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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if the PageID cite form is not followed?

    References to the record by PageID, following the proper cite form, display to the Court as a hyperlink to the precise page of the record where the evidence is found.   If the proper cite form is not followed, no link will be present for the Court.  Failure to provide proper PageID citations may result in the rejection of the filing.

  • What is the cite form for a PageID reference?

                                              PageID Cite Form

    To reference Cite form example
    A single page PageID.234
    Multiple sequential pages PageID.234-235
    Multiple pages that are not in succession PageID.234, 238, 245

    Additionally, any filing that references a portion of a different Western District of Michigan case record shall be preceded with the 13-digit case number for that other case (e.g., 1:15-cv-99999 PageID.234).

    See Administrative Order No. 16-MS-017 and 16-MS-018 for more information.

  • The PageID is obscured, how can I see it better?

    When viewing the document, it may be helpful to increase or magnify the zoom.  This feature is usually found under "View" on the toolbar in many programs, by clicking a magnifying glass icon, or can be accessed through keyboard strokes: 

    • Hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard, and press the plus symbol (+) on the keyboard as many times as necessary to temporarily increase the size of the view to your liking. 
    • To return quickly to the prior view, hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and press the zero (0) key once. 
    • Otherwise, to temporarily decrease the zoom gradually, hold down the Ctrl button and touch the dash (-) as many times to decrease the size of the view to your liking.
  • Where is the PageID?

    The PageID is located in the blue document header of all electronically filed documents, applied by the electronic case filing system at the time of filing.  It is a sequential pagination of the entire District Court record, uniquely identifying each page.

    For more information regarding references to the record, refer to Administrative Order No. 16-MS-17.

  • What is the Different Between a Certificate of Citizenship and a Certificate of Naturalization?

    A Certificate of Citizenship is a document issued by the U.S. government as proof of U.S. citizenship. An individual who obtained U.S. citizenship either by action of law while residing in the United States, or by having been born outside the United States to U.S. citizen parents, has the right to apply for a U.S. Certificate of Citizenship. A Certificate of U.S. Naturalization is a document issued by the U.S. government as proof of a person having obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Copies of both forms must be obtained through USCIS.

  • How can I get a copy of my name change petition?

    Information on obtaining a copy of your name change petition can be found here.

  • Can I observe court proceedings?

    Yes, court proceedings are open to the public with very few exceptions, such as settlement conferences which are conducted in Chambers. A schedule of court proceedings is available by contacting the Clerk's Office or electronically for those with PACER access. Visit www.pacer.gov for information on establishing a PACER account.

    It is highly recommended that any visitors call the Clerk’s Office prior to coming to the courthouse as court proceedings are subject to change on short notice. Visitors to the Court will have to present proper identification and pass through security screening. The general public is not allowed to bring cell phones, laptops or tablet devices into the building. Once inside the courthouse, visitors are free to come and go from the courtrooms, but shall remain quiet while court is in session. Please seek assistance from the court security officers if you have questions or require directions within the courthouse.

  • How will Vivotril be funded?

    The cost of Vivitrol should be included in the vendor's bid.

  • Is is OK to test the urine temperature with an infra-red thermometer instead of temperature strips?

    Yes, it is fine to test the urine temperature with an infra-red thermometer.

  • For the cognitive behavioral therapy do the clinicians have to be trained in MRT prior to the RFP being submitted or can it wait until the agency is notified on whether or not they will be a contracted agency for the service?

    MRT facilitators only need to be trained prior to actually providing services. In order to submit a bid, you need only agree to have staff trained. You can wait to schedule training until after the contract is awarded.

  • The RFP indicates that a separate RFP is awarded for the urine specimen lab, does this mean that the vendor does not have to pay for the testing?

    The vendor does not have to pay for testing. The probation office pays for testing conducted at the laboratory. 

  • Who pays for the shipping costs for the urine specimens to be shipped?

    The probation office will provide the vendor with shipping labels for prepaid postage. The treatment agency is responsible for purchasing shipping envelopes/containers.  Some shipping materials can be obtained free of charge from the U.S. Postal Service. 

  • Page C-10 2 a: Where can a list of Breathalyzers that are approved by the USPO/USPSO be found? Or will you approve after the award?

    We will approve Breathalyzers after award.

  • Is there specific wording to indicate “a statement specifying the extent of agreement with all terms, conditions, and provisions included in the solicitation and agreement to furnish any or all items upon which pricesare offered at the price set ...

    Full Question:  Is there specific wording to indicate “a statement specifying the extent of agreement with all terms, conditions, and provisions included in the solicitation and agreement to furnish any or all items upon which pricesare offered at the price set opposite each item” on page L-5 1.2, c 2 iii or is it up to the vendor to determine the wording?
    Answer:  This is referring to number 8 of AO Form 367. You do not need to add any other statement to your offer. 

  • On page L-5 of the Sex Offender Treatment RFP, it refers to sections i-v needed to be on the first page of the offer, most of the items are on the solicitation/offer/Acceptance cover Form AO 367. To clarify, should there be a separate cover page to ...

    Full Question:  On page L-5 of the Sex Offender Treatment RFP, it refers to sections i-v needed to be on the first page of the offer, most of the items are on the solicitation/offer/Acceptance cover Form AO 367.  To clarify, should there be a separate cover page to be include the items i-v requested in addition to the AO 367 form or is this referring to the AO 367 form?
    Answer:  This is referring to the AO 367 form which should be the first page of the offer. 

  • On page L-3 of the Sex Offender Treatment RFP, it references “the offeror shall identify all required documents included in the submitted proposal through the use of labeled tabs.” Do you want the proposal in a binder with tabs for each section, or ...

    Full Question:  On page L-3 of the Sex Offender Treatment RFP, it references “the offeror shall identify all required documents included in the submitted proposal through the use of labeled tabs.”  Do you want the proposal in a binder with tabs for each section, or should it have for headings for each new page that are not in a binder or something else?
    Answer:  We prefer agencies not submit proposals in binders. You may either tab the required document for the Background Statement or make them clearly identifiable through the use of headings. 

  • Can group therapies have two staff alternating classes or does it have to be the same person every week?

    Therapists can alternate group facilitation as long as this does not disrupt the integrity of the group. 

  • What times are groups and individual therapies to occur (e.g. 8am-5pm, in the evening, weekends, etc.)?

    The treatment agency can schedule group and individual treatment times. Typically, treatment is held during the week. Often agencies offer both day time and evening time slots to accommodate work schedules. 

