Agenda Item No. 27


Introduced by the Law Enforcement, Judiciary, and Finance Committees of the:








WHEREAS, in order to implement the recommendation of Maximus, Inc. with reference to the appropriate reimbursement of bench warrant costs, now established by the Court at $180.00 in each case where there has been an adjudication of contempt for failure to appear at show cause hearings and/or violation of parenting time orders; and


WHEREAS, the Court having adopted a Local Administrative Order providing that it is presumed  that the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office is the agency making the arrest under civil bench warrants issued under the provisions of MCL 552.631 and 552.644; and


WHEREAS, the Sheriff’s Office is supportive of this process.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that effective September 1, 2006, pursuant to the provisions of MCL 600.2530(4), the County Treasurer shall remit one-half of all costs actually paid per month of the recoverable bench warrants costs pursuant to MCL 552.631 and 552.644 to the Ingham County Sheriff, it being presumed that, unless a separate billing from another law enforcement agency, that the Ingham County Sheriff was the law enforcement agency that executed the bench warrant issued for the arrest of the payee


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Ingham County Controller shall add to the Friend of the Court’s budget an appropriation equal to the sums paid to the Ingham County Sheriff for execution of the bench warrants in order to insure sufficient funding to continue and maintain the services of the Ingham County Friend of the Court bench warrant officer and the processes of bench warrant enforcement.


LAW ENFORCEMENT:  Yeas:  Nolan, De Leon, Thomas, Schafer, Vickers

         Nays:  None              Absent:  Copedge       Approved 8/10/06


JUDICIARY:  Yeas:  Holman, Nolan, Bahar-Cook, Schafer, Dougan 

   Nays:  None                         Absent:  Weatherwax-Grant     Approved 8/10/06             


FINANCE:  Yeas:  Thomas, Hertel, Grebner, Dedden, Weatherwax-Grant, Dougan

    Nays:  None                         Absent:  None                    Approved 8/16/06




TO MCL 552.631 AND MCL 552.644


MCL 552.631 provide that the Court may assess costs of issuing a bench warrant for a persons’ failure to appear for show cause proceedings for violating either a support order or a parenting time order.  Pursuant to established policies, costs collected as a result of an arrest upon a warrant issued under MCL 552.644 (civil contempt for parenting time violations authorized under MCL 552.641), and costs collected resulting from a warrant issued under MCL 552.631 for contempt for support order violations, are deposited into the Ingham County Friend of the Court 215 fund.


This Court has heretofore determined that the appropriate assessment of the costs of issuing a bench warrant for a person who has failed to appear, or who has otherwise been found in contempt for violating an order to appear to show cause why the party has not paid support or found in contempt for a parenting time violation, should be $180.00, the estimated amount based on the average cost as heretofore determine by Maximus (see attached report).

MCL 600.2530(4) authorizes the Court to remit one-half of costs actually paid by the payer to the law enforcement agency that executes the warrant.


Because the cost of the law enforcement agency in effectuating such arrests is not known in detail in each case, a determination has been by this Court that it is presumed that the agency making the arrest in Ingham County domestic cases is the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, (unless evidence and a bill is presented to the Ingham County Friend of the Court from another law enforcement agency).  On a monthly basis hereafter, the Ingham County Friend of the Court and Ingham County Treasurer shall direct payment from the 215 fund to the Ingham County Sheriff of one-half the costs required to reimburse for the expenses of arrest.  Currently, one-half of the cost is $90.00 per arrest, with the balance of the funds remaining in the 215 fund.

In addition, contempt fines pursuant to MCL 600.1715 which may be assessed up to $250.00 when the Court finds a person in contempt for failing to obey a court order or for other conduct contemptuous of the Court’s authority, such funds collected shall be handled in the same fashion as expenses for executing bench warrants, and any funds collected therefore, shall be deposited in the 215 fund.


The Court may, from time to time increase, lower or modify the bench warrant arrest fee as set forth herein; however, except when another police agency appropriately submits a bill, the costs thereof reimbursable to the Ingham County Sheriff shall be one-half of the court-established contempt fee.




Date:    ________________                            _________________ ________________________

                                                                        HON. WILLIAM E. COLLETTE, CHIEF JUDGE