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Michigan Court Records

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Kent County Court Records

Courts in Kent County, Michigan, are legally responsible for maintaining and preserving documentary materials filed and generated during civil or criminal case proceedings.

According to Michigan Court Rule (MCR) 1.109, court records include discovery materials, recordings, pleadings, orders, judgments, stenographic tapes, log notes, warrants, exhibits, and other information entered into the statewide electronic filing system.

Kent County court records provide the public with insight into the judicial system and legal precedents that attorneys can use to plead their cases.

Are Court Records Public in Kent County?

Yes. MCR 8.119 authorizes public access to Kent County court records. The court rule states that courts should publicly provide records of their adjudicative functions upon request.

Nonetheless, the public's right of access is not absolute. Certain records are withdrawn from public access by law, court rule, or court order. They include juvenile, adoption, and sealed court records. Additionally, personally identifiable information such as social security and financial details are also restricted from public access.

Kent County Court Records Search

Members of the public can conduct a court records search in Kent County, Michigan, as follows:

  • Visit the courthouse where the case was heard.
  • Contact or write to the relevant court clerk's office. (A court clerk serves as the official keeper of court records in any court.)
  • Access the Michigan judiciary's MiCourts portal or a similar web-based search tool on the presiding court's website.
  • Search a third-party aggregator website.

Kent County Court Records Search by Name

A name search allows citizens to obtain Kent County court records using a defendant, plaintiff, or other case party's name. One can inquire at the county courthouse where a case was filed or through a court clerk's office. For example, individuals can look up circuit court cases by name using the court's Online Name Search tool.

It is advisable to have a first and last name (or business name, if applicable) and an approximate filing date to narrow results. Note that while searches are typically free, the court may charge to disseminate copies. These fees vary by court.

Kent County Courts

Kent County houses a circuit court (Michigan's 17th Judicial Circuit), five district courts, and a probate court. Below are the courthouse locations within the county:

17th Circuit Court - Kent
Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 632-5220

59th District Court - City of Grandville
3161 Wilson Avenue Southwest
Grandville, MI 49418
Phone: (616) 538-9660

59th District Court - City of Walker
4343 Remembrance Road Northwest
Walker, MI 49534
Phone: (616) 453-5765

61st District Court - City of Grand Rapids
Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 632-5700

62A District Court - City of Wyoming
Wyoming Justice Center
2650 DeHoop Avenue Southwest
Wyoming, MI 49509
Phone: ((616) 530-7385

[62B District Court - City of Kentwood](https://www.kentwood.us/city_services/city_departments/court(62-bdistrict)/)
4740 Walma Avenue, Southeast
Kentwood, MI 49512
Phone: (616) 698-9310

63rd District Court - Kent County
1950 East Beltline Avenue, Northeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: (616) 632-7770

Kent County Probate Court
Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue Northwest
Suite 2500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 632-5440

Kent County Superior Court Case Search

Kent County has no superior courts. Instead, the Circuit Court is the county's highest trial court, similar to the superior courts in other US states. The Circuit Court is authorized to adjudicate all civil matters over $25,000, serious criminal cases (felonies and serious misdemeanors), all domestic cases, and appeals from lower courts of limited jurisdiction.

The court's appellate jurisdiction also covers appeals from local government boards and certain administrative state bodies (like the Secretary of State's Driver's License Appeal Division).

Individuals may explore the following avenues to find civil and criminal cases litigated in the Kent County Circuit Court:

Kent County District Court Records

Kent County has five district courts with exclusive jurisdiction over several civil and criminal matters. The courts oversee civil suits of $25,000 or less, landlord/tenant conflicts, small claims involving $6,500 or less, garnishments, and land contract/mortgage foreclosures. The courts also hear all adult criminal misdemeanors. However, a district court can only handle matters within its city limits.

The district courts in Kent County cover these jurisdictions:

  • 59th District Court: City of Walker
  • 59th District Court: City of Grandville
  • 61st District Court: City of Grand Rapids
  • 62-A District Court: City of Wyoming
  • 62-B District Court: City of Kentwood
  • 63rd District Court: Other Kent County city locations, such as Cannon, Casnovia Village, Nelson, Oakfield, etc.

