Rule 3.212 Postjudgment Transfer of Domestic Relations Cases

(A) Motion.

(1) A party, court-ordered custodian, or friend of the court may move for the postjudgment transfer of a domestic relations action in accordance with this rule, or the court may transfer such an action on its own motion. A transfer includes a change of venue and a transfer of all friend of the court responsibilities. The court may enter a consent order transferring a postjudgment domestic relations action, provided the conditions under subrule (B) are met.

(2) The postjudgment transfer of an action initiated pursuant to MCL 780.151 et seq., is controlled by MCR 3.214.

(B) Conditions.

(1) A motion filed by a party or court-ordered custodian may be granted only if all of the following conditions are met:

(a) the transfer of the action is requested on the basis of the residence and convenience of the parties, or other good cause consistent with the best interests of the child;

(b) neither party nor the court-ordered custodian has resided in the county of current jurisdiction for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the motion;

(c) at least one party or the court-ordered custodian has resided in the county to which the transfer is requested for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the motion; and

(d) the county to which the transfer is requested is not contiguous to the county of current jurisdiction.

(2) When the court or the friend of the court initiates a transfer, the conditions stated in subrule (B)(1) do not apply.

(C) Unless the court orders otherwise for good cause, if a friend of the court becomes aware of a more recent final judgment involving the same parties issued in a different county, the friend of the court must initiate a transfer of the older case to the county in which the new judgment was entered if neither of the parents, any of their children who are affected by the judgment in the older case, nor another party resides in the county in which the older case was filed.

(D) Transfer Order.

(1) The court ordering a postjudgment transfer must enter all necessary orders pertaining to the certification and transfer of the action. The transferring court must send to the receiving court all court files and friend of the court files, ledgers, records, and documents that pertain to the action. Such materials may be used in the receiving jurisdiction in the same manner as in the transferring jurisdiction.

(2) The court may order that any past-due fees and costs be paid to the transferring friend of the court office at the time of transfer.

(3) The court may order that one or both of the parties or the court-ordered custodian pay the cost of the transfer.

(E) Filing Fee. An order transferring a case under this rule must provide that the party who moved for the transfer pay the statutory filing fee applicable to the court to which the action is transferred, except where MCR 2.002 applies. If the parties stipulate to the transfer of a case, they must share equally the cost of transfer unless the court orders otherwise. In either event, the transferring court must submit the filing fee to the court to which the action is transferred, at the time of transfer. If the court or the friend of the court initiates the transfer, the statutory filing fee is waived.

(F) Physical Transfer of Files. Court and friend of the court files must be transferred by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by another secure method of transfer.    

(G) Upon completion of the transfer, the transferee friend of the court must review the case and determine whether the case contains orders specific to the transferring court or county. The friend of the court must take such action as is necessary, which may include obtaining ex parte orders to transfer court- or county-specific actions to the transferee court.