guardian is required to file an Acceptance of Appointment. The person who is appointed conservator must also file an Acceptance of Appointment and may also be required to file a Bond to protect the adult’s assets. After filing the Acceptance of Appointment (and Bond, if required), Letters of Authority will be issued to the guardian or conservator. The Letters of Authority give the guardian or conservator the right to perform certain duties, unless the Court restricts their authority.
If a life-threatening, medical emergency exists, the Judge may appoint a temporary guardian without a hearing unless the judge determines that a hearing is necessary. A letter from a doctor or social worker may be required to explain the nature of the emergency. Please note that a second hearing is required.
The Court will also review a guardianship within a year of the guardian being appointed and at least once every three years afterwards.
The account must list receipts (monies in) and disbursements (monies out). Save your receipts; one must be presented to the Court for each disbursement.
Anyone, including the adult, may file a petition to terminate the guardianship or conservatorship or to have a different guardian or conservator appointed. With the Court’s permission, the guardian may resign at any time. When the adult is no longer an incapacitated individual or dies, the Court should be notified immediately so that the guardianship or conservatorship can be ended and the Court’s case closed. Before the conservator can be discharged, a Final Account will have to be filed and approved by the Court and the Court will have to be satisfied that the adult or his or her estate has received whatever assets remain.
If you have any questions about what services or procedures may be available that might make guardianship or conservatorship unnecessary, you may contact the Commission on Aging, Department of Community Mental Health, or Department of Human Services.
When a minor does not have a responsible parent or adult to make daily living decisions for him or her, then that minor may be in need of a guardian. When a minor owns property or needs representation in a legal action, then that minor may need a conservator.
Generally, it can be said that the guardian makes decisions about the person, such as medical or housing decisions, and the conservator makes decisions about the property or the finances of the minor. A guardian and a conservator can be the same person or institution or they may be different. For example, a guardian could be a person and a conservator could be a trust company or bank.
A guardian or conservator may be appointed by a Probate Judge after a petition is filed in the Probate Court. The petition may be filed by anyone interested in the well being of the minor, except that one type of guardianship (limited) may only be requested by a parent having custody or by both parents if both parents have custody. For a limited guardianship, the Court must approve a placement plan for the minor, including how long the guardianship is to last.
When the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible (in some emergency cases, it may be possible to obtain an immediate temporary guardian before the hearing). The person who files the petition has the responsibility to properly notify the persons who have a right to know about the hearing. In guardianship cases, if a party is incarcerated under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections, their name, address, and prisoner number must be listed on the petition to obtain this information, call 517-373-0284. In addition, the Court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the situation and make a recommendation to the Court prior to the hearing.
On the date of the hearing, the petitioner and anyone else who wants to take part in the hearing goes before the Judge and explains the need for a guardian or conservator. The person who is appointed guardian is required to file an Acceptance of Appointment. The person who is appointed conservator must file an Acceptance of Appointment and may also be required to file a Bond to protect the minor’s assets. After filing the Acceptance of Appointment (and Bond, if required), Letters of Authority will be issued to the guardian or conservator. The Letters of Authority give the guardian or conservator the right to perform the following duties, unless the Court restricts their authority.
The Court will also review a guardianship each year if the child is less than six years old, and for older children as it thinks necessary.
The Account must list receipts (monies in) and disbursements (monies out). Save your receipts; one must be presented to the Court for each disbursement.
Anyone, including the minor who is at least 14 years of age, may file a petition to modify the guardianship or conservatorship or to have a different guardian or conservator appointed. With the Court’s permission, the guardian may resign at any time. When the minor reaches 18 years of age or dies, the Court should be notified so that the guardianship or conservatorship can be ended and the Court’s case closed. Before the conservator can be discharged, a Final Account will have to be filed and approved by the Court and the Court will have to be satisfied that the minor (now adult) or his or her estate has received whatever assets remain.
If you have questions, please seek legal advice from an attorney. By law, court employees are not permitted to give legal advice.
A decedent estate case may have to be re-opened for a variety of reasons. These could include:
An Application to reopen estate can be filed by any interested person, including the prior personal representative.
A Petition to reopen estate can be filed by any interested person, including the prior personal representative.
If the case was closed as a supervised estate, only a petition to reopen requesting supervised administration may be filed.
A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a court order, signed by a Judge, that restrains named individuals from contacting you. A PPO is obtained by filing a "petition" for protection with the court. A PPO can provide important relief and protection in certain circumstances. But remember, filing for a PPO is a serious matter.
In order to determine if a PPO is necessary you must determine if you are at great risk of harm. To help evaluate the risk look at the following factors:
If any of those are happening, it may be necessary to take the serious step of filing for a PPO.
