FRIEND OF THE COURT ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 294 of 1982
552.503 Office of the friend of the court; creation in judicial circuit; exception; separate office in county; vacancy; merger; head of office as friend of the court; friend of the court as employee of circuit court; performance of duties; office procedures; availability of services to public.
(1) There is created in each judicial circuit of this state an office of the friend of the court, except as provided in subsection (2).
(2) If each county in a multicounty judicial circuit has a separate office of the friend of the court on the day before the effective date of this act, each county in that circuit shall have a separate office of the friend of the court on the effective date of this act. If a vacancy occurs in the position of the friend of the court in such a county, the chief judge may merge the office of the friend of the court in that county with the office of the friend of the court in another county of the judicial circuit.
(3) The head of each office is the friend of the court serving under section 21(1) or appointed according to section 23.
(4) The friend of the court is an employee of the circuit court in the judicial circuit served by the friend of the court.
(5) The duties of the office shall be performed under the direction and supervision of the chief judge.
(6) Except as otherwise required by federal law on cases that are eligible for funding under title IV-D, the friend of the court is only required to perform activities under this act or the support and parenting time enforcement act when a party in that case has requested title IV-D services.
(7) Each friend of the court shall take all necessary steps to adopt office procedures to implement this act, the Michigan court rules, and the recommendations of the bureau. Office of the friend of the court duties shall be performed in accordance with the Elliott-Larsen civil rights act, 1976 PA 453, MCL 37.2101 to 37.2804.
(8) An office of the friend of the court shall be open to the public making available all of the office's services not less than 20 hours each month during nontraditional office hours. This subsection does not require an office of the friend of the court to be open for a greater number of hours than it was required to be open before January 1, 1997.
History: 1982, Act 294, Eff. July 1, 1983
Am. 1996, Act 365, Eff. Jan. 1, 1997
Am. 2004, Act 210, Eff. Oct. 1, 2004
Popular Name: Friend of the Court
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