Circuit Court

Courthouse

History

The Circuit Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction established by the Michigan Constitution of 1908. At one time the Circuit consisted of Eaton, Barry and Calhoun Counties and later Barry and Eaton Counties. 

In 1991, the Circuit Court was split ,and Eaton County became a separate circuit, the 56th Circuit Court.

Judges & Jurisdiction

The Circuit Court has two judges. Honorable Janice K. Cunningham and Honorable John D. Maurer are the present Circuit Court Judges. The Court has original jurisdiction over: 

  • All cases involving equitable remedies
  • All civil cases over $25,000
  • All criminal felonies and high court misdemeanors
  • All domestic relations cases
  • Appellate review of District and some state administrative agencies
  • All juvenile matters previously with the Probate Court

Family Division

In 1998 the Eaton County Family Division of the Circuit Court was created. The Family Division now has jurisdiction over all domestic cases and juvenile matters under the concept of One Judge-One Family.

Probate Judge Thomas Byerley is assigned to the Family Division and with the two circuit judges, hears all cases involving families. Judge Thomas Byerley is also the Chief Judge of the Probate, Circuit, and District Courts.

Records Search

The Michigan Courts online case search includes records for the following types of cases:

  • All civil cases over $25,000
  • All criminal felonies and high court misdemeanors
  • All domestic relations cases
  • Appellate review of District and some state administrative agencies

The search does not include the following:

  • District Court records, such as 
    • Small claims
    • Civil cases up to $25,000
    • Civil infractions/traffic cases
    • Felony arraignments and preliminary examinations
    • Landlord-tenant cases
    • Misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail
  • Probate Court records, such as
    • Abuse/neglect and adoption cases
    • Guardianships and mental health commitment petitions
    • Juvenile matters
    • Wills and estates