Keweenaw County Probate Court - Family Division of Circuit Court
Monday - Friday: 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Closed Legal Holidays
Staff & Contacts
Hon. Keith W. DeForge, Judge
Mary Crampton, Probate Register & Juvenile Officer
Michigan Probate Courts
There is a probate court in each Michigan county, with some of the counties having consolidated to form probate court districts. Each county or district has one or more judges, depending on the population and caseload within each county or district. Keweenaw County is an exception in that Keweenaw has a part-time probate judge who handles all probate and juvenile matters within the county.
Probate courts have traditionally had exclusive jurisdiction in such matters as juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect, adoptions, administration of decedent estates, the admission of wills, name changes, guardianships and conservatorships, and involuntary commitments. In 1998, the Legislature created the family division in the circuit court and moved delinquency, child abuse and neglect, adoptions, name changes, emancipation of minors, waivers of parental consent, and other ancillary family matters from the probate court to the circuit court. The probate court now hears cases pertaining to guardianships, conservatorships, the commitment for hospital care of the mentally ill, and administration of estates and trusts.
In most courts, probate judges were assigned to the family division of the circuit court in order to provide judicial coverage of the caseload. In Keweenaw County all probate matters, including those that were moved to the Family Division of the Circuit Court, are handled by the one part time probate judge of Keweenaw County. Probate judges are elected on a nonpartisan ballot for six year terms, subject to the same requirements as other judges. A candidate must be a qualified elector, a resident of the judicial circuit, a lawyer and under 70 years of age. The Legislature sets their salaries, which may be supplemented by counties.