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The Right Connection - Legal Issues



Legal Issues

Click on each title below to see detailed information.

MINORS
You and the Law - The eighth edition of the State Bar of Michigan’s “You and the Law” booklet may be purchased from the SBM website. This 36-page booklet is geared toward junior high and high school students and uses a reader-friendly question and answer format to present a basic picture of state and federal statutes and their impact on the teenage audience: driver’s licenses, employment, school, criminal offenses, and tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. The costs is $1.50 a copy; a PDF order form can be found athttp://www.michbar.org/publications/pdfs/pub_order.pdf.
  
ADULTS/YOUTH
Michigan Law for Everyone by Sherry A. Wells, J.D. is a book which provides information on landlord-tenant, contracts, real estate, divorce, juvenile law, guardianships, insurance, accidents, unemployment, small claims courts, wills and probate, business law, workers compensation, how to find an attorney, attorney fees, examples of laws and legal forms. Available at bookstores.

Free civil legal advice and representation for eligible clients (low or moderate income, U.S. citizen or legal residents.  Available from Legal Aid and Defender Association, Macomb County office.  Toll-free number: (877) 964 -4700.  Online applications are posted on their website: www.ladadetroit.org

Legal Aid and Defender Association, Macomb County office. Toll-free number:
(877) 964-4700.  www.ladadetroit.org Online applications are posted at:
http://www.ladadetroit.org/intake_legalhelp.php

Lakeshore Legal Aid
(888) 783-8190

Low cost walk-in clinic provides a walk-in only legal clinic on Tuesday evenings starting at 6:30 P.M. and Thursday at 11:00 A.M. on a first-come, first-serve basis, no appointments are necessary. Attorneys volunteer their services to give "advice only". A donation of $5.00 or more is requested but not mandatory. Available from Common Ground in Bloomfield Hills, whose services are not restricted by County. Call (248) 456-8150 or toll free at (800) 231-1127 for more information; or visit their website at: www.commongroundhelps.org

The Macomb County Bar Association Legal Referral Services
provides a referral to a lawyer. For more information call (586) 468-8300 or go to http://macombbar.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=276. 

Youth under the age of 18 must have parental consent to enter into a marriage contract in the state of Michigan. If the youth is less than 15 years of age, he/she and his/her parent must go to Probate Court to start the process.

If the youth is under 15 and does not have parental consent or only one parent's consent, he/she must apply for a secret marriage license. A hearing date is set, approximately 14 days later. The parents are notified of the hearing and may give testimony. The judge's decision is based on the    circumstances of the situation and testimony.

If the youth is under 15 and has both parent's consent, he/she applies for a secret marriage license and a hearing date may be set for that day. The judge's decision is based on the circumstances of the situation and testimony.

If the youth is aged 16-18, he/she must have parental consent to get married. They begin the process by going to the County Clerk Office, 1st Floor, Court Building in Mt. Clemens (586) 469-5749 with their custodial parent to apply for a marriage license. The youth must bring in a certified copy of their birth certificate. The parent must bring in their own picture identification (preferably a driver's license) and must sign a parental consent form in order for the youth to apply for the marriage license.

At least one applicant must appear to apply for a marriage license and show proper photo identification (driver's license). If one of the people who wishes to get married is underage, then the one who is underage must come in person to apply for the marriage license and bring a birth certificate.

For more information, call the Macomb County Clerk's Office, 40 N. Main, Mt. Clemens (586) 469-5120 or go to http://www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/directories.htm.
In accordance with Michigan law [MCL 28.292(14)], the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) waives the fees for a State of Michigan Personal Identification Card (PID) for applicants who present good cause. The statute includes four instances of good cause: individuals 65 or over; those who are legally blind; those who wish to add or remove a heart insignia; and drivers whose licenses have been suspended because of a physical or mental disability. The statute also allows the fee to be waived for "a person who presents other good cause for a fee waiver."

MDOS has identified four instances, in addition to the four statutorily mandated instances, of good cause in which it will waive the $10 PID fee in accordance with MCL 28.292(14)(d): 

MDOS will waive the $10 PID fee for individuals who provide documentary evidence specified by MDOS demonstrating that the applicant is currently receiving benefits from one of the following programs:
  • Michigan Department of Human Services Family Independence Program (FIP)
  • Michigan Department of Human Services State Disability Assistance (SDA)
  • Social Security Administration Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
  • Social Security Administration Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI)

To apply, go to your local Secretary of State office.