  • For group therapies, does one 30 minute unit = one group or is it for one person? For example, does one unit mean a 30 minute group regardless of the number of people or does it mean if 10 people are in a group for 30 minutes it would be 10 units?

    One unit of group treatment = one person receiving group treatment for a half an hour.  If 10 people are in a group, that would be 10 units per half hour. 

  • For Block 10 of solicitation/offer sheets (AO 367), have there been any amendments issued to any of the RFP’s?

    There have not been any amendments to the RFP.

  • Should the proposals be in binders with tabs?

    We prefer the proposals not be in binders. Tabs are optional.

  • Are Group therapies to be a certain length of time (e.g. 1 hour, 2 hours)?

    There is not a required length of time for group treatment. Typically, sex offender groups have been either one and one half hours (3 units) per group or two hours (4 units) per group and substance abuse groups have been one or one and a half hours per group.

  • On Attachment B, regarding monitoring reports. If we are a private, for profit agency, do we still need to check the certification box at the bottom?

    Yes, you are still required to check the certification boxes.

  • The bid for Grand Rapids (Kent Cty), the substance counseling monthly est. for groups is 34 and for individual, it’s 2. On the Lansing proposal, it says the est. groups for substance abuse is 1 and the estimated individuals are 22. Is this correct?

    Those EMQ's are correct. They were based on historical numbers. They are only an estimate and it is possible more referrals could be made to group vs individual during the next fiscal years.

  • For the intake/assessment does it have to be a document like the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM or can it be an agency created document that includes all of the same information (we have a standard clinical assessment that we use with all of our fu

    The assessment can be an agency created document.

  • For certifications, licenses, and education do we only include clinical staff who would be doing the direct work or do we also need to include clinical supervisors and/or support (front desk, medical records, and billing) staff?

    You should include certifications for clinical staff and clinical supervisors.

  • Are case management services available to offenders in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties?

    Case management is not a service we are requesting bids for in any catchment area.

  • Is mobile drug and alcohol screening allowed to bid for testing?

    There is nothing in the Statement of Works that prohibits mobile drug and alcohol screening. If an agency were to propose using this type of service, the agency would need to outline how they will ensure compliance with the requirements listed in the Statement of Works and RFP.

  • Is there now a requirement for 2 facilitators for MRT?

    No, there is no specific requirement for MRT groups to have 2 facilitators. While we feel it is beneficial to have 2 facilitators per group when possible, we recognize this may be cost prohibitive and this was not added as a requirement for MRT.

  • I plan on subcontracting with another agency to provide services. I know that agency is also submitting a bid to provide services for the same catchment area. Is this okay?

    Yes, you may do this as long as the subcontracted agency agrees to provide services if you are awarded the contract instead of them. You will need to provide all of their certifications along with your submission.

  • With regards to substance abuse referrals, the receiving/treating therapist at our agency needs to be CAADC certified, right? (As opposed to receiving clinical supervision from someone like me who has the credential.)

    Section C of the Statement of Works indicates paraprofessionals may provide services “under the direct supervision of, and in conjunction with, a staff member who meets the requirements described in item numbers (1) and (2) above (listed below), and after obtaining the approval of the contracting officer or designee. Interns may be considered paraprofessionals.”

    For substance abuse treatment services performed for project codes 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040, and 2090 the vendor shall ensure that all personnel meet the following qualifications:

    (1) Principal counseling services practitioners shall have at least one of the following ( a or b ):
           (a) an advanced degree (masters or doctoral level) in behavioral science, preferably psychology or social work,
           (b) a BA/BS and at least two years of drug treatment training and/or experience.

    (2) Counselors shall be certified and/or have credentials to engage in substance abuse treatment intervention as established by his/her state’s regulatory board and/or accrediting agency.

    (3) Paraprofessionals are only used under the direct supervision of, and in conjunction with, a staff member who meets the requirements described in item numbers (1) and (2) above, and after obtaining the approval of the contracting officer or designee. Interns may be considered paraprofessionals.

  • I was unable to attend the Offerors’ Conference. Can I still submit a proposal?

    Yes, you may still submit a proposal.  Attendance at the Offerors’ Conference was optional and a transcript of the conference is available here

  • When completing Attachment C Staff Qualification and Attachment A Offeror’s Certification of Compliance Statements, are faxed copies acceptable from Subcontractors? Also, are these forms acceptable hand written or must they be typed?

    It is fine to use faxed copies of Attachment A and Attachment C, as long as there is an original signature on the first page of Section A, Solicitation/Offer/Acceptance and the solicitation is submitted in hard copy. 
     
    Handwritten copies are acceptable.

  • What Cognitive Behavior Classes are you looking for?

    We are looking specifically for Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT).

    Please refer to Local Language under Project Code 2022 for Manualized Group, Page C-16 of 16 which states the following:
     
    COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT
    * 2022
     
    The vendor shall provide Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) to the federal clients.

    The vendor shall administer the TCU Criminal Thinking Scales prior to participants starting group and shall administer the TCU Criminal Thinking Scales again after participant completes group. The vendor shall score the pre and post tests and shall forward the scores to the DATS officer(s) or the contracting assistant upon participants completing treatment. The TCS CTSFORM and Scoring Guide are attached or can be obtained free of charge online at http://ibr.tcu.edu/forms/client-drug-use-and-crime-risk/.
     

  • What drugs are you looking to test? What are you using for guidelines on this test (SAMSHA)? I see you use the Sweat Patch. Is that the only lab test you use? What are the instant drug testing (Panel Test or Stick Test)?

    The U.S. Probation Office is no longer using instant test cups/sticks.  All samples are collected and mailed in to a Regional Laboratory located at the U.S. Probation Office in the Eastern District of Missouri for screening.  We are not seeking contracted services for Sweat Patch application at this time.

  • Is a separate proposal needed for each cluster of Upper Peninsula counties listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health pieces or is one proposal for all Upper Peninsula counties acceptable?

    A separate proposal is needed for each separate catchment area. The BPA Solicitation Number is listed in the upper left hand corner of each respective BPA. If there is a different BPA number, you must submit separate bids.

  • What does the probation office do with information gathered during a presentence investigation?

    The information gathered in the course of the presentence investigation is placed in report format and submitted to the judge to use in formulating a sentence. All information gathered is the property of the U.S. Court and not for public disclosure.

  • Will my Probation Officer come to my home or workplace?

    Yes. The U.S.P.O. shall make both home and workplace visits to ensure compliance with the conditions of supervision and to assess your adjustment at home and in the community.

