Family Domestic/FOC Filing Instructions

Due to the State of Emergency as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Court is suspending in person filings until further notice.

Parties and attorneys have the option of filing pleadings by email, mail or fax, as detailed below. However, email filing is the preferred filing method.

Please make sure you have read, understood and followed all the instructions on this page before proceeding with your filing.

You MUST do the following or else your filing will be rejected or delayed:

  • All emailed pleadings filed MUST be in PDF format.
  • When filing a Motion, the Motion, Brief, Notice of Hearing and Proof of Service can be filed as one single document. All other documents MUST be filed as separate PDFs. This includes:
  • If you are faxing in your pleadings, do NOT attach a cover sheet or letter.
  • If your filings are rejected, you MUST resubmit ALL filings, not just the rejected portion.
  • Your filings must comply with all statutes and court rules, just as if you were filing in person. For example, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit must be attached with new filings and verified pleadings must be signed by the party.

Personal Protection Order Filings

If you are filing a Petition for a Personal Protection Order, please find the instructions here.

Filing Fees

  • Fees for Filings must be paid prior to emailing or faxing the filing.
    • Parties can pay filing fees at www.govpaynow.com and use the code 6223.
    • A copy of the GovPay receipt must be included with the filing.
    • If filing a new case, use the Plaintiff’s last name for the case number on GovPay.
  • If a party is requesting a Fee Waiver, the party must submit the fee waiver form first. The party must wait for a reply from the Clerk before submitting the Filing. A copy of the approved fee waiver must accompany the Filing.
Emergency Filings
  • Emergency filings MUST be marked as Emergency on the first page of the filing.
  • Emergency filings MUST have the Emergency Filing Fee Cover Sheet attached.
  • Once the fee is paid or the fee waiver form is approved, submit the pleadings via email to emergency@3rdcc.org.
  • The pleadings will be filed with the County Clerk and forwarded to the Emergency Judge for review.
  • If there are problems or deficiencies with the pleadings, you will be contacted.
  • Upon the Assigned Judge’s review, you will be provided a copy of the Order that is entered.

Non-Emergency Filings

  • All Non-Emergency Filings shall be emailed to filings@3rdcc.org.
  • Once the document is filed and loaded into Odyssey, a copy will not be sent back to the filing party.

New Case Filings

  • For new cases, once the case has been started, you will receive an email from the clerk. Once you have received that, you must produce your own summons:
    • Go to eSummons on www.3rdcc.org
    • Follow prompts
    • The summons will be available to be created and printed after the filing has been accepted by the County Clerk. The summons shall be served in accordance with court rules.

Motion Hearing Dates

If you are filing a Motion, whether to be heard by the Judge or by the Friend of the Court Referee, you will need to monitor the case on https://www.3rdcc.org/odyssey-public-access-(opa) to determine when the Motion has been filed with the Clerk's Office.

Once the Motion has been entered on Odyssey, you will need to fill out either a Family Domestic Praecipe (used when Motion will be heard by the Judge) or Friend of the Court Praecipe (used when Motion will be heard by the Referee) to ensure your Motion is scheduled.

If you need assistance determining which ePraecipe to use, please review the Domestic Relations Docket Directive to determine if your Motion shall be heard by the Judge or Referee.

Once you have completed the ePraecipe, you will receive a completed copy back with your hearing date on it. Please note that the final hearing date may be different from what was requested on the ePraecipe, due to Court availability.

Judge’s Copies

You MUST email the Judge’s Copy of any filing to the Assigned Judge’s email listed on the Family Division-Domestic tab of www.3rdcc.org/zoom.

Stipulated Orders

All Stipulated Orders shall be submitted to the Assigned Judge's general e-mail address, which can be found at www.3rdcc.org/zoom, for review. 

Waiver of Parental Consent

If you have a case for a waiver of parental consent, please send an email to Presiding Judge Kathleen M. McCarthy at JudgeMcCarthy-Court@3rdcc.org with the initials of the Petitioner and the Petitioner’s date of birth. Someone from the Court will contact you back within 24 hours of receipt of the email.

Friend of the Court Copies of Filings

If you are filing pleadings with the clerk, and a copy of the pleadings needs to be filed with the Friend of the Court, please carbon copy FOCcopies@3rdcc.org via email. Due to limited staffing, please know that your paperwork will be processed as soon as possible, in the order in which it is received. Emails sent to this email box will NOT be responded to. You may also continue to mail forms to the FOC. See below for a list of pleadings and forms that need to be sent to the FOC. This list is not exhaustive.

  1. Verified Statement
  2. DHS-1201D Application for IVD Child Support Services
  3. Answer to State Initiated Family Support (DS) or Paternity (DP) Case
  4. Attorney Appearance
  5. Objection to a FOC (Review and Modification) Recommendation
  6. Objection to a FOC Referee Recommendation
  7. A copy of motions filed that will be going before a FOC Referee
  8. Demand for Health Care Payment
  9. Parenting Time and Custody Enforcement Request
  10. Request for Access to FOC Records
  11. Domestic Relations Judgement Information Form
  12. Request to Reopen FOC Case
  13. Attorney Access to FOC File Form
  14. Objections to Genetic Test results
  15. Any responses filed to any motion that will be heard by an FOC Referee
  16. Objections to prejudgment ex-parte custody, parenting time or support orders

Mailing of Filings

Parties and attorneys may be continue to mail filings to the Wayne County Clerk by addressing them to Wayne County Clerk, Room 201, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Two Woodward Avenue, 48226.

Faxing of Filings

Parties and attorneys can also fax filings in by faxing to the following numbers:

  • Emergency Filings to (313) 964-7340
  • Non-Emergency Filings to (313) 964-7341
  • FOC Copies to (313) 964-7342
Printable Filing Instructions