Rule 3.208 Friend of the Court

(A) General. The friend of the court has the powers and duties prescribed by statute, including those duties in the Friend of the Court Act, MCL 552.501 et seq., and the Support and Visitation Enforcement Act, MCL 552.601 et seq.

(B) Enforcement. The friend of the court is responsible for initiating proceedings to enforce an order or judgment for support, visitation, or custody.

(1) If a party has failed to comply with an order or judgment, the friend of the court may petition for an order to show cause why the party should not be held in contempt.

(2) The order to show cause must be served personally or by ordinary mail at the party's last known address.

(3) The hearing on the order to show cause may be held no sooner than seven days after the order is served on the party. If service is by ordinary mail, the hearing may be held no sooner than nine days after the order is mailed.

(4) If the party fails to appear in response to the order to show cause, the court may issue an order for arrest.

(5) The relief available under this rule is in addition to any other relief available by statute.

(6) The friend of the court may petition for an order of arrest at any time, if immediate action is necessary.

(C) Allocation and Distribution of Payments.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subrule, all payments shall be allocated and distributed as required by the guidelines established by the state court administrator for that purpose.

(2) If the court determines that following the guidelines established by the state court administrator would produce an unjust result in a particular case, the court may order that payments be made in a different manner. The order must include specific findings of fact that set forth the basis for the court's decision, and must direct the payer to designate with each payment the name of the payer and the payee, the case number, the amount, and the date of the order that allows the special payment.

(3) If a payer with multiple cases makes a payment directly to the friend of the court rather than through income withholding, the payment shall be allocated among all the cases unless the payer requests a different allocation in writing at the time of payment and provides the following information about each case for which payment is intended:

(a) the name of the payer,

(b) the name of the payee,

(c) the case number, and

(d) the amount designated for that case.

(4) A notice of income withholding may not be used by the friend of the court or the state disbursement unit to determine the specific allocation or distribution of payments.

(D) Notice to Attorneys.

(1) Copies of notices required to be given to the parties also must be sent to the attorneys of record.

(2) The notice requirement of this subrule remains in effect until 21 days after judgment is entered or until postjudgment matters are concluded, whichever is later.