Michigan’s New Virtual Courtroom Directory: Keeping Courtrooms Open to the Public (Since 1776)

Every courtroom has a public galley, and the public’s seats are still there.

Public access to courtroom proceedings remains intact since 1776.

Step 1: Visit Michigan’s Virtual Courtroom Directory Web Page.

Here’s the link: Michigan Virtual Courtroom Directory. The hearing schedule is on your court’s website.*

It’s extremely simple to link a .pdf of hearing schedules the court’s web site. (Posting on-line can be completed in less time than it took to post at the door of each courtroom).

*The Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office promote cost-effective access to public documents: “Courts should post their daily dockets (on the court’s website, if available) and indicate on the docket which hearings are being held virtually.” If you do not see the schedule (as a simple .pdf or link to an automated schedule), send an email to the help desk at autodev@courts.mi.gov and your court’s administrator. Also consider a FOIA request. FOIA contains a “website exception” that keeps taxpayer costs by allowing court clerks to post public documents like court’s public schedule on the court’s public website.

Step 2: Click your county on the map.

Online Michigan Virtual Courtroom Directory

Step 3: Find a Judge or non-judicial hearing officer (e.g. domestic relations referee) and click “view now.”

Same Courtrooms. New View.

The new view from the courtroom’s (still) public galley

Please help to keep the Virtual Directory Current: If a judge or a non-judicial hearing officer not appear on the list for your county, simply send an e-mail autodev@courts.mi.gov and the help desk will update the link(s) for your county.

Still Open to the Public (Since 1776.)
Simplifying Access to Justice


P.S. How is Virtual Court Working? Here’s an Update from the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office:

Michigan’s justice system has reached one million hours of Zoom hearings.

The Michigan Supreme Court announced recently that courts across the state have logged more than one million hours of online hearings since proceedings were moved online in late March. In order to keep the doors to Michigan’s justice system open, the Court has authorized additional use of remote proceedings, provided training for judges and court staff, and implemented new technology to enhance both security and access. Statewide, nearly 1,000 judges and other courts officers are using Zoom licenses provided by the State Court Administrative Office.

“I believe strongly that the more access the people have to court proceedings, records, and case-related data, the more trust they have in our judicial system and willingness to abide by court orders,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack, as she testified before the state Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. “Conducting one million hours of hearings in less than six months’ time is simply remarkable. At the same time, we build trust by making sure those proceedings can be viewed by the public.”

To enable public access and transparency, the Supreme Court launched a Virtual Courtroom Directory that enables the public to click a map to find their court and watch court proceedings. Courts are required to either live stream proceedings to YouTube or to post a video of those proceedings immediately after the event. Since its launch in May, the public has used the directory more than 80,000 times, and trial court YouTube pages have more than 30,000 subscribers. Read more about the judiciary’s response to COVID-19 here.