Michigan Public Records

The state of Michigan has long made provisions for sharing its records with the general public. This is due to a deep-rooted belief that public records are public property.

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives anyone the ability to access public records unless the person requesting to see or copy the records is incarcerated in a state or local correctional facility. The government agencies that are covered under the Act include any state agency, department, division, or commission in the legislative or executive branches of the state government. Also included in the Act are the records of all the local authorities and bodies funded or created by the state.

Public records, according to the Act, are defined as any writing that has been retained, possessed, owned or used by any public body when conducting an official function. While it includes computerized data, it doesn’t include software.

Michigan Criminal Records

The Michigan State Police stores and provide access to all criminal history checks in Michigan. The Michigan State Police utilizes the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) that allows you to search for public criminal history by fingerprint or name. Serious misdemeanors and felonies are also available within the ICHAT database.

The ICHAT doesn’t supply information about arrest records, juvenile records, jail and inmate records, federal records, traffic records, tribal records or criminal history outside the state of Michigan. It’s worth noting that you will be charged a fee for every search whenever you request for any record.

The Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Centre oversees all state issued background checks. You can find more information about fingerprint-based background checks, name-based background checks and criminal history records search on the official website of the Michigan State Police.

The Michigan Sheriff’s office and the Michigan Department of Corrections are responsible for managing the Michigan jail and inmate records as well as arrest records. The Department of Corrections provides an online searchable database that contains information, such as inmate’s sex, name, identifying marks, age, race, DOC number, and scars. A name-based search typically includes the inmate’s release date, location and parole date.

Michigan Court Records

The Michigan Courts have the responsibility to process and distribute Michigan Court Records. Michigan Courts provide a searchable online database that allows people to search for case the records they need by attorney name or docket number, or by party name. You can contact the Michigan State Court Administrative Office for more information about accessing court records.

Michigan Vital Records

Michigan Vital Records include birth, marriage, divorce and death records. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has the responsibility to maintain, issue, and oversee these records.

  • Birth records: Statewide registration of births began in Michigan in 1867, but there was no full compliance until 1915. These records are obtainable through the relevant county clerks. Microfilms of most of these records are also available at the Family History Library. Birth records for Detroit from 1893 are available at the Detroit Health Department. All state records of birth are held by the Michigan Office of the State Registrar and Center for Health.
  • Death records: The state of Michigan did not require death records until 1805. County registration of deaths began in 1867, but was not fully complied with until around 1915. During this period, county clerks kept the death records. The Michigan Office of the State Registrar and Center for Health keeps records of death from 1867 to present. You will have to pay $34 as a basic search fee.
  • Marriage records: Marriage licenses were not needed in Michigan until 1867. However, many counties began registering marriages from the time they were created. The state of Michigan enacted a law in 1867 that required all counties to record marriages and send copies of the same to the Michigan Office of the Ste Registrar. Marriage records for many counties up to 1920 are kept at the Family History Library. You can search for a marriage record at a cost of $34.
  • Divorce records: The earliest divorce proceedings were handled by the Supreme Court, which kept the records for the same. Later, the clerk of the chancery, county, or circuit court would collect the divorce records. The Family History Library keeps some Michigan divorce papers. Most of the divorce records have been abstracted and published in genealogical periodicals.

You should be able to gain access to the records you need without any difficulty if you make your request appropriately.

Michigan State Court System

Understanding how the system of Michigan state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

Michigan Courts Overview

The trial court system of Michigan State consists of Court of Claims, Concurrent Jurisdiction and Unified Trial Courts, Municipal Courts, Probate Courts, District Courts, and Circuit Courts.

To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Michigan by simply going to courts by county.

Circuit Courts

Michigan Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all types of criminal and civil cases, but typically handles only those cases that other Michigan courts have no jurisdiction to handle.

Civil cases that Circuit Courts hear include juvenile cases, domestic relations, appeals of decisions made by administrative agencies, equity cases, and general civil cases with disputed amount being more than $25,000. Criminal cases include juvenile delinquency, lesser-included offenses, and felonies.

