Self Representation

Pro Per/Pro Se

A "Pro Per" or "Pro Se" litigant is a person who represents himself/herself rather than hiring and attorney.

A person acting on his or her own behalf is, under the law, held to the same standards and duties as an attorney admitted to the practice of law in the State o Michigan. Such person is expected to know what the law requires and how to accomplish his or her purposes in accordance with the applicable statutes and court rules.  Judges and hearing officials cannot provide legal advice. Many court employees are not lawyers. Do not ask them to provide legal advice.  Consult the Michigan Court Rules and Michigan laws rather than asking advice from the court staff.  Members of the court staff are allowed to provide procedural information only.

Seeking Advice
If you need advice, please contact an attorney.  If you do not have a lawyer and do not know a specific lawyer to contact, you can be referred to a lawyer through the State Bar of Michigan's lawyer referral service.  Their phone numbers are (800) 968-0738, within Michigan, and (517) 346-6338, outside of Michigan.

Self-Help Information Available
The court has some informational brochures/packets available for some types of proceedings.  These can be located in the lobby of the Lenawee County Probate Court. 

The State Court Administrative Office has self-help information available.

You can also find information at Michigan Legal Help, which is funded by the Michigan State Bar Foundation, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and the Legal Services Corporation.

Attendance at Court Proceedings
Arrive early for the scheduled day and time of your court proceeding to allow time to clear the courthouse security at the entrance to the building.

What to Bring to the Court Proceeding:

    1.    Copies of all documents pertaining to the scheduled court proceeding

    2.    Paper

    3.    Pen or pencil

    4.    Corresponding proposed order to present to the judge if your motion is 

           granted (unless previously submitted to the court).

What to do at the Court Proceeding
Read and follow the Courtroom Etiquette procedures.  Following your hearing, be sure to check in at the Probate Court counter to get any paperwork or further instructions required.