A divorce case is started by filing a complaint for divorce in the circuit court. The person may file in the circuit court for the county where he/she lives or in the county where the spouse lives, if they are separated.

Either spouse must have resided in the county where he/she files for at least ten days immediately before filing. Also, there is no such thing as filing jointly for divorce; one spouse must be the filing party (plaintiff).

For more information on divorce, download the article “The Initial Consultation with Your Divorce Attorney: What to Expect When You Don’t Know What to Expect” posted in the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan website.  http://www.michbar.org/family/pdfs/SpecialIssue07_schaefer.pdf

Information on stalking and Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) is available from the Michigan Women’s Commission, Detroit, Michigan, (313) 456-4702. Download at http://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138-4957_5926---,00.html

A court order to protect a person from harassment, assault, beating, molesting, wounding, or stalking from another person. A short form called a Personal Protection Order (PPO) may be filed with the Macomb County Clerk’s Office, 10 N. Main, Mt. Clemens, 48043. Items needed to complete the forms are: a copy of the complaint for divorce, annulment, or separate maintenance; copies of custody orders if there are any, and; the costs of serving papers on the restrained person. There may be a fee for the motion to the court. For help in completing this form, call (586) 469-7494.

If a person is being stalked, he/she should report it to his/her local police department whether or not he/she plans to file formal charges.


Emancipation provides legal independent status to some underage youth. By law in Michigan, youth aged 16 or older may file for emancipation. It is a legal process where the youth must demonstrate the ability to accept adult responsibilities. Start by contacting Juvenile Court, (586) 469-5412 for information on the law and its criteria. Criteria for emancipation include:

  • Demonstrated ability to support self (must provide proof of support)

  • Ability to accept/handle adult responsibilities, i.e., sign legally-binding contracts

  • A required written affidavit from a professional person (teacher, nurse, minister, counselor, probation officer, etc. ) attesting to youth's ability to act in a mature manner.

  • Providing a birth certificate

The process takes about 3-4 weeks once the petition is filed. This is a legal process where the decision is made based on facts presented to the court. Parents may participate, though their input is generally in the form of a statement to the court. While many teenagers seek information on emancipation, much fewer actually meet the criteria and follow through with the petition. Parents cannot file for emancipation of their children. For more information or for an appointment, call Macomb County Juvenile Court, (586) 469-5412.

Persons under the age of 18 cannot be legally bound by written and/or verbal contracts unless emancipated.
Information and help in filing for Michigan Crime Victim Compensation, help in obtaining emergency services (e.g., food, housing, clothing); referrals to other community agencies; information on how the Court works and the status of a particular case; accompany victim to Court when requested; provide assistance in returning personal property to victims; and provide an opportunity to express feelings about their case to the judges at the time of sentencing. Available from Prosecuting Attorney's Office - Victim/Witness Unit, (586) 469-5675.  For more information, go to http://www.macombcountymi.gov/prosecutorsoffice/pdf/crimevictimsrights_full.pdf

Curfews vary according to various districts throughout the County. Enforcement varies depending on conditions, e.g., curfews are more strenuously enforced on Devil's night in most areas. Macomb County curfews:

Center Line 13 and under 10:00 P.M.
14 - 18 12:00 midnight
Chesterfield Twp. 12 and under 10:00 P.M.
16 and under 11:00 P.M.
Clinton Twp. 11 and under 10:00 P.M.
12 -16 Midnight
Eastpointe 12 and under 10:00 P.M.
17and under 11:00 P.M.
Fraser 15and under 10:00 P.M. in winter,
11 P.M. in summer
Mt. Clemens 16 and under 10:00 P.M.weekdays
 10:30 weekends
New Baltimore 15 and under 12:00 midnight -  7:00 A.M.
New Haven 18 and under 10:00 P.M.weekdays
11:00 P.M.weekends
Richmond 16 and over 15 and under 11:00 P.M.
Romeo Village 14 and under 10:00 P.M./11:00 P.M. on Sat  & Sun.
15-17 11:00 P.M./12:00 midnight on Fri. & Sat.
Roseville 16 and under 10:00 P.M.
St. Clair Shores 11 and under 10:00 P.M.- 6:00 A.M.
12 - 16 year olds 12 midnight - 6:00 A.M.
Sterling Heights 11 and under 9:00 P.M.
12-16 year olds 11:00 P.M.
Utica Under 17 11:00 P.M.
Warren 16 and under 11:00 P.M.- 7:00 A.M. Weekends
10:00 P.M.- 7:00 A.M. Weekdays

Youth under 18 years of age require a work permit, obtained at the youth's school or school district. The employer must also file a "statement of intent to employ" in the school office. The youth takes the statement, and proof of age to the school office.