Circuit Courts have Family Divisions for handling juvenile cases and domestic relations. A Family Division hears several cases including juvenile delinquency, child protection, name changes, abuse protection, paternity, adoption and divorce.

District Courts

Michigan District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Civil cases that District Courts handle include most landlord-tenant cases and general civil claims for less than $25,000 as the disputed amount. Criminal cases include most traffic violations, preliminary hearings for felonies, and misdemeanors.

District Courts have Small Claims Divisions for most general civil cases with claims of not more than $5,000.

Probate Courts

Michigan Probate Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle some juvenile matters and probate cases. Generally, the cases that these courts hear include care and protection of persons with physical or mental impairment, the probate of wills, name changes, conservatorships, guardianships, adoptions, and administration of trusts and estates.

Some name changes, adoption, and juvenile cases are currently under the Circuit Court Family Division but used to be under the jurisdiction of the Probate Court. Therefore, the files for such cases in some counties are still maintained in the office of the Probate Court.

Municipal Courts

Michigan Municipal Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. They are available in Wayne County only. They handle some landlord-tenant cases and some general civil cases involving up to $3,000 amount in dispute.

Criminal cases that Municipal Courts handle include some ordinance and traffic violations, preliminary hearings for some felony criminal cases, and misdemeanor criminal cases.

Concurrent Jurisdiction and Unified Trial Courts

Unified Trial Courts are available Washtenaw, Lake, Isabella, Iron, and Berrien Counties, whereby every Trial Court has Divisions, which may retain the jurisdictions and names of the traditional court structure of the county, or may sometimes be based squarely on case types.

Court of Claims

The Michigan Court of Claims has limited jurisdiction to handle civil cases against the department of the state, or against the state itself, if the Circuit Court doesn’t have the jurisdiction and if the disputed amount exceeds $1000.

?Court of Claims

The Michigan Court of Claims operates in Ingham County out of the 30th?Circuit Court but hears cases for the entire State of Michigan.

The State Administration Board hears cases that involve claims for less that $1000 against any department of the state or against the state itself.

Native American Tribal Courts

Some ????Native American tribes in the State of Michigan run their own Tribal Courts independently. These courts have some shared criminal and civil jurisdiction, and the State of Michigan may enforce their judgments.

