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Michigan Court Records

MichiganCourtRecords.us is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the FCRA and does not provide consumer reports. All searches conducted on MichiganCourtRecords.us are subject to the Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.


Are Michigan Records Public?

Under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, most records produced and retained by public bodies or government agencies are considered public. The act states that members of the public are entitled to complete information regarding the affairs of government agencies and their representatives.

Public records are defined under the act as “ any writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created.” Writings could mean handwriting, typewriting, printouts, photographs, video and audio recording, microfilm, and other means of recording or retaining meaningful content. Copies of public records can be acquired by submitting requests to state or local government bodies, including agencies, departments, divisions, boards, or bureaus.

Who Can Access Michigan Public Records?

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act states that all persons except those incarcerated in any federal, state, or local correctional facility can access public records. The law defines “person” as any individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, firm, organization, association, governmental entity, or legal entity. Freedom of Information Act(FOIA) coordinators may determine a person’s eligibility to access public records by demanding valid identification(cards or documents) be presented during requests. Agencies that use standardized open record request forms include a section on the form for a signed statement affirming a requester's eligibility. 

Do I Need to State My Purpose and Use When Requesting Public Records in Michigan?

No, persons requesting public records in Michigan do not need to state a purpose when making their request. Public records are a great help for maintaining accountability and clarity in government. Members of the public may require public records for various reasons, including renewing identification, market research, and performing due diligence during property sales.

What Records are Public in Michigan?

Most records generated and maintained by public bodies in Michigan are considered public records under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. These records can be obtained by members of the public who send requests to the custodians, except when exempt by law. Examples of public records in Michigan include birth records, marriage certificates, property records, criminal records, court records, and death records.

Michigan Public Court Records

Documents and other information generated during court proceedings within Michigan’s jurisdiction are considered court records. Some types of court records include affidavits, dockets, depositions, summons, warrants, pleas, transcripts, complaints, and judgments. These records are usually maintained by the clerk of the court where the case was heard. Public court records in Michigan can also be found using online databases such as the PACER Case Locator and MiCOURT Case Search database.

 Requesters can request any court records from the court clerk unless the record is exempt from disclosure by the Freedom of Information Act.

Michigan Public Criminal Records

Michigan criminal records refer to the official documents detailing crimes, court cases, and convictions in the state. These records are generated and maintained by law enforcement agencies and courts who handle criminal cases in the state. These records are generally considered public except for cases involving minors or juveniles, mental health patients, and domestic violence incidents. Criminal records contain various information about an individual, including their name, physical description, charges, arrest records, booking, and case information.

Different official agencies at state and local levels, such as the Michigan State Police, maintain criminal records in Michigan. Local police and jails also provide access to criminal records for their counties or municipalities. To obtain criminal records in Michigan, requests must provide information such as names, case numbers, or inmate numbers for custodians to make an effective search. Michigan also allows the public to search name-based criminal records online via the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT).

Michigan State Police

7150 Harris Drive

Dimondale, Michigan 48821

Phone: (517) 332-2521

Phone(Records Resource Section): (517) 241-1934

Fax: (517) 241-1935


Michigan Public Arrest Records

State and local law enforcement agencies generally maintain arrest records in Michigan. These include the many county sheriff offices or police departments and the Michigan State Police. To access arrest records in Michigan, requesters must provide these record custodians with sufficient information to search. Information required for an arrest record request will include the individual’s name, arrest date, and inmate number. Records concerning a recent arrest or ongoing criminal information are generally considered confidential until charges are filed or the investigation is finished.

Michigan Public Bankruptcy Records

Michigan Bankruptcy records are the information and documents produced by bankruptcy cases within the state’s jurisdiction. Generally, bankruptcy case records contain the bankruptcy petition, trustee reports, statement of intention, schedules, creditor lists, and other court filings and orders. To look up bankruptcy records in Michigan, requesters must provide the necessary information for the custodians to perform a search. The information should include details like a name or a case number. 

United States Bankruptcy Court

Western District of Michigan


Grand Rapids

US Bankruptcy Court Western District of MI

1 Division Ave N, Room 200

Grand Rapids, MI  49503

Phone: (616)456-2693



US Bankruptcy Court Western District of MI

202 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor

Marquette, MI  49855

Phone: (616) 456-2693



US Courthouse & Federal Building

410 West Michigan, Room 114

Kalamazoo, MI  49007



US Post Office & Federal Courthouse

315 West Allegan Street, Room 101

Lansing, MI  48933


Traverse City

Logan Place West

3249 Racquet Club Drive

Traverse City, MI  49684


Mailing Address

US Bankruptcy Court

Western District of Michigan

1 Division Ave N, Room 200

Grand Rapids, MI  49503


Eastern District of Michigan


Bay City

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Eastern District of Michigan

111 First Street

Bay City, Michigan 48708



U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Eastern District of Michigan