  • Are persons on probation allowed to drink alcohol?

    Some are, depending upon the conditions ordered in the judgment. Others are instructed not to abuse alcohol.

  • Who do I call if someone in my family has been arrested and taken to federal court?

    All initial appearances following an arrest occur either in Grand Rapids or Marquette. By calling the main office number, you will be directed to the officer handling the pretrial investigation. All persons arrested will make an appearance in court where it will be determined if the defendant is released or detained. Your information may be helpful to that decision.

  • Who do I call to learn about an offender’s situation or give information to an officer about an offender?

    Most records regarding offenders are considered confidential, yet some are public record. By calling the main office or number of office nearest the offender’s residence, you will be able to learn the officer assigned to the case and can speak with the officer about your concerns.

  • By what day of the month must my Probation Officer receive my written monthly report?

    The written monthly report is due to the United States Probation Officer between the third and fifth day of each month.

  • I can access a document through the NEF link, however my secretary cannot. She receives a message indicating electronic access to the document is not available.

    There are security features within CM/ECF which prohibit access to documents in certain types of cases; in those cases, only counsel of record may view the filed documents. These civil cases include Social Security, naturalization application, habeas corpus alien detainee and other immigration cases. Additionally, remote electronic access to documents filed in criminal cases prior to November 1, 2004, and closed bankruptcy appeal/withdrawal cases filed prior to December 1, 2003, is not available.

  • There are so many choices on the menus. What is the easiest way to find something?

    On the blue menu bar at the top of the screen, you'll see a Search option.  Click on the word Search and a small window will appear.  Enter a key word or portion thereof, and click the Search button.  The system will search menus and events to find a match to your search.  Each item found on the results page is an active link to the menu item, so you can click it to proceed directly to e-file the document.

  • How do I file a proposed order?

    A proposed order may be submitted electronically, in pdf format. It can be e-filed as an attachment to a motion or stipulation, it can be within the stipulation, or it can be submitted separately. Look under Civil/Criminal as appropriate, under Other Filings, Other Documents.

  • Since service is accomplished electronically, do I need to file a certificate of service?

    Service of an electronically filed document upon a registered attorney is deemed complete upon the transmission of a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) to that attorney under subsection (i)(iv) of the Local Rules governing e-filing, and a separate certificate of service is not required to be filed. Traditionally filed documents must be served on registered attorneys by nonelectronic means of service, and a certificate of service should be filed (electronically) in that circumstance. Likewise, unregistered attorneys and pro se individuals must be served by nonelectronic means of service. The NEF generated at the time of filing will make service issues apparent.

  • I received an NEF and I'm clicking on the document hyperlink, but it looks like I'm being charged. What happened to my free look?

    The Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) contains a free-look document hyperlink. The free look at the document is only available the first time the hyperlink in the e-mail is clicked. The document hyperlink in the NEF will expire after the earlier of these two events: the first use or 15 days. Any time that same hyperlink is accessed after it has expired, the user will be charged PACER fees to view the document. All users are advised to save or print the document during the initial viewing period in order to avoid future charges.

  • Opposing counsel just called me and referenced an order recently entered by the court. I'm registered for e-filing and I didn't receive notification of the order. I've received notification of other items in the past, what could be wrong?

    There are a couple of potential problems:

    •  Check with your technical support staff/Internet service provider to see if SPAM or virus protection software has recently been upgraded or added. These protectors are great for reducing the amount of junk mail we receive, however they can trash a desirable e-mail on mistake and without your knowledge if not set up with important exceptions.  When SPAM protectors are in place, your e-mail server first acknowledges receipt of the Court's electronic message, then trashes it.  Because your server has acknowledged receipt, the Court considers service complete.  Therefore it is important to make sure that ecfhelp@miwd.uscourts.gov is listed as an exception to any rules that are set in the SPAM/virus protection. 
    • It could be that although your name was added as counsel for a party, the setting with regard to sending notice was set to no.  Check the docket for the case.  If  "Attorney to be noticed" does not appear beneath your contact information for the party you represent, it may be that notice to you was inadvertently never set, or was subsequently turned off.  Contact the ECF Help Desk and we will assist in rectifying the situation.
  • Who is the sender of the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)?

    All e-mail from the CM/ECF system will come from: ecfhelp@miwd.uscourts.gov

  • I am having problems with my PACER account, what do I do?

    While a PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) account is used in conjunction with CM/ECF, it is separate from CM/ECF and is maintained by the PACER Service Center in San Antonio, Texas. Follow the PACER Service Center link to their website, or contact them by phone at 1-800-676-6856.

  • My login is failing. What am I doing wrong?

    The system is case sensitive.  If you have CAPS lock on, your login will likely fail.  Most court-issued logins contain lowercase letters, and among other requirements, passwords contain a combination of both upper and lowercase letters.  Type the login and password exactly as it appears.  Zero (0) and O ("oh"), as well as lowercase "l" ("el") and capital "I" ("eye") are easily confused.

  • I'm trying to change the secondary e-mail address in my account, but the Utility menu does not contain an option for Maintain Your E-Mail. What am I doing wrong?

    Either,

    (1) you have logged in to the system using your PACER login and password:

    You'll be able to tell whether you are logged in as a PACER user if the blue menu bar at the top of the CM/ECF screen displays Civil and Criminal or not.  If those two items are not listed on the blue bar, you are logged in as a PACER user.  Click on the word Logout on the blue bar, then log back in using the e-filing login and password assigned to you by this Court.

    or (2) you have used the correct e-filing login and password:

    But your computer is remembering that you previously logged in using your PACER login and password and it is displaying what it remembers. You will need to Clear Cache before trying again to login.

  • I'm interested in filings in another case, but I don't want to/have no reason to appear in that case. Can I receive notices when filings occur in a case in which I am not involved?

    Yes.  For example, the rulings in another Western District of Michigan case may affect your case.  You want to be immediately notified when something happens in that other case, even though you are not directly involved in that case.  You can!

    An Electronic Learning Module (ELM) is available on this website to walk you through monitoring a case in which you are not involved.  After initiating the ELM, click the TOC (Table of Contents) button in the bottom right corner of the screen.  The TOC will display.  Click Monitor a Case from the list presented.  To collapse the TOC, click the << in the upper right corner of the TOC.  Because you are not involved in the case, your notification will be "silent," meaning your name will not appear as a recipient on the Notice of Electronic Filing that is generated when there are filings in the case.  You will receive e-mail notification of each filing, however you will not receive a free look at the document (PACER fees will apply).