To get a personal protection order, follow these steps:
Contact the Police. The personal protection order is a court order which all parties must obey. If an act prohibited by the protection order is committed, then the violator / respondent may be found in contempt of court. First, however, you must report the violation. Call the police immediately - don’t wait a few hours or even a few minutes. Tell the police that you have a personal protection order and tell them what was done to violate that order. A listing of area law enforcement agencies is located in the ‘Law Enforcement Section" of the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Website. Once the police arrive they will make a determination whether they can arrest the respondent.
Personal Protection Order Violation Hearing At a hearing on a violation of a personal protection order, if the Court finds that a violation has occurred, the respondent can be sentenced to a maximum of 93 days in jail and / or be assessed a fine of not more than $500. If the Court finds that a violation has not occurred, the respondent will be released.
You have certain responsibilities for not causing the PPO to be violated. For example you cannot invite the respondent to come over to your house, you cannot go to the respondent’s house, you cannot go with or meet the respondent for dinner. You cannot socialize with the respondent on any occasion, including birthdays and holidays. Additionally, you cannot intentionally appear at a location where you know this person will be, with the intent of then claiming a violation of the PPO.
If you disregard or try to get around any of the Court’s no-contact provisions you could even be found in contempt of court. A PPO can provide you with security during troubled times. But it should not be abused or ignored.
If you have any questions concerning personal protection orders, the Victim Services Unit of the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office can be of assistance and can aid you in obtaining and enforcing a personal protection order in appropriate situations. The Victim Services Unit can be reached at 231-724-6676.
The Social Justice Commission is a non-profit charitable 501c corporation with the mission statement of:
We believe by keeping kids in school we can drastically reduce violent crime in our community. In a recent study, researchers found that dropouts are more than 8 times as likely to be incarcerated as those that graduated. Raising graduation rates by 10 % has been shown to reduce the murder and assault rates by about 20%. And 68% of inmates nationwide do not have high school diplomas. In a California study, researchers found that by cutting the dropout rate by 50% would reduce juvenile crime and save the State over $550 million dollars per year.
The studies that link truancy and crime are a matter of common sense. A kid that drops out of schools has less job opportunities and is more likely to be in trouble with the law. Ask any teacher or a police officer and they will all tell you that kids that do not attend school are the ones who are most likely to be committing the serious crimes in our community.
As representatives of your local government and your community we are asking that those of you who believe in the power of prayer, to be diligent and faithful in praying for these efforts and for peace in Muskegon County. Please also consider giving of your finances to sponsor kids who cannot afford the costs of these programs. Please also express your appreciation to the Muskegon Community Foundation and other organizations that financially support these programs. Please also get involved by offering your time and your talents by volunteering to help the kids of our community turn negative behaviors into positive opportunities. All you need to do is contact any social justice member and ask, “How can I help?” We will find a task for you that will positively impact the lives of our kids.
Fred Johnson has served as the Director of the Muskegon County Public Defenders since appointment by the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners in September of 2013. Mr. Johnson is the first Director of the Muskegon County Public Defenders.
The Muskegon County Public Defenders are housed in two buildings on the old "South Campus" site of Baker College. Using the map below, the criminal division is located at Building E, and the family division is located at Building F, on the 3rd floor. The two buildings are connected by a corridor between them. The buildings are west of the Probation Office and East of the County Register of Deeds. We suggest parking in the large lot behind the buildings using the Pine Street access.
The addresses are as follows:
Muskegon County Public Defender
155 E. Apple Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49442
165 E. Apple Ave., 3rd Floor
While Muskegon County Public Defenders are highly trained, experienced and skilled trial lawyers who operate as teams that specialize in criminal law and local court processes, their services are provided only or primarily for those who do not have sufficient financial means to hire their own private counsel. Thus, anyone who can afford to hire a private attorney should do so. The Office of Public Defender is also an integral part of county government and has a smooth working relationship with all of the major components of the local criminal justice system. The competent and dedicated trial lawyers who comprise the staff of the Office can be relied upon to provide top notch defense as a calling and to fight zealously for what is in the best interests of their clients.
The Public Defender Office can be appointed at any time during Court proceedings, up to and including trial and sentencing. Our office is often appointed if the Defendant has a change in financial circumstances. We are also appointed as stand-by legal counselor for Defendants who choose to represent themselves.
If not incarcerated, a person charged with a crime is usually asked to appear on a specific court date or within a certain number of days after receiving a ticket from a police officer. At that time, the Judge will ask if he or she needs an appointed attorney. Typically, he or she will fill out a form which asks questions about income and expenses. Then the Judge decides whether or not the Public Defender will be appointed to represent the person.
If a person is incarcerated, the person will be brought before a Magistrate or Judge and asked about his or her income and expenses. After reviewing the information, the Magistrate/Judge will make a decision as to whether or not a Public Defender will be appointed. If the Public Defender is appointed, the attorney assigned to the case will go to the Muskegon County Jail to meet with and interview an incarcerated client.