The Official Website of Michigan County

Detroit City of Detroit
Grand Rapids The City of Grand Rapids The official website of the City of Grand Rapids.
Warren City of Warren, MI The official website of Warren, Michigan, USA. Located at: One City Square, Warren, MI, 48093.
Sterling Heights Services | Sterling Heights, MI – Official Website
Lansing Lansing, MI | Official Website
Ann Arbor The City of Ann Arbor
Flint City of Flint
Dearborn City of Dearborn City of Dearborn Official Website
Livonia City of Livonia, Michigan
Clinton CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CLINTON Clinton Township, Michigan
Canton Canton Township, MI – Official Website
Westland City of Westland, MI
Troy Welcome to City of Troy, Michigan
Farmington Hills Farmington Hills, MI
Macomb Macomb, MI | Official Website
Wayne County Wayne County Home Page
Oakland County Oakland County, Michigan | Oakland County, Michigan
Macomb County Macomb County Government | Macomb County Comprised of 27 local units of government, Macomb County is characterized by dynamic urban clusters, expansive networks of industry and commerce, pristine natural features and bountiful agricultural lands. From the densely-populated southern cities to the rural northern villages, Macomb County possesses a wealth of assets that make it a desirable place to live, work and play.
Kent County accessKent.com – Kent County, Michigan
Genesee County Genesee County Michigan Genesee County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 425,790,[3] making it the fifth-most populous county in Michigan. The county seat and population center is Flint (birthplace of General Motors).[4]Genesee County comprises the Flint, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI Combined Statistical Area.
Washtenaw County Washtenaw County, MI | Official Website
Ingham County Ingham County > Residents
Ottawa County miOttawa – Ottawa County, Michigan
Kalamazoo County Kalamazoo Michigan County Government Web Site
Saginaw County County of Saginaw, Michigan Government The official site of Saginaw County
Livingston County Livingston County
Muskegon County Muskegon County, MI | Official Website
St. Clair County Welcome to St. Clair County, MI
Jackson County Jackson County, MI | Official Website
Berrien County Berrien County, MI | Official Website
Monroe County City of Monroe
Calhoun County Calhoun County is located in southern Michigan, the City of Albion, the City of Marshall and the City of Battle Creek are all located in Calhoun County | Calhoun County Calhoun County is located in southern Michigan. There are three populations areas within the County, the City of Albion in the eastern portion of the County, the City of Marshall in the center and the City of Battle Creek in the northwest corner.
Allegan County Allegan County, Michigan
Bay County Bay County – The Official Bay County Michigan Government Website The official Website of Bay County, Michigan.-
Eaton Countyt Eaton County, MI | Official Website
Lenawee County Lenawee County, MI | Official Website
Lapeer County Lapeer County
Grand Traverse County Grand Traverse County, MI | Official Website
Midland County County of Midland, Michigan > Home
Van Buren County Van Buren County Services and Information Center – Van Buren County Community Information Center
Clinton County Clinton County, MI | Official Website
Shiawassee County Shiawassee County, Michigan Home Page-The official website of Shiawassee County (MI) Government
Isabella County Welcome to Isabella County, Michigan Online Website for Isabella County, Michigan.
Marquette County Welcome to Marquette County, MI Marquette County is the largest county in land area in Michigan, and the most populous county in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,077.
Ionia County Ionia County – Ionia County, Michigan
Montcalm County Welcome to County of Montcalm, Michigan
St. Joseph County St. Joseph County Michigan – Government St. Joseph County Michigan is a great place to live, work and play! Official government website.
Barry County Welcome to Barry County, Michigan
Tuscola County Tuscola County
Newaygo County Welcome to the Newaygo County Website

Michigan Inmate Roster and Inmate Search

Alger County, MI Jail Inmate Alger County Jail Inmate Search
Inmate Search | Berrien County, MI Berrien County Inmate Roster
CLINTON911MI P2C – provided by OSSI Clinton County Sheriff’s Inmate Inquiry
Office of Sheriff Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Information
Ingham County Sheriff’s Office Ingham County Sheriff’s Inmate Search
Inmate Search Isabella County Inmate Search
Jackson County Sheriff’s Jail The Jackson County Jail and its staff members are utilizing a dynamic training program to improve jail services and enhance the criminal justice system.
Kalamazoo Public Access Kalamazoo County Jail Inmate Search
Online Services – Kent County, Michigan Kent County Jail Inmate Lookup
Macomb County Sheriff Inmate Locator Macomb County Jail Inmate Locator
Menominee County ? Departments ? Sheriff’s Office ? Offender Information Search Menominee County Sheriff’s Offender Search
Midland County Sheriff Online Services Midland County Sheriff’s Inmate Tracker
Montcalm County Inmate List Victim Information and Notification Everyday
Police 2 Citizen Muskegon County Jail Inmate Roster
County Jail? Newaygo County Sheriff’s Offender Notification
Inmates Currently Incarcerated | Inmate Locator Oakland County Sheriff’s Inmate Roster
Corrections / County Jail – Oceana County Michigan Oceana County Corrections Inmate Look up
miOttawa – Ottawa County, Michigan Ottawa County Jail Inmate Search
The Offices of St. Clair County – Sheriff St Clair County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Lookup
Inmate Information | Washtenaw County, MI Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office
CORRECTIONS – Offender Search Michigan Department of Corrections
MSP – Criminal History Records Michigan State Police Criminal History Records
Case Search Michigan Court Case Records Search
MSP – Sex Offender Registry Michigan Sex Offender Registry