  • I've just switched e-mail service providers. How do I get my e-mail address changed?

    There may be long term or short term changes that you would like to make to your account. You may have switched e-mail service providers or want a temporary change in the account to be notified.  An Electronic Learning Module is available on this website to walk you through maintaining your e-mail.  After logging in, click Utilities on the blue menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Maintain Your E-Mail. On that screen, update your e-mail information as appropriate, and click Submit. Continue to click Submit as prompted until you receive confirmation that the update was successful.

  • Can I control who gets notified electronically through my account?

    When you were registered, the Court entered the address(es) provided on your E-Filing Registration form. Once registered, you can control who gets notified electronically through your account.  You can change your primary e-mail address, add additional addresses, or take away those additional addresses at any time. For example, the Court recommends that each attorney set up a central repository e-mail address so that others in your office can access the Court's e-mail. This is a safeguard so that someone in your office gets notified of Court action, even if you are not in the office and your administrative assistant has the day off.  We've found that attorneys typically also add their administrative assistant, a legal assistant and/or a paralegal (and sometimes another e-mail address that appears to be a personal or home account).  Keep in mind that adding additional e-mail addresses to your account sends those people e-mail for every filing in every case in which you, the registered attorney, are involved.  Each e-mail address will receive a free look at the document, accessed through the document hyperlink. If other attorneys, such as your partners or associates would like e-mail notification in a case, the Court suggests that they register separately and file an appearance in the particular case.

  • My password is a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that is difficult to remember. Can I change my password?

    Yes. Changing it to something that makes sense to you is easy:

    Log in to the system. On the blue bar at the top of the screen, click on the word Utilities. On the resulting menu, click Maintain Your Password.  Your new password must be eight characters or more, include both uppercase and lowercase alphabetic characters, and contain at least one digit or special character.  After you have decided what your new password will be, click in the password field and type in your new password.  (Note: Your login must remain as it was assigned by the Court.)  At the bottom of the screen, click the Submit button.  Continue to click Submit as prompted until you receive confirmation that the update was successful.

  • Can I be exempted from e-filing?

    The Court expects that all lawyers will be able to comply with the local rule and that they will have access to the necessary hardware and software. Our E-Filing Help Desk staff are ready to help lawyers with any questions or concerns they may have, and advice is available through the ECF Help Desk, (616) 456-2206, (800) 290-2742, or via e-mail at ecfhelp@miwd.uscourts.gov. If the situation is such that the attorney is nevertheless contemplating an exemption, they should refer to the E-Filing Exemption Policy for guidance and requirements.

  • Is the system secure?

    The electronic filing system has several layers of security. First, a login and password are required to access the system. Second, documents are encrypted and transmitted through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Last, the electronic receipt issued by the Court contains a unique validation code that works along with the portable document format to ensure that documents cannot be altered after being received by the Court.

  • What if something goes wrong?

    While the electronic filing system is highly reliable, the Clerk's Office has established a Help Desk to assist if problems occur. The Help Desk will be staffed weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. except Federal Holidays, and can be reached by telephone at (616) 456-2206, (800) 290-2742, or via e-mail at ecfhelp@miwd.uscourts.gov.

  • What equipment do I need?
    • A computer running a Windows or a Macintosh operating system
    • PDF writing software to convert documents from a word processor format to portable document format (PDF)
    • A word processor
    • Internet access supporting a transfer rate of 56Kbps or higher (high speed Internet is recommended)
    • Browser software (Please refer to the CM/ECF login screen for the latest information on recommended versions of browser software.)
    • A scanner to image documents that were not created by you (attachments/exhibits)
  • What do I need to do?

    An attorney seeking to file documents electronically in the Western District of Michigan must:

    • Be admitted to practice in this Court
    • Complete an electronic filing registration form (one per attorney)

    Note that a PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) account is also required. A PACER account can be shared among multiple attorneys. Upon receipt of the e-filing registration form, the Court will:

    contact the attorney via e-mail to confirm the e-mail address

    • upon receipt of confirmation, issue a login and password that will permit access to the system and serve as that attorney's signature on all documents filed for Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 and other purposes

    Attorneys must safeguard their passwords and notify the Court if they learn that a password has been compromised.

  • Which cases are best suited?

    Electronic filing is suitable for nearly all civil and criminal cases. The only cases specifically excluded from electronic filing are those that are filed under seal.

  • Who decides if it will be used?

    The Local Rules of this Court, as amended January 1, 2005, require filing and service of all documents electronically by use of the ECF system unless the attorney has been specifically exempted by the Court for cause, or a particular document is not eligible for electronic filing under the Local Rule(s).

  • What are the benefits?

    Electronic filing streamlines the typically time-consuming and costly process of delivering legal documents to the Court and sending copies to all the parties in the litigation. The system also improves access to Court records by making documents available even when the Courthouse is otherwise closed for business. Additionally, the system provides immediate notification and service of documents filed.

  • Are any documents precluded from being filed electronically?

    Documents that may not be filed electronically are listed in W.D. Mich. LCivR 5.7 and W.D.Mich. LCrR 49.10.

  • What if the document was not created on a computer?

    The Court recognizes that some documents may not be available in electronic format, for example, items that are to be attached to your work product as exhibits. Nevertheless, many of those documents can be easily and inexpensively scanned for electronic filing.

  • What happens next?

    Once the document is received by the Court, the electronic filing system:

    • sends a receipt to the filer verifying that the document has been received and filed
    • updates the docket sheet
    • makes the updated docket sheet and the document itself immediately available to anyone with access to the system
    • sends a notice of the filing to all registered attorneys associated with the case
  • How do I file electronically?

    Registered attorneys access the Court's electronic filing system over the Internet.  After establishing their identity by entering a Court-assigned login and password, attorneys enter the following information:

    • The case number in which their document is being filed
    • The name of the party for whom the document is being filed
    • The type of document being submitted (answer, motion, etc.)

    The PDF document to be filed is uploaded and is then transmitted to the Court's computer.  A Notice of Electronic Filing is issued by the electronic filing system to confirm the filing and to serve other registered attorneys.

  • How are documents prepared?

    Attorneys create documents on their own computers, using word processing software. However, instead of printing the documents out on paper and delivering them to the Court, the attorneys save the documents in a portable document format (PDF). This format allows other system users to view the documents in their original format regardless of the type of computer or word processing system originally used to create the documents or being used to view them.

  • 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 can be found below.

