Search Ottawa County, Michigan

Ottawa County Legal Self-Help Center

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X, Y, Z

F

FAC CASE
Stands for "Failure to Answer Citation." When a person doesn't pay or fight/protest a traffic ticket, the court tells the Secretary of State. It enters this fact into its computer system, suspends the person's driver's license, and notes that it is an "FAC Case." The FAC is taken off the person's record and the license is unsuspended when the case is completed and the driver pays the fee.
FAMILY DIVISION OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
The part of the circuit court that handles family-related cases: divorce, paternity; child or spousal support; parenting time; child custody; adoptions; juvenile delinquency; child protective proceedings; name changes; personal protection orders; emancipation of minors; waiver of parental consent to an abortion; and guardianships or conservatorships for persons under 18 if there is already another case involving the family.
FAMILY INDEPENDENCE AGENCY ("FIA")
Department of Human Services. See also CHILDREN'S PROTECTIVE SERVICES.
FAMILY VIOLENCE INDICATOR
A term used to tell employees of the court that a person hurt a family member (was involved in child abuse or domestic violence). The employees then know that they should not give out the location of the parent or child in another state who was hurt.
FCJ CASE
Means "Failure to Comply with Judgement" The code used when a person doesn't obey a judgment or court order (like pay fines) in a civil infraction (or traffic violation case). The process is the same as an FAC case.
FCPV CASE
Means "Failure to Comply with Parking Violation" entries. The code used when a person doesn't pay parking tickets. The Secretary of State will stop a person from getting or renewing licenses (driver's license and others) when he or she has six or more unpaid parking tickets within a court. When the court notifies the Secretary of State, it follows the same process as an FAC & FCPV case.
FEES
A charge set by law for the work of public officers (like attorney fees for a court-appointed lawyer) or for use of a privilege under government control (like filing a motion or court case).
FELONY
A crime that can be punished by more than a year in the state prison, and/or fines of over $2,000. Felonies are tried in circuit court.
FIA
FIDUCIARY
A person or business who manages money or property for the good of Someone else. A fiduciary must be very careful with the money and property.
1. Successor Fiduciary: someone who takes the place of another fiduciary.
2. Temporary Fiduciary: someone told to act as a fiduciary until a the court assigns a permanent fiduciary.
For examples of fiduciaries, see ATTORNEY IN FACT, CONSERVATOR, GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE, TRUSTEE.
FILE
To put in the records; when a person officially gives a paper to the court clerk, and that paper becomes part of the case record.
FILING
The act of giving all the legal documents that are involved in a suit with the clerk of the court, who makes them part of the case record. "Filing" is also what the original warrant, complaint, or other document that starts the case is called.
FILING FEES
Money that must be paid to the court clerk before a civil action or an estate case may start.
FINDING
When a judicial officer (judge, magistrate, or referee) or jury says something is a fact.
FINE
The money a person must pay as punishment for doing something illegal or for not doing something he or she was supposed to do.
FOREIGN JUDGMENT
A judgment issued by a court in American Indian territory, another state, or another country.
FOREIGN SUPPORT ORDER
A support order issued by a court in American Indian territory, a another state, or another country.
FORENSIC CENTER
Another name for the Center for Forensic Psychiatry run by the Department of Mental Health. A trial court may send a criminal defendant there to decide if he or she is "competent" (or mentally able) to stand trial.
FORMAL HEARING
FORUM
A court or the jurisdiction where a court sits.
FOSTER HOME
A licensed home for the temporary care of children who can't live with their parents because of abuse or neglect or because they can't behave properly (are delinquent).
FRAUD
When someone lies to someone else on purpose, to trick or deceive the person into giving up his or her property or a legal right, or to hurt them in some other way.
FRIEND OF THE COURT
1. The office that works with the family division of the circuit court that investigates and gives reports to the court in cases involving minor children, and that enforces child support orders.
2. The person in charge of the Friend of the Court Office.
FUGITIVE
Someone who runs away to avoid or escape the law or police.
FUGITIVE WARRANT
A warrant that allows the police to arrest someone who ran away to another state to avoid being tried or punished for a crime.
FULL FAITH AND CREDIT (Clause)
Part of the United States Constitution that forces the courts of one state to recognize and enforce orders and judgments issued by the courts of other U.S. states or Indian tribes. U.S. Const. Art. IV, Sec. 1.