Mason County Probate Court
Mason County Probate Court
Hon. Jeffrey C. Nellis, Chief Judge
304 East Ludington Avenue
Ludington, MI 49431-2121
Weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed noon to 1:00 p.m.
General Information about Probate Courts in Michigan
In 1818, nearly twenty years before Michigan was admitted as the 26th state to the Union, a court of probate was established in each county organized at the time, and judges served by governor appointment until 1838, when state law made the office elective. There are 83 counties in Michigan, and each has its own probate court, with the exception of ten northern counties that have joined together to form five probate court districts; so there are 78 probate courts in Michigan, each with one or more judges, depending on population and caseload. The Mason County Probate Court is served by one judge, who also has concurrent jurisdiction in the family division of the circuit court.
The probate court has jurisdiction over guardianships and conservatorships (legal relationships established to make personal or financial decisions for minor or adult incapacitated, protected, or developmentally disabled individuals); the commitment, as needed if a danger to self or others, and the course of treatment of mentally ill individuals; and the admission of wills, administration of estates, and supervision of trusts.
When the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963 passed, it provided that a person must be a lawyer in order to become a judge; however, several Michigan probate judges at that time were not lawyers, including Mason County Probate Judge Francis K. Bourisseau, and those judges were authorized to remain in office until they retired. Judge Bourisseau was one of the last nonattorney judges in Michigan, and at this time is the fourth longest-serving probate judge in the state, having served Mason County for 38 years, from 1957 until the time of his retirement in 1995.
How to Search the Records of the Mason County Probate Court
By clicking on the link below, you will leave the courts pages of the Mason County Government website and will go to the Michigan Courts: One Court of Justice terms-of-service page of the website maintained by Judicial Information Services (JIS). Read the terms of service, select "I'm not a robot" and any images as directed until a green arrow appears, and then click continue. Enter the name of a party or a file number and click submit. When the results of the search are retrieved, you can scroll through them and click on the file number of a particular case to display the register of actions, or you can narrow your search by applying the limiting filters provided.
For ease of viewing and reading the details of the case file, you can expand or collapse each section. Click print on the top right-hand side of the page if you want a hard copy of the information. You can also click on the breadcrumb trail at the top left-hand side of the page either to return to the search results for the name you entered or to start a new search for a different name.
The information provided is public record; however, Michigan and federal law preclude disclosure of certain information, and that nonpublic informration is not accessible. The court makes this public information available without any express or implied warranty as to its accuracy. It is presented for informational use only and does not replace the official record on file with the court. No action should be taken in reliance upon the information found through this online search. Always consult the official record maintained by the court for the most complete and current accuracy.