Obtain Friend of the Court Records
A party, a third-party custodian, a guardian, a guardian ad litem, counsel for a minor, a lawyer-guardian ad litem, or an attorney of record must be given access to Friend of the Court (FOC) records other than confidential information. Michigan Court Rules (MCR) 3.218(B).
To request documents from the Friend of the Court, download the Request to Access FOC Records and Decision Form (PDF).
Charges for Copies of Records
The charge for copying requested records is $1 per page.
Confidential information includes:
- Communications from minors
- Formal mediation records
- FOC grievances filed by the opposing parties and responses
- A party’s address or any other information if release is prohibited by court order
- Protective services reports
- Staff notes from investigations, medical sessions, and settlement conferences
- All other information classified as confidential under Title IV-D. MCR 3.218(A)(3)
Other Types of Confidential Information
Confidential information also includes privileged information or information provided to a governmental agency subject to the express written condition that it remain confidential. However, pursuant to MCR 3219, if there is a dispute involving custody, visitation, or change of domicile, and the court uses a community resource to assist its determination, the court must assure that copies of the written findings and recommendations of the resource are provided to the FOC and the parties or their counsel.
The information in the verified statement attached to the complaint (required by MCR3.206(B)(1)) is considered confidential and may not be released beyond the court, the parties, or the parties’ attorneys without a court order. MCR3.206(B)(2).
Access by Other Entities
Access to certain FOC records must also be given to:
- A citizen advisory committee established under the Friend of the Court Act
- Personnel from the Office of Child Support) (OCS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) (formerly known as the Family Independence Agency)
- The prosecuting attorney
- Protective services personnel
- State and federal auditors. MCR3.218(C)-(F)
Filing a Motion for Access Upon Denial
If denied access, a person may file a motion for an order of access with the judge assigned to the case or, if none, to the chief judge. MCR3.218(G).
Regulations to Protect FOC Records
A court may make reasonable regulations to protect FOC records and to prevent excessive and unreasonable interference with the discharge of FOC functions by administrative order adopted pursuant to MCR 8.112(B). MCR3.218(H).