    Chief Judge Jonker Glenda (517) 819-0396
    Judge Maloney Katheen (269) 385-3050
    Judge Neff Kathy (616) 914-2384
    Judge Quist Kevin (616) 456-6133
    Magistrate Judge Carmody Julie (616) 456-2394
    Magistrate Judge Greeley Cathy (906) 226-3854
    Magistrate Judge Green Angie. (616) 456-2309
    Magistrate Judge Kent Stephanie (616) 456-6308

     

  • 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 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 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 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 file documents under seal?
  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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. LCrR 49.10.

  • How do I arrange for service in a foreign country?

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

  • 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 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.

  • What forms of payment are acceptable?

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.

  • The passport agency requires proof of my citizenship. I lost my documents. What should I give them?

    The best we can do is to provide you with a certified letter verifying your naturalization in our court. Check with the passport agency to find out whether it is acceptable to them.

  • I was naturalized with my parents years ago. Can I get a certified letter or replacement certificate from you?

    Our court does not maintain any records of minor children who were naturalized with their parents. Please contact the USCIS for more information.

  • I lost my citizenship certificate. How do I get a replacement?

    Please contact the USCIS directly. Meanwhile, we can provide you with a certified letter verifying that you were naturalized in the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan if you were naturalized as an adult in our court. The charge is $11.00 or $11.50, depending on the number of pages, and advance payment is required. Contact info@miwd.uscourts.gov or phone 616-456-2381. Include your name as it was when you were naturalized, previous name if applicable, approximate date of admission, and payment information.

  • I mailed my application for citizenship many months ago but I haven’t heard anything. Can you help me?

    Unfortunately, no. Please contact the USCIS directly to inquire about the delay in processing your case.

  • I need citizenship applications, children’s applications, alien registration cards, where can I get them?

    We have no USCIS forms. Please contact them directly at www.uscis.gov, or call1-800-375-5283 (call center) or 1-800-870-3676 (to request forms).

  • How can I contact the jury office?

    Please click here for information about contacting the jury office.

  • What is the penalty for not appearing?

    Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed may be ordered by the district court to appear forthwith and show cause for failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $ 1,000, imprisoned not more than three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.

  • What if there is bad weather on the day I'm asked to appear?

    Those people who have been selected and are sitting as jurors will be notified via telephone if the trial is canceled due to weather. Persons who are supposed to report for selection should call the number listed on your summons. The message will be updated if selection is canceled.

  • Will I be sitting around for a long time before we are taken to the courtroom?

    Normally jury selection begins promptly at 9:00. Occasionally, however, there are delays. Our Judges value you and your participation. We make every effort to use your time well.

  • How can my family reach me in case of an emergency?

    Family may call the jury office in the event of an emergency. Jury staff will notify you immediately.

  • May I bring my children?

    No, the Court has no child care facilities.

  • Are there lunch facilities available or will we be expected to bring our lunch?

    There are restaurants within walking distance of the building or you may bring a lunch with you. Lunch is not provided by the Court.

  • Are jurors given breaks? Are we allowed to smoke?

    Breaks are given both during the selection process and the trial. Smoking is allowed outside of the federal building only.

  • My employer wants proof that I appeared for jury duty.

    Upon check in you will be given a work slip or attendance verification for your employer. If you are selected as a juror you will receive proof of each day's attendance on your last reporting day, at the conclusion of the trial. You may also access the E-Juror portion of our website and print an attendance letter daily.

  • How long will I be at the courthouse the first day?

    You will be required to report promptly at 8:00 a.m. on your first day, unless the telephone answering device tells you another time to report. You will be checked in and receive reporting and selection instructions prior to the selection process. Jury selection normally begins at 9:00 and is normally concluded before 12:00 noon. Trials begin immediately after selection. Therefore, if you are not selected you should be excused before noon.

  • What should I wear?

    Please use good judgment and dress conservatively. Appropriate dress is required. Shorts, halter/tank tops or T-shirts with slogans are not permitted. As courtrooms tend to be cool you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket with you.

  • What should I bring with me when I come in?

    Please bring your Jury Summons with you when you report. You may also want to bring books, magazines or study materials with you. Since the courtrooms tend to be cool, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket with you.

  • Where do I park?

    Click on the link below for the city your Summons requests you to report to:

      Grand Rapids

      Lansing

      Kalamazoo

      Marquette

  • How many days do the trials last?

    Trials can last anywhere from less than one day to several weeks in length. Our trials normally last 3-5 days. The Judge will advise you of the anticipated length of the trial during the selection process.

  • Will I ever be required to serve late in the evening or be sequestered?

    Normally Court is in session from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Only in extremely rare cases will a jury be sequestered.

  • I've been instructed to appear, what happens on the first day that I'm there?

    You will report to the location specified on the recording. Jury personnel will check you in. You will be asked your mileage, whether or not you are a federal employee, whether you stayed in a hotel and where you parked. You will be directed to the jury assembly room where you will see a short film and orientation by jury personnel. Any questions you have will be answered at that time.

  • If I'm asked to appear for selection and must travel, where do I spend the night and how do I pay for it?

    You will have received a list of area hotels with your summons. You must contact the hotel of your choice to make reservations. You will be reimbursed the subsistence allowance. Current Subsistence Rates (effective October 1, 2014):

      Grand Rapids Divisional Office: $147.00

      Kalamazoo Divisional Office: $140.00

      Lansing Divisional Office: $142.00

      Marquette Divisional Office: $129.00

    You will be reimbursed the subsistence rate for each night you stay in a hotel. If you are financially unable to pay for a hotel in advance please contact the court to make other arrangements. Some local hotels will bill the court directly in the event of a financial hardship.

  • I keep calling the 800 number but the telephone is busy, can I find out if I'm supposed to appear any other way?

    For your convenience the reporting schedule is available on this website. Click on the link for the city your Summons requests you to report to: Grand Rapids Lansing Kalamazoo Marquette

  • How do I check for reporting instructions?

    Please call the jury hotline number (800) 553-6050. You will need your nine digit participant number when calling. This number can be found on the front of your summons to the right of your name and address.

  • What is the number I'm supposed to call?

    To contact the jury department please call (800) 553-6050.

  • What protects my employment while I'm serving on a jury duty?

    You are protected by Federal Statue, 28 U.S.C. § 1875, from being discharged, intimidated or coerced by your permanent employer because of your attendance for service at this Court. (a) No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee's jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States. (b) Any employer who violates the provisions of this section - (1) shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of such violation; (2) may be enjoined from further violations of this section and ordered to provide other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the reinstatement of any employee discharged by reason of his jury service; and (3) shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation as to each employee and may be ordered to perform community service

  • Does my employer have to pay me or at least make up the difference while I serve on a jury?

