The Wayne County Probate Court has made several changes in the way it processes files and helps citizens. Whether you are a citizen who is filing for conservatorship to handle their parents' assets, a lawyer who is filing (or sending someone to file) a new probate estate, or you are a generous soul that is raising a child that is not your own and filing for limited guardianship - this information is for you. Please note the court has made the following changes:


  1. The Analyst Department has been eliminated. The persons formerly in the Analyst positions have become Service Clerks.
  2. The Probate Counter is staffed with 14 persons: 6 Counter Clerks and 8 Service Clerks.
  3. The Counter Clerks serve as Cashiers, Information Clerks and Case Initiation Clerks.
  4. The Service Clerks accept all petitions (initial and subsequent), motions, accounts, and other filings. They will also adjudicate and grant small estate petitions and applications for probate, accept inventories (and set bonds as needed), process notices of continued administration, process sworn statements, and issue certificates of completion.
  5. After checking in at the Information Desk, you will serviced at the Probate Counter in Room 1307 by either a Counter Clerk or Service Clerk (depending on the filing).
  6. A pleading/filing dropbox will still be available to drop off items to be processed.
  7. Designated appointment times will no longer be available.
  8. The Attorney Line will rotate among the Service Clerks and will be located at the Probate Counter. The location of the Attorney Line will change on a weekly basis; simply look for the red sign labeled “Attorney Line” at the Probate Counter.  With the new check-in process, the clerk assigned to the attorney line ONLY processes attorney work; however, if you are the next person to be called and the attorney line clerk is waiting on another attorney, a different Service Clerk will call you to process your work (you no longer need to wait for just the attorney line clerk).  Under the new structure the Attorney Line should be available every day. 
  9. The Detroit Legal News will be relocating from the Probate Counter to the prior Attorney Line across from the Cashier. 
  10. All petitions (initial and subsequent), motions, and accounts will now be set for hearing, even if waivers and consents for all interested persons are submitted.  However, at the Judge’s discretion, petitions with waivers and consents may be adjudicated without a hearing.  The Courtroom will be responsible for setting a bond if one is required based on the filing.   
  11. For emergency matters (i.e., ex-parte TROs, requests for temporary guardian\special personal representative) after filing your pleadings and paying any required fees, you will be directed to the Courtroom for a determination. Only the Judge and\or their staff can make a determination on these requests.        

According to the court administration staff, the court will still have the same number of customer service staff who will be assisting the identical number of customers. The expectation is that this new configuration will increase the court’s efficiency and workflow. I just thought you might want to know this information as we all continue to navigate the legal needs of life.