51st Circuit Court

The Circuit Court is referred to as the “trial court of general jurisdiction” in Michigan because of its very broad powers. Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all actions except those given by state law to another court. Generally speaking, Circuit Court has original jurisdiction in all civil cases involving more than $25,000; in all criminal cases where the offense involves a felony or certain serious misdemeanors; and in all family cases and domestic relations cases such as divorce, paternity actions, juvenile proceedings, and adoptions.

The State of Michigan is divided into judicial circuits along county lines. The number of judges in a circuit reflects the volume of business in the court.  If there is more than one county in a circuit, such as ours, judges travel from one county seat to another to hold court sessions. Our judges conduct court in both Mason County as well as Oceana County.

The Circuit Court also hears cases appealed from lower courts and from some administrative agencies of state government. In addition, the Circuit Court has superintending control over other courts within the circuit, subject to final superintending powers of the Supreme Court.


Circuit Judges

Circuit judges are elected for six-year terms on non-partisan ballots. A candidate must be a resident of the circuit in which the candidate is running, a qualified elector, licensed to practice law in Michigan, and at the time of election less than 70 years of age. The legislature sets salaries for circuit judges.

Family Division

The Family Division, a division of Circuit Court, has exclusive jurisdiction over all family matters such as divorce, custody, parenting time, support, paternity, adoptions, name changes, juvenile proceedings, the emancipation of minors, parental consent, and personal protection proceedings. They also have ancillary jurisdiction over cases involving guardianships and conservatorships and proceedings involving the mentally ill or developmentally disabled.

Pay Court Fees Online

For your convenience, you can pay 51st Circuit Court fees online using our secure payment portal.

Pay Adult Fines or Circuit Court Fees

Pay Juvenile Fines and/or Court Fees

Public Case Search

Please Note: Effective Wednesday, April 19, 2023, access to the online name search tool for criminal cases will be available for cases filed in 2018 and later.  Access to older cases will be discontinued until the court is able to update records that are automatically set aside by the Michigan State Police (Public Act 193 of 2020). It is anticipated that this process will take several weeks to months.

Due to the passage of the Clean Slate Act, there are two ways you can see if your convictions have been Set Aside.

  1. Visit the MSP webpage and follow the procedure to search criminal history records for a personal records check. This process requires fingerprints and a $30.00 processing fee. The results will include all criminal history record information associate with the fingerprints submitted, both public and nonpublic information.
  2. Go to ICHAT to view any publicly available criminal history information.  This is an online name-base search and requires a $10.00 payment per search at the time of checkout.

More information can be found at www.Michigan.gov/cleanslate which also has a number of FAQ’s regarding automatic set asides.

For informational purposes, you can use MiCOURT Case Search to find public cases.

MiCOURT Case Search

Contact the 51st District Court


Susan K. Sniegowski Circuit Court Judge

Bradley G. Lambrix Family Court Judge

Anna R. Rapa Attorney Referee

Tonya Selig Court Administrator / Chief Clerk

Julie Sines Circuit Court Deputy Clerk

Kyla Miller Circuit Court Deputy Clerk

Betty Carter Juvenile Court Officer

Jennifer Sill Juvenile Probation Officer

Jonna TenHove Juvenile Probation Officer

Main Phone: (231) 873-3977

Phone Alt: (231) 873-3811 - Juvenile Court

Fax: (231) 873-1943

Address Oceana County Building
100 S. State Street, Suite M-10
Hart, MI 49420

Hours Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Paperwork and filing fees will be accepted after 4:30 PM but will not be officially filed or receipted until the following business day.

Contact Us