    No, at this time there is no law requiring employers to do so. The majority of employers at least make up the difference.

  • Are jury fees considered reportable income?

    Juror attendance fees are considered “other income” by the IRS and must be reported. A 1099 form will be mailed to any/all jurors who earn at least $600.00 in attendance fees (the $40.00 daily allowance). This does not include reimbursement for travel or subsistence.

  • When will I receive payment for jury service?

    Juror payments are processed each Friday and are usually mailed by the middle of the following week.

  • What fees are paid to jurors?

    During the months of November through March if you live over 50 miles from the courthouse and during the months of April through October and live over 75 miles from the courthouse you are entitled to receive a subsistence fee for each night you are staying in a hotel.

    If you are staying with friends or family the subsistence allowance is $59.00 ($54.00 in Kalamazoo and $51.00 in Marquette) for each night you are staying with them.

    To qualify for the subsistence allowance you must first call (800) 553-6050 and be instructed to appear. If you fail to phone ahead and be instructed to appear you will not receive payment.

    You will be asked to provide a hotel receipt upon check in.

    Current Subsistence Rates (effective October 1, 2017):

      Grand Rapids Divisional Office: $172.00

      Kalamazoo Divisional Office: $154.00

      Lansing Divisional Office: $162.00

      Marquette Divisional Office: $144.00

    You will be reimbursed the subsistence rate for each night you stay in a hotel. If you are financially unable to pay for a hotel in advance please contact the court to make other arrangements. Some local hotels will bill the court directly in the event of a financial hardship.

  • Why have some people never been called for jury duty?

    Eligibility for federal jury service is dependent both upon an individual meeting the legal qualifications for service and upon the random chance of having one's name drawn from the source lists. Each judicial district must have a formal written plan for the selection of jurors, which provides for random selection from a fair cross-section of the community in the district, and which prohibits discrimination in the selection process. Voter records--either voter registration lists or lists of actual voters--are the required source of names for federal court juries. This court supplements voter lists with lists of licensed drivers. Click here for copy of this district's jury plan.

  • I have received a summons from federal court but I just served in my local county court.

    Jury service in a state/county court does not exempt you from serving in federal court. If you have served on a Federal petit/grand jury within two years you may be excused. You must write a letter giving us the information regarding your previous federal jury service.

  • I received a letter stating my request to be excused was denied. I'd like the judge to reconsider. Can I send in another request?

    No, once the Judge has made a decision regarding your request he will not reconsider. If your request is denied you must appear for selection (if instructed to appear when calling as required) and ask for reconsideration during the voir dire process.

  • If an attorney is admitted to practice in the Eastern District of Michigan, is he automatically admitted to practice in the Western District of Michigan?

    No. He must be admitted to practice in each Court. The Petition for Admission is available here.

  • How does an attorney become a member of the bar of this Court?

    The Petition for Admission is available here. All instructions are included.

  • How does an attorney change his/her address?

    If the change of address will affect a case, efile a notice of change of address in that case. If not, send the notice to the Court attention Attorney Maintenance Clerk.

  • How does an attorney obtain a Certificate of Good Standing?

    A Certificate of Good Standing may be requested from the Clerk’s Office electronically.  Refer to the instructions.

  • I sent in a letter to be excused. How/when will I know the Court's decision?

    Requests to be excused are generally processed the day they arrive at the courthouse. All excuse requests are sent to a District Judge, or Magistrate Judge, for decision. The jury department will notify you by email, if an email address was provided, of the judge's decision. If the Court does not have an email address you will be notified via first class mail. You may also check your status by calling (800) 553-6050. Enter your nine digit participant number for your current status. You must continue to call as instructed for reporting information until you have received notification that you have been excused.

  • I've moved out of the district, what should I do?

    Make a note of the county/state you now live and mail it back in the envelope provided with your summons. This information MUST be provided in writing.

  • What counties comprise the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette wheels?

    Southern Division at Grand Rapids:  Antrim, Barry, Benzie, Charlevoix, Clinton, Eaton, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Ionia, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, Wexford
     
    Southern Division at Kalamazoo:  Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Van Buren 
     
    Southern Division at Lansing:  Jurors may occasionally be drawn from Grand Rapids counties to report to Lansing for jury selection.
     
    Northern Division at Marquette (includes entire Upper Peninsula):  Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft.

  • What types of cases are heard in federal court?

    Federal Court jurisdiction is limited to certain kinds of cases listed in the Constitution. For the most part, federal courts only hear cases in which the United States is party, cases involving violations of the Constitution or federal law, crimes on federal land, and bankruptcy cases. Federal courts also hear cases based on state laws that involve parties from different states. While federal courts hear fewer cases than the state courts, the cases they do hear tend to be of national importance because of the federal laws they enforce and the federal rights they protect.

  • I'm a school teacher, can I have my jury service postponed until summer?

    This court does not defer teachers to the summer months as we would have only teachers in the jury pools during that time. If you are a teacher you must serve during the term specified on your summons or you may request to be deferred to a less critical time during the school year.

  • I realize it is my civic duty to participate in the jury process but I can't do it during the term specified on the summons, is it possible to have my jury service postponed?

    The Jury Act allows courts to grant temporary deferrals of service on the grounds of "extreme hardship or extreme inconvenience". If jury service during the time specified on your summons will create a hardship for you, you may request in writing, to be postponed to another date. In many cases you will be able to defer yourself to another term by accessing the E-Juror portion of our website.
     
    You must complete all the information in E-Juror before requesting a deferral.
     
    If you are unable to defer yourself through E-juror you may submit a request to the court via the Request an Excuse or Deferral page of our web site.

  • I need copies of old naturalization records (early 1900's). Do you have them?

    We do not have naturalization records prior to 1920. Please see the Genealogy page for information on old naturalization records. For additional information, contact the National Archives and Record Administration located in Chicago, Illinois, or the county court where the person resided at the time they were naturalized. The National Archives website can be accessed here.

  • What is the difference between Petit and Grand jury?

    The powers and functions of the federal grand jury differ from those of the federal trial jury, which is called the “petit” jury. The petit jury listens to evidence offered by the prosecution and the defense (if it chooses to offer any) during a criminal trial and returns a verdict of guilty or not guilty. The grand jury, on the other hand, does not determine guilt or innocence, but only whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that a specific person or persons committed it. If the grand jury finds probable cause to exist, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an “indictment”. After that the accused may go to trial.