211 West Fort Street

Detroit, Michigan 48226



U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Eastern District of Michigan

226 West Second Street

Flint, Michigan 48502

Michigan Public Birth Records

Michigan Birth Records detail a lot of information as part of the record, including the following:

  • The name of the child
  • The date of birth
  • The sex of the child
  • Place of birth
  • Name and surname of both parents
  • Ages of both parents
  • Residence and nativity of parents
  • Occupation of both parents
  • Date of the birth record
  • The maiden name of the mother

The State of Michigan Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics is responsible for maintaining birth records on a state level in Michigan, with records from 1867. To obtain a birth record in Michigan, requesters must submit a written request to the custodian with information such as the registrant's name, date of birth, and place of birth. Birth records only become public records 100 years after the birth occurred. Until then, the records are considered confidential in Michigan and can only be obtained by certain authorized persons like the registrant, their parents, and legal representatives.

State of Michigan Division of Vital Records

333 S Grand Avenue

South Grand Building, 1st Floor

Lansing MI 48933.

Phone: (517)335-8666 

Email: VRCustomerService@michigan.gov 

Michigan Public Death Records

Michigan Death records are maintained by the State of Michigan Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics. The death record contains detailed information about the deceased, including the following:

  • The name and surname of the deceased
  • Their sex
  • The date of death
  • Marital status
  • Their age at the time of death
  • The place of death
  • Illness or apparent cause of death
  • Occupation if deceased is an adult
  • Names and addresses of parents if underage
  • Birthplace(if not a native of Michigan)
  • Date of the record

Death records in Michigan are public records and can be obtained by anyone. To obtain a death record in Michigan, requesters must submit a request with the deceased's full name at death, place, and date of death. Requests and any required record fees must be submitted to the state division or the appropriate local custodian, such as a county clerk. Some custodians also have online request forms, which can be downloaded or filled out and submitted online.

Michigan Public Marriage Records 

The Michigan Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics has maintained marriage records for Michigan from 1867 to date.  Information contained in a Michigan marriage record includes the following:

  • Date of Marriage
  • Place of Marriage
  • Full names of the bridegroom and bride
  • Age and place of birth of each of the couple
  • The residence of each of the couple at the time of marriage
  • Name and official station of who officiated the marriage
  • Name and residences of at least two witnesses to the marriage
  • Date of record

In Michigan, Marriage records are public records and can be requested and obtained by members of the public. To obtain marriage records in Michigan, requesters must submit requests to the record custodians containing information such as the couple's names, the place of the marriage, and the marriage date. Record requests should also include the appropriate fees if copies are required. The request must contain sufficient information for the custodian to locate the record.

Michigan Public Divorce Records

Michigan divorce records are public records. The information available on Michigan’s divorce records includes the full names of each party, their ages, the date and place of marriage, the number of children involved, if any, and the complainant. The date of filing, the alleged cause of divorce, and final action and judgments are also found in the record.

As divorce records are public, anyone can obtain copies by submitting a request to an appropriate custodian and paying any fees. Custodians for divorce records are the state vital records office and the Clerk of Courts in the county where the divorce was heard.

Michigan Public Inmate Records

Inmate records in Michigan are considered public records and are available to all persons under the law. To look up Michigan inmate public records, requesters must provide custodians with adequate information to search, such as an inmate’s name, prison ID number, and location. The Michigan Department of Corrections(MDOC) maintains records of prisoners, parolees, and probationers under their supervision. Members of the public can also locate inmate records online using the Offender Tracking Information System(OTIS).

Inmate information may include the inmate's full name, any known aliases, MDOC number, physical description and photograph, current status, charges, sentences, current location, arresting agency/charging county, and court file numbers. Certain Michigan inmate information, such as their medical records, may be restricted from public release. Records of juvenile inmates are also not considered public records.

Michigan Department of Corrections

Grandview Plaza

206 E. Michigan Ave.

P.O. Box 30003

Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: (517)335-1426 

Phone: (517)335-2244

Email: KaminskiK@michigan.gov (Public Information)

Michigan Public Sex Offender Information

The Michigan State Police was directed by the Sex Offenders Registration Act to develop and maintain a public Sex Offender Registry for offenders. The information in the registry is available to the public and can be obtained online using the Search section of the registry,

The information on the online registry is available for public use to help monitor offenders and prevent the future commission of any further criminal acts. The information must not be used unlawfully to contact, harass, injure, or commit crimes against registrants in any way or form.

Michigan Public Property Records

Information in Michigan property records includes the property's address, deeds, mortgages, tax assessments, titles, leases, maps, and photographs. The respective County Clerks and Register of Deeds usually maintain this information. The information available in the property records may vary so it is advisable to contact the custodian in advance. To obtain property records in Michigan, requesters must submit a record request to the County Clerk/Register of Deeds with enough information for them to search for and locate the record. Most Counties in Michigan provide a property search tool on their website for quick online searches.