On Felony cases, the Defendant may appear before a Magistrate for arraignment if they receive notice of the charges. Usually though, the person is arrested on the warrant by the police and taken to an arraignment. In either situation, the Defendant will be asked whether or not a court appointed attorney is needed. A financial information form will be given to the Defendant to complete if he or she desires a Public Defender.
If the Public Defender is appointed, in-custody clients can expect that a member of the Public Defender office before his/her court date to discuss the case.
Defendants who are not in custody are given information on how to contact the Office to find out which Public Defender has been assigned to him or her and encouraged to make an appointment to meet with the attorney.
Call our office at (231) 724-6585 and follow the prompts to reach a secretary who can tell you who your attorney is. At that time, you can set up an appointment to speak to him or her. Since your lawyer is most likely in court all day, it is very unlikely that he or she will be there to take your call or meet with you without an appointment.
Please keep in mind that we may not know yet who your attorney is. Attorneys are assigned after arraignment. Once our office is appointed by the Court to represent you, we are not notified by the Court for a few days and even then, may not get your discovery materials for days after, so it may be a few days after you are arraigned before we can speak to you intelligently about your case.
Fred Johnson is probably not your lawyer. As the County Public Defender, Fred Johnson is the attorney officially assigned to represent all clients of the Office. He is assisted by a highly skilled staff of experienced trial lawyers who are also dedicated to public defense as a career. These staff personnel are assigned by Mr. Johnson to work on your case as a team whereby all of the resources of the Office can be readily available to provide you with top notch legal representation at all times. Mr. Johnson will also select and monitor one of his regular staff lawyers to lead the team that will work on your case and that experienced trial lawyer will become the primary attorney responsible for your case. Mr. Johnson is the current Director of the Muskegon County Public Defenders so his name goes on everyone's appointment orders. Another attorney will actually be assigned to represent you in court.
Call (231) 724-6258 if the case is a misdemeanor or (231) 724-6251 if the case involves a felony. These are the telephone numbers to the district and circuit court clerks, respectively, who can give you information regarding upcoming court dates.
Let us know as soon as possible. The more advance warning you can give us, the better chance we can get the matter adjourned. It is very difficult to get adjournments a day or two before a hearing (especially when the hearing is a trial) and it gets more and more unlikely with each additional adjournment you request after the first one you receive. In the end, you are required to attend your hearings, and if you fail to do so, you may be subject to fines jail time.
Call us immediately!
Our ability to keep you out of jail after missing a court date diminishes the longer you wait. If you think you have a good excuse, make sure you bring any documentation you have with you so the judge does not have to take your word for it.
While turning yourself in after missing a court date can be frightening, it is worse if they have to go out and get you. If you miss a court date and then get picked up (arrested) you should expect to sit in jail before seeing your judge and a high bond afterward.
While the taxpayers of this county have generously paid to provide you with an attorney, they have not paid for you to have a choice. That is the bad news. The good news is the Muskegon County Public Defenders are not like other public defenders you may have had an association with. We care; however, sometimes we will have to tell you bad news or disagree with you. You may, at any time, hire your own lawyer if you are unhappy with the one you have. If you cannot afford to hire, you will receive a hard working advocate, but you cannot chose who that person is.
You may contact the director, Fred Johnson, Jr., at (231) 724-6585 extension 3. If you have a complaint, Mr. Johnson will assign a senior attorney to investigate or he will investigate himself. This does not mean he will agree with you. The law is like calculus: It is complicated and non lawyers do not know all the rules. It is your lawyer's job his or her job to tell you the best he or she knows, even if these are suggestions you do not agree with.
Tell us immediately!
Any time we may loose witnesses or evidence, do not try to fix it yourself. Call your lawyer and alert him or her to the problem.
You have the right to remain silent. Do it! Most of the people in prison talked themselves into those cells. No talking means no Facebook conversations. No tweets. No letters or phone calls from jail speaking of your case. No coded messages. No jailhouse lawyers or bunky discussions about your case, even if you trust him! No talking!
Gather your evidence. Get the names and contact information of your witnesses. Copy texts, email and Facebook postings that support your case. Read your police reports and be prepared to discuss your case with your attorney.
People who make appointments to see their attorneys get better results than people who wait until the day of trial and meet their lawyers at court.
A Public Defender does not have an attorney "on call" for legal questions. It is a staffing issue: Most of our lawyers are busy with their clients most of the time. Still, if you can be patient with us, leave us a message and we will return your telephone call and attempt to assist you.