  • Am I required to serve, is jury duty mandatory?

    Yes.  The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both crimnial and civil cases.  Your participation as a juror helps make this possible.

  • What information do I need to return to the court?

    If you elect to send the paper forms mailed to you with your summons you need to return both the qualification questionnair and the supplimental questionnaire.

  • I received a summons, how do I know it's a legitimate federal form?

    See the form below.

     

  • I've received a summons, does that mean I automatically have to appear on the date printed on the summons?

    Not necessarily. The court calls only the number of people needed for each selection. Therefore, you must always call the (800) number listed on your summons prior to reporting.

  • Why must I serve in (Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette)?

    The state of Michigan is divided into two Districts, the Western District and the Eastern District. Each district is divided into “divisions” with designated counties in each “division”.

    This, the Western District, is comprised of the following counties:

    Southern Division at Grand Rapids:  Antrim, Barry, Benzie, Charlevoix, Clinton, Eaton, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Ionia, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, Wexford

    Southern Division at Kalamazoo:  Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Van Buren

    Southern Division at Lansing:  Jurors may occasionally be drawn from Grand Rapids counties to report to Lansing for jury selection.

    Northern Division at Marquette (includes entire Upper Peninsula):  Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft.

  • Where is the CM/ECF Login?

    From the main menu, click the E-Filing (CM/ECF) button on the left side of the page.

  • I cannot serve on jury duty, should I call the court to ask to be excused?

    No, ALL requests to be excused MUST be made in writing. Please, DO NOT call the court to ask if you have a legitimate reason for being excused. Federal statue requires that all excuse requests must be decided by a Federal District Judge. The jury department can not advise if you have a legitimate excuse. If you feel you have compelling reasons that you can not serve you must write your reasons and submit them in the envelope that came with your summons. If you do not have that envelope you can mail your request to the address on your summons. The only time you should call regarding an excuse is when you have a last minute emergency that cannot be handled through the mail.

  • 1. I received a summons, how do I know it’s a legitimate federal form?

    Click here to view our Summons form.

  • 2. How can I contact the jury office?

    Please click here for information about contacting the jury office.

  • 3. Am I required to serve? Is jury service mandatory?

    Yes.  The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases.  Your participation as a juror helps make this possible.

  • 4. What is the penalty for not appearing?

    Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed may be ordered by the district court to appear forthwith and show cause for failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.

  • 5. Why must I report to (Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette)? What counties are in each division?

    The state of Michigan is divided into two Districts, the Western District and the Eastern District. Each district is divided into “divisions” with designated counties in each “division”.

                This, the Western District, is comprised of the following counties:

                Southern Division at Grand Rapids:  Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Clinton, Eaton, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Ionia, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, Wexford

                Southern Division at Kalamazoo:  Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Van Buren

                Southern Division at Lansing:  Jurors may occasionally be drawn from Grand Rapids counties to report to Lansing for jury selection.

                Northern Division at Marquette (includes entire Upper Peninsula):  Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft.

                GRAND JURORS at the Northern Division in Marquette are drawn from all counties in the Upper Peninsula.

                GRAND JURORS at the Southern Division in Grand Rapids are drawn from all counties in the Southern District of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

     

  • 6. I don’t live in any of the counties in the Western District. What should I do?

    You can respond to the summons via eJuror providing your new address.  You will be disqualified from serving in this district once we have your new information.

  • 7. What types of cases are heard in federal court?

    Federal Court jurisdiction is limited to certain kinds of cases listed in the Constitution. For the most part, federal courts only hear cases in which the United States is party, cases involving violations of the Constitution or federal law, crimes on federal land, and bankruptcy cases. Federal courts also hear cases based on state laws that involve parties from different states. While federal courts hear fewer cases than the state courts, the cases they do hear tend to be of national importance because of the federal laws they enforce and the federal rights they protect.

  • 8. What is the difference between Petit and Grand jury?

    The powers and functions of the federal grand jury differ from those of the federal trial jury, which is called the “petit” jury. The petit jury listens to evidence offered by the prosecution and the defense (if it chooses to offer any) during a criminal trial and returns a verdict of guilty or not guilty. The grand jury, on the other hand, does not determine guilt or innocence, but only whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that a specific person or persons committed it. If the grand jury finds probable cause to exist, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an “indictment”. After that the accused may go to trial.

  • 9. I just received a summons from federal court but I just served in my local court.

    Jury service in a state/county court does not exempt you from serving in federal court. If you have served on a Federal petit/grand jury within two years you may be excused. You must write a letter giving us the information regarding your previous federal jury service.

  • 10. What information do I need to return to the court?

    If you elect to send the paper forms mailed to you with your summons you need to return both the qualification questionnaire and the supplemental questionnaire.  If you respond on-line via eJuror you are not required to submit the paper forms.

  • 11. Do I automatically have to appear on the date printed on the summons?

    Not necessarily.  The court calls only the number of people needed for each selection.  Therefore, you must always call the (800) number listed on your summons, or access your record in eJuror, prior to reporting.

  • 12. How do I check for reporting instructions?

    Please call the jury hotline number (800) 553-6050.  Or, reporting information is also available by logging onto eJuror.  You will need your nine digit participant number to access your jury instructions.  This number can be found on the front of your summons to the right of your name and address.

  • 13. I have lost my summons and do not know my nine digit participant number!

    Jury staff will be able to provide you with your participant number during normal business hours.

  • 14. I realize it is my civic duty to participate in the jury process but I can’t serve during the term specified on the summons. Is it possible to have my jury service postponed?

    The Jury Act allows courts to grant temporary deferrals of service on the grounds of "extreme hardship or extreme inconvenience". If jury service during the time specified on your summons will create a hardship for you, you may request in writing, to be postponed to another date. In many cases you will be able to defer yourself to another term by accessing the eJuror portion of our website.
        
    You must complete all the information in eJuror before requesting a deferral.

    If you are unable to defer yourself through eJuror you may submit a request to the court via the Request an Excuse or Deferral page of our web site.
     

  • 15. I sent a letter to be excused. How/when will I know the Court’s decision?

    Requests to be excused are generally sent to the Judge the day they arrive at the courthouse. All excuse requests are sent to a District Judge, or Magistrate Judge, for decision.  Because they do not have to go through the mail, email requests are processed much sooner than those sent by first class mail.  The jury department will notify you by email, if an email address was provided, of the judge's decision. If the Court does not have an email address you will be notified via first class mail. You may also check your status by calling (800) 553-6050. Enter your nine digit participant number for your current status. You must continue to call as instructed for reporting information until you have received notification that you have been excused.

