FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Clerk's Office staff cannot give "legal advice" and therefore cannot:
2. Clerk's Office staff can provide procedural information such as:
3. Clerk's Office staff cannot recommend a lawyer.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
If proceeding in forma pauperis:
If filing fee has been paid:
Refer to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f).
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.
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."
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.
Refer to W.D. Mich. LCivR 10.6.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the transcript has been made part of the court record, you can request a copy in any of the following three ways:
By contacting the court reporter/courtroom deputy directly as shown below.
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: