51st Circuit Court
Hon. Susan Kasley Sniegowski
304 East Ludington Avenue
Ludington, MI 49431-2121
Weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For filing-related matters, call the
Circuit Court Records Office: 231-845-1445.
For more information, visit the
Mason County Clerk’s Court Services page.
For scheduling matters, call the
Circuit Court Administration Office: 231-845-0516.
General Information about Circuit Courts in Michigan
The Constitution of 1908 provided for judicial circuits, and the number and location of them have evolved over time as population and judicial activity warranted. There are 83 counties in Michigan and only 57 judicial circuits, which are divided along county lines, so there are several multicounty circuits, and Mason County is a part of one of them. The 51st Circuit Court was created in 1978 by Public Act 164 when it joined Mason and Lake Counties together in one circuit, separating them from the 19th Circuit, which since 1897 had encompassed them along with Manistee and Osceola Counties. The Mason County circuit judge travels to hold court sessions as needed in the Village of Baldwin, Lake County's county seat.
Learn More about
the 51st Circuit Court
The circuit court is considered a trial court of general jurisdiction because of its very broad powers. It has jurisdiction over all actions except those specifically designated by state law to be handled by other courts. In general, circuit court has original jurisdiction in all civil cases involving claims exceeding $25,000; all criminal cases that involve felony and high-court misdemeanor offenses; and all family and domestic-relations actions. Additionally, it has appellate jurisdiction to hear certain cases appealed from the other trial courts or from administrative agencies that heard the cases originally.
The family division of the circuit court was created effective January 1, 1998, by Public Act 388 of 1996, and it gave both circuit and probate judges the authority to preside over matters that come within its jurisdiction. This division has exclusive jurisdiction over all family matters (such as divorce, support, custody and parenting time, paternity, and adoptions); proceedings involving juveniles (such as delinquency, emancipation, parental consent, and child abuse and neglect); and personal-protection actions. It also has ancillary jurisdiction over cases involving protected, mentally ill, or developmentally disabled individuals. The friend of the court (FOC) office is part of the family division of the circuit court and assists the court and the parties in domestic-relations cases involving minor children.
How to Search the Records of the 51st Circuit 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 view 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 information 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.