  • 16. I received a letter/email stating my request to be excused was denied. I’d like the Judge to reconsider. Can I send another request?

    No, once the Judge has made a decision regarding your request he or she will not reconsider. If your request is denied you must appear for selection (if instructed to appear when calling as required) and ask for reconsideration during the voir dire (selection) process

  • 17. If I’m instructed to appear for selection and must travel, where do I spend the night and how do I pay for it?

    During the months of November through March if you live over 50 miles from the courthouse and during the months of April through October if you live over 75 miles from the courthouse you are entitled to receive a subsistence fee for each night you are staying in a hotel.
    If you are staying with friends or family the subsistence allowance is $59.00 ($54 in Kalamazoo and $51.00 in Marquette) for each night you are staying with them.
    To qualify for the subsistence allowance you must first call (800) 553-6050 and be instructed to appear. If you fail to phone ahead and be instructed to appear you will not receive payment.  You will be asked to provide a hotel receipt upon check in.
    Current Subsistence Rates (effective October 1, 2017):

    • Grand Rapids Divisional Office: $172.00
    • Kalamazoo Divisional Office: $154.00
    • Lansing Divisional Office: $162.00
    • Marquette Divisional Office: $144.00

    You will be reimbursed the subsistence rate for each night you stay in a hotel. If you are financially unable to pay for a hotel in advance please contact the court to make other arrangements. Some local hotels will bill the court directly in the event of a financial hardship

  • 18. I’ve called and verified that I am required to appear, what happens on the first day I’m there?

    You will report to the location specified on the recording.  You will be asked for your round trip mileage.  You will see a short video and receive orientation by jury personnel. Any questions you have will be answered at that time.  Parking and hotel information will be addressed at check in.

  • 19. What if there is bad weather on the day I’m asked to appear?

    Those people who have been selected and are sitting as jurors will be notified via telephone if the trial is canceled due to weather. Persons who are supposed to report for selection should call the number listed on your summons. The message will be updated if selection is canceled.

  • 20. Where do I park?

    Click on the link below for the city your Summons requests you to report to:

    Grand Rapids
    Lansing
    Kalamazoo
    Marquette
     

  • 21. What should I wear?

    Please use good judgment and dress conservatively. Appropriate dress is required. Shorts, halter/tank tops or T-shirts with slogans are not permitted. As courtrooms tend to be cool you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket with you

  • 22. Can I bring my telephone/laptop or tablet?

    Jurors are allowed to bring their cell phone into the building.  Although laptops and tablets are permitted the Court does not provide wi-fi at this time.

    Please note that although jurors are allowed to bring their electronics, persons accompanying jurors are not allowed to bring phones or other electronic devices with them into the courthouse and will be required to return them to the car before entering the building.

  • 23. What should I bring with me when I report?

    Please bring your Jury Summons with you when you report. You may also want to bring books, magazines or study materials with you. Since the courtrooms tend to be cool, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket with you.

  • 24. How long will I be at the courthouse the first day?

    You will be required to report promptly at 8:00 a.m. on your first day, unless the telephone answering device tells you another time to report. You will be checked in and receive reporting and selection instructions prior to the selection process. Jury selection normally begins at 9:00 and is normally concluded before 12:00 noon. Trials begin immediately after selection. Therefore, if you are not selected you should be excused before noon.

  • 25. How many days do trials last?

    Trials can last anywhere from less than one day to several weeks in length. Our trials normally last 3-5 days. The Judge will advise you of the anticipated length of the trial during the selection process.

  • 26. Will I ever serve late in the evening or be sequestered?

    Normally Court is in session from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Only in extremely rare cases will a jury be sequestered.

  • 27. May I bring my children?

    No, the Court has no child care facilities

  • 28. How can my family reach me in case of an emergency?

    Family may call the jury office at (800) 553-6050 or (616) 456-2383 in the event of an emergency. Jury staff will notify you immediately.

  • 29. Will I be sitting around for a long time before going to the courtroom?

    Normally jury selection begins promptly at 9:00. Occasionally, however, there are delays. Our Judges value you and your participation. We make every effort to use your time well.

  • 30. Are there lunch facilities available or will we be expected to bring our lunch?

    There are restaurants within walking distance of the building or you may bring a lunch with you. Lunch is not provided by the Court.

  • 31. Are jurors given breaks?

    Breaks are given both during the selection process and during the trial.

  • 32. What fees are paid to jurors?

    Jurors are paid $40.00 for each day you report to the courthouse.  If you are in travel status you will be paid $40.00 for your travel day in addition to the subsistence allowance (see question 17)

  • 33. When will I receive payment for jury service?

    Juror payments are processed each Friday and are usually mailed by the middle of the following week.

  • 34. Is my employer required to pay me or at least make up the difference while I serve on a jury?

    No, at this time there is no law requiring employers to do so.  However, a majority of employers at least make up the difference

  • 35. Are jury fees considered reportable income?

    Daily attendance fees are considered “other income” by the IRS and must be reported. A 1099 form will be mailed to any/all jurors who earn at least $600.00 in attendance fees (the $40.00 daily allowance). This does not include reimbursement for travel or subsistence.

  • 36. My employer wants proof that I appeared for jury duty.

    At check in, and upon request, a work slip or attendance verification will be provided.  If selected as a juror you will receive proof of each day's attendance on your last reporting day, at the conclusion of the trial. You may also access the eJuror portion of our website and print an attendance letter daily.

  • 37. What protects my employment while I’m serving on jury duty?

    You are protected by Federal Statue, 28 U.S.C. § 1875, from being discharged, intimidated or coerced by your permanent employer because of your attendance for service at this Court. (a) No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee's jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States. (b) Any employer who violates the provisions of this section - (1) shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of such violation; (2) may be enjoined from further violations of this section and ordered to provide other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the reinstatement of any employee discharged by reason of his jury service; and (3) shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation as to each employee and may be ordered to perform community service

  • 38. Why have some people never been called for jury duty?

    Eligibility for federal jury service is dependent both upon an individual meeting the legal qualifications for service and upon the random chance of having one's name drawn from the source lists. Each judicial district must have a formal written plan for the selection of jurors, which provides for random selection from a fair cross-section of the community in the district, and which prohibits discrimination in the selection process. Voter records--either voter registration lists or lists of actual voters--are the required source of names for federal court juries. This court supplements voter lists with lists of licensed drivers and Michigan I.D. holders. Click here for copy of this district's jury plan.