To find district court records, individuals may visit or contact the specific court where a case was filed. A name or case number may be needed to process a request.

Kent County Criminal Records

Kent County criminal records contain personal information and descriptors regarding individuals arrested for or convicted of misdemeanor or felony offenses. Anyone who wants to run a criminal history background check or obtain Kent County Arrest Records should visit the Michigan State Police's Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIC).

The Criminal Justice Information Center preserves and disseminates criminal history records for all of Michigan, including Kent County. Requesters can conduct both name- and fingerprint-based background checks. However, fingerprints are only required if a state or federal statute demands it, such as when the check is necessary for employment, licensing, visa immigration, or adoption.

The Internet Criminal History Access Tool ("ICHAT") provided by the CJIC is the central repository for all criminal history record information filed with the Michigan State Police. Law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and courts are mandated to upload all felonies and serious misdemeanors filed in all 83 Michigan counties and punishable by over 93 days to this repository. The ICHAT does not provide information on warrants, suppressed records, tribal records, traffic records, juvenile records, federal records, and criminal history from other US states.

Anyone running a name-based background check must provide the record holder's full name, date of birth, suffix, gender, race, and a System Identification number. One may follow the CJIC's step-by-step guide to learn how to run a background search on ICHAT.

On the other hand, a fingerprint-based check can be conducted as follows:

  • For employment and licensing background checks, one should obtain the RI-030 request form from a licensing agency or employer. On the other hand, anyone running a personal records check for visa, immigration, or adoption should visit any local enforcement agency to complete a Michigan Applicant Fingerprint Card (RI-008).
  • Persons running a fingerprint check for employment and licensing should contact an approved live scan vendor. The vendor will charge both the state and FBI search fees. It is advisable to call the vendor or law enforcement agency to verify their business hours for a live scan or applicant fingerprinting.
  • Non-Michigan residents may visit any law enforcement agency within their jurisdiction and request to be printed on an FBI Applicant Fingerprint card (FD-258). In the "Reason Fingerprinted" section of the card, indicate the reason for the record check, such as personal, visa, adoption, or immigration checks. Individuals must also include a return address, phone number, email address, and a cover letter giving a detailed reason for the fingerprint check. The fingerprints and a $30 processing fee should be submitted to:
    Michigan State Police
    Criminal Justice Information Center
    P.O. Box 30266
    Lansing, Michigan 48909-7766

Fees are payable by money order or check. The agency only provides one original certified or notarized response. Additional requests attract an extra $1.

  • Processing and mail delivery for RI-030 and RI-008 takes around seven business days and 3 to 5 weeks, respectively.

More information about fingerprint checks is available on the CJIC Criminal History Records page.

Kent County Criminal Court Case Lookup

People interested in performing criminal court case lookups should query the court where the case was filed, which may be the circuit court or a district court. For example, those performing a circuit criminal case lookup can access the court's Name Search tool under Online Services using a defendant's full name and date of birth. One may also obtain criminal case information at the circuit court clerk's office in person or via the phone at (616) 632-5480.

On the other hand, persons seeking criminal case records from a district court can access the Michigan MiCourts portal to search.

Get Kent County Civil Court Records

People looking for Kent County civil court records generated during civil proceedings can visit the circuit or district court where the case was heard. For example, the Kent County district courts have public access terminals in their lobbies. Visitors may obtain copies of civil court records at $1 per page.

Meanwhile, as explained, anyone requesting a civil court record from the Kent County Circuit Court should contact or visit the circuit clerk's office.

Kent County Family Court Records

To find family court records in Kent County, people may visit the Clerk of the Circuit Court's office. These records contain information about family law cases litigated in the county, including child custody, child support, dissolution of marriage, and paternity. The Clerk's office is on the 2nd floor of the Kent County Courthouse in Grand Rapids.

