Kent County courts suspend, limit operations

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Kent County courts are taking steps to eliminate the spread of COVID-19.

The Kent County Probate Court, the 17th Circuit Court and the 61st District Court of Michigan will suspend or limit its operations for the next few weeks.

The Kent County Probate Court will only accept emergency filings and conduct emergency hearings from Tuesday to April 13.

All hearings scheduled to be held at the Kent County Probate Court will be adjourned to a date after June 1, except for any developmentally disabled guardianship hearings scheduled on March 18 and any currently scheduled emergency hearings such as mental health pick-up and transport orders and other mental health petitions.

The court will be closed. Emergency hearings will be held on telephone calls or video conferences. The contact information for the probate court is (616) 632-5440 or probatecourt@kentcountymi.gov.

The court will notify parties of adjourned hearings dates when it reopens.

The 17th Circuit Court in Kent County will be eliminating the need for face-to-face contact until April 13.

The Circuit Court may issue an order for nonessential hearings based on pleadings, adjourn the hearing or hold hearing over the phone. Essential hearings at the court will be held via video feed or over the phone. Jury trials are postponed.

The court will accept personal protection order petitions. Some hearings may require a party to appear but only under exigent circumstances. The judicial staff will contact anyone with a hearing scheduled.

Pleadings must be mailed to the court. Ex-parte pleadings may be submitted to ccclerksexparte@kentcountymi.gov. Restitution payments must be paid online at accesskent.com/ccremittance. Certified court records are available online at accesskent.com/ccrecords

The 61st District Court of Michigan at the Kent County Courthouse also will suspend some operations from March 18 to April 5.

Some of the operations that will not be suspended, however, are felony and misdemeanor arraignments of defendants held in custody. Those arraignments will be conducted by video.

Arraignments on felonies and serious criminal offenses for individuals released from custody prior to video arraignment will take place. Also, probable cause conferences, scheduled preliminary examinations, trials for incarcerated individuals, sentencing for incarcerated individuals and other emergency proceedings will occur.

Court payments can be made online at grcourt.org and court reports can be accessed online by using the record search function at grcourt.org.

The Friend of the Court has dismissed or adjourned all of its hearings.

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