Please remember that our lawyers are specialists. They have been chosen to be public defenders because they are very good at what they do. What they do is criminal law, the law of neglect and abuse, juvenile delinquency law and involuntary (probate) incarcerations. That means if you have a question about land/tenant matters or custody issues or civil lawsuits, we are probably not the folks for you. You might try:
Legal Aid of West Michigan
450 Morris Ave., Ste.104
Muskegon, MI 49440
You can also call private (for hire) attorneys. Many of them offer free consultations.
To request a copy of a current or past Purchase Order, contact the Central Purchasing Office by phone (231) 724-6281 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive a copy of the County's Sales Tax Exempt Form, send an email requesting a copy to email@example.com.
The Central Purchasing Office handles procurement for:
For information on an invoice received by the County call the Receivable Office at (231) 724-1219 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For changes on your invoices contact the Receivables Office by phone at (231) 724-1219 or email at email@example.com.
Submit a crime tip using Silent Observer. Silent Observer is a high-tech crime prevention program launched by a coalition of local business, education and law enforcement leaders.
Purchase accident reports online.
Michigan Law requires all dogs 4 months and older to be licensed. Learn more on our Dog Licenses page.
All formal solicitations are posted on the Bid Net Direct website at www.bidnetdirect.com. For assistance with registration call Bid Net customer support at 1-800-835-4603 option 2.
For assistance on the Bid Net site, please call Bid Net at 1-800-835-4603 option 2.
Solicitation updates are posted online at www.bidnetdirect.com.
The results from a solicitation are posted after the official award which is after the Board Approval. For information on the status of a specific solicitation and if it is being prepared for Board Approval contact the Procurement Office. For more information on the Board Agenda's or Board Meeting dates see the Board of Commissioners web pages.
This information will need to researched individually. For a specific answer send an email to the Purchasing Office at firstname.lastname@example.org describing the specific good or service you are interested in.
Yes. Property owners who had delinquent taxes under the old law could also lose their property, but they had more time to pay and more "second chances." Under the new law, if your taxes are delinquent for two years, that's it. You've lost the property.
A delinquent tax is an unpaid tax that has been forwarded to the county treasurer for collection on March 1 of the year after it was due. For example: taxes that are billed by your city, township, or village treasurer in 2009 and yet unpaid on the last day of February 2010, will be turned over to the County Treasurer as delinquent on March 1, 2010.
An Administrative fee of 4% and interest of 1% per month are added. After one year, the property is forfeited to the county treasurer. For example, 2008 taxes still unpaid as of March 1, 2010 will be in forfeiture.
No. Forfeiture is not foreclosure. If your property is in forfeiture, you still have one year before it will be foreclosed. However, the interest and fees will be substantially higher. When a property is forfeited, the interest rate goes from 1% per month to 1.5% per month retroactive to the date it first became delinquent. A $175 processing fee, as well as other fees determined by the State of Michigan are also added.
After a property has been in forfeiture for one year and is still unpaid, it will be foreclosed. 2007 property taxes will be foreclosed on March 31, 2010.
You cannot get your property back after it has been "foreclosed." Foreclosure is final. Property that has been foreclosed will be sold at public auction.
Even if you can't pay your taxes all at once, you can still make partial payments, depending on how many years are delinquent. Make your check payable to the Muskegon County Treasurer and mail to:Muskegon County Treasurer173 E Apple Avenue Number 104Muskegon, Michigan 49442
To ensure your payment is applied to your parcel, please write your parcel number on your check or money order. If you cannot pay all of your taxes before foreclosure, contact a mortgage professional to determine if you could consolidate your unpaid taxes into a mortgage; or contact the Family Independence Agency at 231-733-3700 for possible financial assistanceAvoid Foreclosure. Please do not wait until it's too late.
Review the fees and types of dog licenses available on the dog license fee page.
If your dog was not given a new rabies vaccine this month (wasn’t due for a shot), or was only given a one year vaccine, you are only eligible to purchase a one year license.
If your dog’s rabies vaccination was due this month and he / she was given a three year vaccine, you are eligible to purchase a three year license or a one year license.
Read an overview of application process on the dog license application page.
As of January 1, 2012, Muskegon County began issuing Permanent Dog Tags (the metal charm). This does not mean that you do not have to renew the license anymore. You are still required to renew the actual license every year / 3 years and provide proof of current rabies vaccination, but you will not receive a new metal tag every year. It can be replaced at any time if it is lost, upon owner’s request.
No. The metal dog tag is used to identify your dog. It is not the license. The license is the paperwork you receive after completing the application. You should save the paperwork until that license expires.
If you lose the dog tag (or the paper license) you can get a replacement at no charge. You will need to request the replacement in person at the Muskegon County Treasurer's Office or at your local unit.
If you no longer have the dog, please call us at 231-724-6261. Let us know if your dog is deceased, sold, given away, stolen or missing, or if you have moved out of the county. This will prevent us from sending delinquent notices for a dog you no longer have.
View the dog owner additional information page for details about leashing, vaccination and bites.