UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


for the Western District of Michigan

Paul L. Maloney

Chief Judge

Tracey Cordes

Clerk of Court


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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What type of information can the Clerk's Office staff give?

 

How do I file a complaint?

 

How do I file a Notice of Removal?

 

In which divisional office should I file my Complaint?

 

What counties comprise the Western District of Michigan?

 

What forms of payment are acceptable?

 

How do I proceed without prepayment of filing fees?

 

How do I arrange for service by the U.S. Marshal?

 

How do I arrange for service in a foreign country?

 

In which divisional office should I file pleadings for my existing case?

 

What is the procedure for scheduling a hearing?

 

Should discovery material be filed with the Clerk's Office?

 

How do I file documents under seal?

 

How do I file an Appeal?

 

How do I retrieve a file from the Federal Records Center?

 

How do I register a judgment from another district?

 

How do I register a judgment from this court in another district?

How do I request a transcript?


 

What type of information can the Clerk's Office staff give?

 

1.    Clerk's Office staff cannot give "legal advice" and therefore cannot:

  • Explain the meaning of a specific rule

  • Make an interpretation of a case law

  • Explain the result of taking or not taking an action in a case

  • Answer whether jurisdiction is proper in a case

  • Answer whether a complaint properly presents a claim

2.    Clerk's Office staff can provide procedural information such as:

  • Instruction on how to execute a task (number of copies, use of forms)

  • Provide information as to compliance with court policy

3.    Clerk's Office staff cannot recommend a lawyer.

 

How do I file a complaint?


PRO SE LITIGANT

A complaint may be filed in person or by mail at any Clerk's Office location within the Western District of Michigan.  Filing requirements are as follows:

 

Civil Cover Sheet

Summonses directed to each defendant

Complaint (one original and one copy)

Filing Fee - Check made payable to "Clerk, U.S. District Court."  Click here for fee amount.


ATTORNEYS
Attorneys must submit complaints and other initial pleadings in civil cases electronically, following the Case Opening Protocol


How do I file a Notice of Removal?

 

Requirements include:

  • Civil Cover Sheet

  • (2) Notice of Removal with State Court Summons and Complaint attached

  • (2) Notice of Filing Notice of Removal directed to the State Court

  • Filing Fee - Check made payable to "Clerk, U.S. District Court."  Click here for fee amount.

In which divisional office should I file my Complaint?

 

Following the priorities of W.D. Mich. LCivR 3.2, if plaintiff or defendant reside in, or if the action arose in a Western District Southern Division county, pro se litigants may file the Complaint at any divisional office in the Southern Division: Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo. If plaintiff or defendant reside in, or if the action arose in a Western District Northern Division county, the Complaint should be filed in the Northern Division office in Marquette.

 

What counties comprise the Western District of Michigan?

This district is composed of a Northern Division and a Southern Division. The Southern Division comprises the counties of Allegan, Antrim, Barry, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Charlevoix, Clinton, Eaton, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, Saint Joseph, Van Buren, and Wexford. The Northern Division comprises the counties of Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft.  Click here for a graphical representation of these counties.

What forms of payment are acceptable?

 

The Clerk's Office accepts payment by cash, money order, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.  We do not accept credit card payments for posting bail.  Checks should be made payable to:  "Clerk, U.S. District Court."

 

How do I proceed without prepayment of filing fees?

 

To proceed without prepayment of filing fees, click here to fill out the Affidavit of Financial Status.  Include this completed form when you file your complaint.

 

How do I arrange for service by the U.S. Marshal?

 

If proceeding in forma pauperis:

  • the Court will determine whether or not to have the U.S. Marshal provide service

If filing fee has been paid:

  • a motion requesting service by the U.S. Marshal needs to be filed for the Judge to make a determination

How do I arrange for service in a foreign country?

 

Refer to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f).

 

In which divisional office should I file pleadings for my existing case?

 

Southern Division pleadings (those cases beginning with a 1, 4 or 5) may be filed in any of the Southern Division offices: Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo. Northern Division pleadings (those cases beginning with a 2) should be filed in the Marquette office. Every attorney practicing in this Court must file and serve documents electronically by the ECF system. Refer to W.D. Mich LCivR 5.7 and W.D. Mich LCivR 49.10.

 

What is the procedure for scheduling a hearing?

 

Pursuant to W.D. Mich. LCivR 7.2(d) and 7.3(d), "any party desiring oral argument shall include a request for oral argument in the caption and the heading of the party’s brief... The time for oral argument on all motions shall be scheduled and noticed by the Court at the earliest convenient date."

 

Should discovery material be filed with the Clerk's Office?

 

No.  Pursuant to W.D. Mich. LCivR 5.3, discovery material, including initial disclosures made under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a) (1)-(3), shall not be filed, except when needed in a particular proceeding or upon order of the Court.

 

How do I file documents under seal?

 

Refer to W.D. Mich. LCivR 10.6.

 

How do I file an Appeal?

 

An Appeal may be filed 1) electronically by registered e-filers, 2) in person, or 3) by mail at any Clerk's Office location within the Western District of Michigan (make the check payable to "Clerk, U.S. District Court"). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will send out a package upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal with the appeal case number and briefing schedule.

 

Notice of Appeal Filing Fee - Click here for fee amount.

 

How do I retrieve a file from the Federal Records Center?

 

First, determine from the Clerk's Office if the file is indeed located at the Federal Records Center located in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Once it has been determined that the file is at the Federal Records Center, a request for an archived file can be made with the Clerk's Office in writing, together with a retrieval fee.  Click
here for amount.  NARA will generally send the file to the Clerk's Office within five business days of receipt of the retrieval request.  You will be contacted when the file has been received.  Files may be reviewed at all divisional offices during the hours of 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday - Friday.  Copies of case documents may be mailed directly to the requestor.  Click here for copy fees.

 

In some situations, you may be able to contact the Federal Records Center directly and retrieve records on your own.  Contact the Clerk's Office for assistance with this process.

 

How do I register a judgment from another district?

 

Submit a completed AO 451 Certification of Foreign Judgment (prepared by the Court issuing the judgment) and the filing fee. Click here for fee amount.  This will cause a miscellaneous case to be filed and the judgment to be registered in this district.

 

How do I register a judgment from this court in another district?

 

Request this Court to complete form AO 451 Certification of Foreign Judgment. There is a certification fee and copy fees for the judgment. Click here for fee amounts.  Submit the completed form and the filing fee to the Court in which you want the judgment registered.

How do I request a transcript?

If the transcript has been made part of the court record, you can request a copy in any of the following three ways:

If the transcript has "not" yet been e-filed by the court reporter, you can contact him/her directly. Their names and telephone numbers are:

Chief Judge Maloney Kathleen (269) 385-3050
Judge Bell Kevin  (616) 456-6133
Judge Jonker Glenda (517) 819-0396
Judge Neff Kathy (616) 914-2384
Senior Judge Edgar Cathy (906) 226-2084
Senior Judge Enslen Please refer to the minute entry in CM/ECF for the specific hearing to determine the name/number of the appropriate court reporter.
Senior Judge Miles (616) 456-2381
Judge Quist Please refer to the minute entry in CM/ECF for the specific hearing to determine the name/number of the appropriate court reporter.
Magistrate Judge Brenneman Lindsey (616) 456-6308
Magistrate Judge Carmody Julie (616) 456-2394
Magistrate Judge Greeley Pam (906) 226-3854
Magistrate Judge Scoville Diane H. (616) 456-2309

 

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