28th Circuit Court
437 E. Division St., Cadillac, MI 49601
(231) 779-9490 (Phone)
(231) 306-2155 (Fax)
Hours: Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hon. Jason J. Elmore
Circuit Court Judge
Hon. Edward D. Van Alst
Presiding Judge of the Family Division- Wexford County
Nicole C. Hagstrom
Circuit Court Administrator
Nancy K. Creed
Circuit Court Reporter
28th Circuit Court
Click on the following link to see the press release dated March 13, 2020 for information regarding the operations of the Wexford Missaukee Court System: Press Release.
The state is divided into judicial circuits along county lines. The State Legislature determines the number of judges within a circuit based upon the court caseload. In less populated rural areas, there are multi-county circuits, and judges travel from one county to another to hold court sessions. The 28th Circuit Court is a multi-county circuit which encompasses both Wexford and Missaukee Counties. Court sessions are, therefore, held in both Cadillac and Lake City, which are the county seats for Wexford and Missaukee Counties, respectively.
The Circuit Court is the trial court with the broadest powers in Michigan. In general, the Circuit Court handles all civil cases with claims of more than $25,000, and all felony criminal cases (case where the accused, if found guilty, could be sent to prison). The Family Division of the Circuit Court handles all cases regarding divorce, paternity, adoptions, personal protection actions, emancipation of minors, treatment and testing of infectious disease, safe delivery of newborns, name changes, juvenile offenses and delinquency, juvenile guardianship, and child abuse and neglect. In addition, the Circuit Court hears cases appealed from other trial courts or from administrative agencies. The Friend of the Court office is part of the Family Division of the Circuit Court and handles domestic relations cases where minor children are involved.
Circuit Judges are elected by the registered voters within their circuit for six year terms in nonpartisan elections. The State Legislature sets the qualifications for a Circuit Judge. Currently, a candidate must be a qualified elector, a resident of the judicial circuit, a lawyer who has been licensed to practice law for at least five years, and under 70 years of age. Circuit Judges are state employees, and their salaries are set by the State Legislature.
INTERACTIVE COURT DATA DASHBOARD
The Michigan Judicial Institute’s Interactive Court Data Dashboard provides important information about the processing time of cases in Wexford and Missaukee Counties, as well as compared to all counties in the State of Michigan. The link is:
This dashboard includes information on the historical and current rates of incoming cases, outgoing or resolved cases, pending caseloads, clearance rates, and more. This link leads to a broad range of information made accessible to the public. Historically, the 28th Circuit Court exceeds the statewide average processing times for its caseload.
FILING DOCUMENTS/MAKING PAYMENTS
The Wexford County Clerk operates as the Clerk for the Circuit Court. If you need to file any pleading or documents, or make a payment to the Court, please do so at the Clerk’s office, which is located one floor below the courtroom on the 2nd floor of the historic side of the courthouse.
IN PERSON APPEARANCE VERSUS VIDEO CONFERENCE APPEARANCE
CIVIL MATTERS: Videoconferencing will be used for all civil pretrials, early Scheduling Conferences, motions regarding discovery, adjournments, modifications to Scheduling Orders, Motions in Limine, post judgment collections, discovery matters, testimonial proofs for pro confesso hearings in divorce matters, motions for correction or amendment of pleadings, and motions for summary disposition. Videoconferencing will not be used for trials or hearings wherein testimony of witnesses or presentation of evidence may occur.
CRIMINAL MATTERS: Videoconferencing will be used for all initial Arraignments on Felony Informations if not done in writing, Pretrial Conferences, Arraignments, and initial Show Causes on bond violations and probation violations, probation violation informal hearings, non-evidentiary motions and pleas. Videoconferencing will not be used for trials, Final Pretrial Conferences, or any proceedings wherein the testimony of witnesses or presentation of evidence may occur, except in the discretion of the Court after all parties have had notice and an opportunity to be heard on the use of videoconferencing. This includes Sentence hearings, motions, bond violation hearings, and probation violation formal hearings.
IN ALL MATTERS: If there is a request by a participant to appear in person or the participant is unable to adequately use videoconferencing technology, the participant, along with the attorneys of record, will appear in-person before the Court. Additionally, the Court reserves the right to determine that a case is not suited for videoconferencing. All videoconferencing in matters involving the 28th Circuit Court will be conducted via Zoom at meeting ID # 630 706 0616.
Virtual courtroom proceedings are the same as in-person proceedings. Appropriate conduct and attire are required. The proceeding may be terminated if the video experience is not acceptable.