There is no specific legal age where a child can choose which parent they will live with. This decision is made based entirely on the circumstances of the particular situation. The court referee assigned to the case will generally attempt to get the parents together to make it a mutual decision, since they know their child and his/her needs best. In assessing the case, the referee primarily explores external indicators of a child's well being, i.e. school performance, etc. The child's input varies according to the perceived level of maturity as opposed to the biological age of the child. For further information contact the Chief Referee at Macomb County Friend of the Court, (586) 469-5755.
A confidential voluntary dispute resolution process where two people involved in a dispute meet face-to-face with the assistance of a neutral 3rd party. The mediator's role is not to make a judgment or decide who is right or wrong, but to assist in identifying the issues and generating options for settlement that is satisfactory for everyone involved. The fee varies by case type. Available from the Resolution Center of Macomb County, 176 S. Main, Suite 2, Mt. Clemens, MI 48043, (586) 469-4714.
Information on how to modify the order can be found at the following Friend of the Court website or call (586) 469-5160.  The website address is:  www.macombcountymi.gov/circuitcourt/friendofthecourt_FAQ.htm#CASAnchor.
Information on Michigan’s Child Passenger Safety Law is posted at www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-123-1593_3504_22774-113709--,00.html 

Free car seat check by a certified child passenger technician are available by appointment only from:

 Chesterfield Twp.

Chesterfield Twp. Fire Dept.
 (Provided free to anyone, regardless of residency.

(586) 725-2233

 http://www.chesterfieldfire.org/community.htm

 Clinton Twp.

Macomb Co. Health Dept.
(Car seat inspections year-round. Inspections
are done by appointment only from Monday -
Friday.  Certified Child Passenger Safety
Technicians will  answer your questions or
inspect car seats.  To  schedule an 
appointment or for more information
on child passenger safety, call
(586) 412-3398.
Email: 
Maria.Swiatkowski@macombgov.org

(586) 412-3398

 http://www.macombcountymi.gov/publichealth/
The Health Department website has downloadable
copies of Child Passenger Safety Fact Sheets,
free and printable; basic need-to-know
information on all stages of car seats and the
different methods used to install car seats.

 Clinton Twp. Police Dept.

(586) 493-7800
ext. 7676

 No information on car seat inspections is on their website.

 Fraser

 Traffic Safety Association
(Child restraint inspections are provided
at the facility at no charge to M acomb
County residents upon request.)

(586) 293-5880

 http://www.trafficsafetymacomb.org/59623.html

 Fraser Public Safety

(586) 293-1425

 http://www.ci.fraser.mi.us

 Macomb Twp.

 Macomb Twp. Fire Dept.
Monday thru Friday by appointment only.

(586) 286-0027
ext. 2302

 http://www.macombsheriff.com/index.php?opti on=com_content&task=view&id=162&Itemid=4 29

 Mt. Clemens

 Macomb Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
(Child seat safety checks and installations,
between 7:00 - 10:00
P.M. by appointment
only.  
Participants are asked to bring the
following items to  the inspection:
• Vehicles owner’s manual
• Car Seat owner’s manual
• If possible, the child that will be
 
 “properly secured”
  in the safety seat. 
Allow 30 minutes
  for the installation
and safety check
  process.)

(586) 307-9540
to schedule an
appointment.

 http://www.macombsheriff.com/index.php?opti on=com_content&task=view&id=162&Itemid=4 29

 New Baltimore

 New Baltimore Police Dept.
(Car seat inspections are performed by
the Macomb County Health
Department
technicians onsite by appointment only
on the last
Thursday of
the month from
2:00 - 5:00 P.M.
(586) 412-3398
)

(586) 725-2181

 http://www.macombcountymi.gov/publichealth/

 New Haven

 New Haven Police Dept.
(By appointment only. Officer will call
back to make appointment.)

(586) 469-7744

 No information on care seat inspections is on their website.

 St. Clair Shores

 St. Clair Shores Police Dept.
(St. Clair Shores residents only and
by appointm
ent)

(586) 445-5311
ext. 2

 No information on car seat inspections is on their website.

For new sites in your area, call the Traffic Safety Association of Michigan at (586) 293-5880
or go to: http://www.trafficsafetymacomb.org/59623.html