What is Exempted Under the Michigan Public Records Act?

Under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, certain types of records are exempt from public disclosure. A record being exempt means that under the law, its custodians do not have to release these records to the public. Section 15.243 of the act defines and lists the records and information exempted from release by law. Information exempt by this section of the law includes the following:

  • Information of a personal nature, disclosure of which would constitute a clear invasion of an individual's privacy 
  • Law enforcement investigating records if disclosure of the record would interfere with law enforcement proceedings or deprive an individual of a fair trial or administrative adjudication
  • Law enforcement records that reveal investigative techniques or endanger the lives or safety of law enforcement personnel.
  • Records or information specifically described and exempted by state or federal statutes
  • Trade secrets or commercial and financial information if the information was submitted to the government under a promise of confidentiality
  • Information or records subject to attorney-client privilege
  • Information or records subject to doctor/physician-client privilege or any other privilege recognized by statute or court rule
  • Appraisals of real property to be acquired by a public body until an agreement has been entered into
  • Test questions, answers, scoring keys, and other examination instruments or data used to conduct licensing, employment, or academic examination unless the public interest in disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure
  • Medical, counseling, or psychological facts or evaluations concerning an individual

If the public body denies access to a part or all of a record, the requester has the following options:

  • Submit a written appeal to the head of the public body
  • Commence a civil action at the local circuit court or court of claims

How Do I Find Public Records in Michigan?

There are a few general steps available to the public for finding and requesting Michigan public records. 

Step 1: Identify the correct agency that maintains the record

Obtaining a public record in Michigan usually involves contacting the correct agency's custodian or Freedom of Information Act coordinator. For example, criminal records are available from the Michigan State Police, while property records can be found at a county Recorder of Deeds.

Step 2: Gather sufficient information to locate the record

Record requests must be submitted with enough accurate and specific data for the custodians to locate the record in good time. For instance, if requesting birth records, you must provide accurate information such as names of the registrant, date of birth, and place of birth.

Step 3: Submit the request to the public body and pay fees

After completing the first two steps, locate the correct agency and provide the FOIA coordinator with the correct information for the request. Most agencies have multiple ways to make public record requests. Requests can be made in-person, online, by email, or by regular mail. In-person requests usually have the best response times, while mailed requests take the most time. Unless waived, there will be fees for any physical copies of the records requested. It is advisable to contact the agency beforehand with any questions about the request process and fees.

Can I Find Free Public Records in Michigan Using Third-Party Sites?

Members of the public do have the option to source Michigan public records from various third-party websites. These records are usually gathered and organized from various government agency databases. Although obtaining records without visiting an office in person is convenient, requesters should note that these records are not supported or endorsed by any agency. The veracity of these records will differ based on where the site sources its information. During requests on third-party sites, requesters must still provide accurate information such as names, dates, and identification numbers for accurate searches.

How Much Do Public Records Cost in Michigan?

Under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act Section 15.234, public bodies and government agencies are permitted to charge requesters for public records. Michigan law allows them to charge fees for copying, mailing, and other services while responding to a request. The agencies are also allowed to charge search fees for labor expended while searching, examining, and duplicating the record. Search fees may only be up to the hourly rate of the lowest-paid employee qualified to do such work.

For paper copies, the fee must be at most ten cents per page. However, some records will be charged according to fees set by their respective agency. For example, vital records from the state vital records office cost $34, while authenticated copies cost $42. Criminal histories can be obtained online via the state police ICHAT system for $10.

Michigan state law allows requesters to receive fee waivers and discounts in the following cases.

If the fee is under $20, the individual is entitled to the record but submits an affidavit proving they are indigent and receiving public assistance or otherwise unable to pay the fees. Waivers can also be issued if the public body determines that providing the record is in the public interest.

What Happens if I Am Refused a Public Records Request?

A Michigan public record request could be denied for various reasons. For example:

  • The request could be vague and insufficient to locate the record
  • The record does not exist
  • The record is exempt from public disclosure under the law
  • The public body requires more time to complete the request

If a public body decides to deny a request, the requester must be aware of this in writing and give reasons for the denial. The public body must also make the requester aware of their options in light of the denial.

Requesters may initiate the appeal process by writing to the head of the public body. The letter must specifically mention the word “appeal” and explain why the denial should be reversed. The head of the body has ten business days to respond and do one of the following:

  • Reverse the denial
  • Reply to the requester upholding the disclosure denial
  • Reverse the denial in part and issue a notice upholding the denial in part
  • Under some circumstances, the head of the body issues a notice extending the time to respond to the appeal for 10 business days at maximum.

Another option for the requesters is to commence a civil action in the county's circuit court, where the public body is based. If the decision of a state agency is at issue, the action should be made at the court of claims.

Michigan Public Records
  • 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!