FRIEND OF THE COURT ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 294 of 1982
552.526 Grievance procedure; records; public access to report of grievances; powers and duties of citizen advisory committee.
(1) A party to a friend of the court case who has a grievance concerning office operations or employees shall utilize the following grievance procedure:
(a) File the grievance, in writing, with the appropriate friend of the court office. The office shall cause the grievance to be investigated and decided as soon as practicable. Within 30 days after a grievance is filed, the office shall respond to the grievance or issue a statement to the party filing the grievance stating the reason a response is not possible within that time.
(b) A party who is not satisfied with the decision of the office under subdivision (a) may file a further grievance, in writing, with the chief judge. The chief judge shall cause the grievance to be investigated and decided as soon as practicable. Within 30 days after a grievance is filed, the court shall respond to the grievance or issue a statement to the party filing the grievance stating the reason a response is not possible within that time.
(2) Each office shall maintain a record of grievances received and a record of whether the grievance is decided or outstanding. The record shall be transmitted not less than biannually to the bureau. Each office shall provide public access to the report of grievances prepared by the bureau under section 19.
(3) In addition to the grievance procedure provided in subsection (1), a party to a friend of the court case who has a grievance concerning office operations may file, at any time during the proceedings, the grievance in writing with the appropriate citizen advisory committee. In its discretion, the citizen advisory committee shall conduct a review or investigation of, or hold a formal or informal hearing on, a grievance submitted to the committee. The citizen advisory committee may delegate its responsibility under this subsection to subcommittees appointed as provided in section 4a.
(4) In addition to action taken under subsection (3), the citizen advisory committee shall establish a procedure for randomly selecting grievances submitted directly to the office of the friend of the court. The citizen advisory committee shall review the response of the office to these grievances and report its findings to the court and the county board, either immediately or in the committee's annual report.
(5) The citizen advisory committee shall examine the grievances filed with the friend of the court under this section and shall review or investigate each grievance that alleges that a decision was made based on gender rather than the best interests of the child.
(6) If a citizen advisory committee reviews or investigates a grievance, the committee shall respond to the grievance as soon as practicable.
(7) A grievance filed under subsection (3) is limited to office operations, and the citizen advisory committee shall inform an individual who files with the committee a grievance that concerns an office employee or a court or office decision or recommendation regarding a specific case that such a matter is not a proper subject for a grievance.
History: 1982, Act 294, Eff. July 1, 1983
Am. 1996, Act 366, Eff. Jan. 1, 1997
Am. 2002, Act 571, Eff. June 1, 2003
Popular Name: Friend of the Court
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