Friend of the Court
David Oostdyk, Referee
301 W.  Upton
Reed  City, MI  49677
Tel: (231) 832-6131
Fax: (231) 832-6158

Filing a Complaint

The following questions are specific to complaints.

How do I file a complaint about the Friend of the Court (FOC)?

The Friend of the Court Act  includes a grievance process.  You may use it to complain about a FOC office’s  operations or employees.  A grievance may not be used to change the FOC’s recommendation in your case, or to challenge a referee’s  recommendation or a judge’s decision.  Depending on the subject of your grievance and when you file it, you will receive a response from the FOC, the chief judge, or the local citizen advisory committee.

  • You may file a grievance about the FOC office’s operations or employees with the  local FOC office.  You should use a grievance form that you can get from your local FOC office or from Michigan’s One Court of Justice.
Within 30 days, the FOC must investigate  your grievance and respond in writing or explain why a response cannot be  provided within that time.  If you are not satisfied with the FOC’s  response, you may file the same grievance with the chief circuit court judge. 

  • You may file a grievance about office operations with the Citizen Advisory Committee.
Grievances filed with the citizen advisory committee may complain about only the FOC office's operations, not individual employees.  Since the committee’s role is advisory, it cannot decide the grievance.  However, if the committee or subcommittee is reviewing, investigating, or holding a hearing on a grievance, the meeting will be closed to the public.  After the committee or subcommittee  meets, it then can report its findings to the chief judge and the county board  of commissioners.
How do I complain about a court order?

If you are represented, discuss your legal options with your attorney.  Options include filing a motion for a hearing or filing an appeal.  Orders are not changed under the grievance procedure or by complaints to other government agencies.
How do I file a complaint about the conduct of a judge or referee?

The Judicial Tenure Commission reviews complaints that allege misconduct by judges or referees.  The Commission can  recommend that the Michigan Supreme Court discipline a judge or referee who has acted unethically.  However, the Commission is not a court; that means that it cannot change a court order or a referee’s recommendation.  To obtain that relief, you must either seek rehearing by the same court or file an appeal.

If you wish to file a complaint about misconduct by a judge or referee, contact:  Judicial Tenure Commission Cadillac Place, Ste 8-450, 3034 W. Grand Blvd. Detroit, Michigan 48202; telephone: (313) 875-5110
How do I file a complaint about my attorney?

The Attorney Grievance Commission investigates complaints of misconduct by Michigan attorneys.  If you wish to file a complaint (called a “request for investigation”), contact:  Attorney Grievance  Commission Marquette  Building, Suite 256, 243 West Congress  Street Detroit, Michigan  48226; telephone: (313) 961-6585

The local FOC office may be able to provide a list of local human service organizations that can assist you in ways that the FOC cannot.