Admittedly, not all family court records are released publicly. Some records are assigned confidential status and accessible only to the case parties or by court order.

Note: Individuals searching for records maintained by the Friend of the Court (FOC), the enforcement and investigative arm of the circuit court's Family Division, can search their cases online or request a copy by submitting the Request to Access form (ordering guidelines and fees are outlined on the form).

Kent Dissolution of Marriage Records

Individuals can contact the Kent County Circuit Court Clerk to request copies of dissolution of marriage records maintained in the county. Certified copies of divorce judgments can also be obtained online for a $15 fee. A convenience fee applies to the total order.

Kent County Marriage and Divorce Records

In addition to the Kent County Circuit Court Clerk, members of the public can obtain copies of Kent County divorce records from the Michigan Department Of Health And Human Services for $34. Ordering details are provided on the agency's website, but parties can generally order online, in person, by mail, or via telephone. The MDHHS maintains divorce records from 1867 to the present.

On the other hand, individuals can use the Kent County Clerk's Self-Service Search Portal to request certified copies of Kent County marriage certificates. A search can be performed with a spouse's full name or marriage license number. Other ordering guidelines for marriage records are provided on the Clerk's website. The MDHHS Vital Records and Health Statistics Division also issues Kent County marriage records from 1867 to the present. Each copy costs $34.

Kent County Birth and Death Records

MCL 333.2882 authorizes only subjects of records and named parents or legal guardians to order and receive copies of Kent birth certificates less than 100 years old. A legal guardian must present their guardianship papers. However, death records, including the cause of death, are available to anyone.

Generally, individuals can obtain birth and death records from the Kent County Clerk's Office or the MDHHS Vital Records and Health Statistics Division. Here's how to order birth and death records from the Kent County Clerk's office:

In Person

Authorized persons can visit the Kent County Clerk's office to request copies of certified birth or death certificates. Inquirers must also present a government-issued photo ID or a valid driver's license. A certified copy costs $10 for the initial copy and $3 for an additional copy in the same order.

By Mail

One can print and mail a completed Vital Records Request Form to:

Kent County Clerk
300 Monroe Avenue North West
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 632-7640


Requesters can also visit the Clerk's Self-Service Search Portal to obtain birth and death records.

Note: An heir requesting a deceased person's birth record under 100 years old must present a copy of the death certificate and documents to prove their relationship.

Kent County Probate Court Records

The Kent County Probate Court is a court of limited jurisdiction statutorily assigned to handle cases concerning mentally ill or incapacitated persons and the transfer of assets at death. The probate court also manages wills for safekeeping and handles proceedings for secret marriages, drain appeals, and change of name.

Anyone can look up probate cases via the Probate Court Record Search portal. A search can be performed with a full name, business name, or case number. People can also request copies of probate records at the following address:

180 Ottawa Avenue Northwest
Suite 2500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Certified copies cost $12 per page, and an exemplified document costs $10 plus $2. Standard copies cost $2 per page.

Kent County Property Records

In Kent County, the Register of Deeds Office records all real property transactions, including deeds, mortgages, liens, land contracts, and related real estate files. Individuals can visit the Register of Deeds office in Downtown Grand Rapids or mail a written request for copies of recorded documents.

At the same time, one can search and order Kent property records online using the following web-based systems:

  • The Kent County Register of Deeds Self-Service System for a nominal fee. Search criteria include names, document numbers, document types, and legal descriptions.
  • The Search Property Data platform for property information maintained by the Treasurer and Equalization offices. Search queries include a parcel number or an address.

Kent County Court Records Online

Several third-party websites like Michigancourtrecords.us offer court records search services to the public online. To search for Kent County court records on these websites, one must possess a first and last name or phone number. These platforms are owned by private individuals who purchase bulk official records for commercial reasons.

A major advantage of using a third-party website is convenience: users can access public records across Michigan and other US states. However, there may be limitations on a record's completeness, necessitating the need to cross-reference the records against government repositories for accuracy. Also, most third-party websites charge users on a subscription basis for copies.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!