Michigan: What is a 7-Day Order; How do I object?

January 27, 2021 - Categories: Legal Articles, Michigan

Introduction to 7-day Order ("Seven Day Order")

In Michigan, at a hearing, a Judge will usually indicate "on the record," orally, what he or she is ordering after the hearing. On some occasions, the Judge will also prepare a written order on the spot, sign it, and send it to the parties.

Most of the time, however, especially when there is at least one attorney involved, it is then up to the attorney(ies) to write up a written order that reflects what the Judge said, get it signed by all parties, and submit to the court for Judge's signature. This would be a "consent" order, requiring both parties to agree that this written order reflects what the Judge ordered orally.

Sometimes, one of the parties refuses to sign the "consent" order because they just didn't like what the Judge ordered, or for other reasons. The other party who wrote the order, however, may still want the order entered. If so, this party has two options:

1. File a motion to enter a written order that is consistent with what the Judge ordered orally.

2. File and serve a "7-day Order".

The 7-day order is the easier and less expensive of the two options.

Where is the 7-day Order / Seven Day Order included in the Court Rules?

The 7-day order is covered in Michigan Court Rule MCR 2.602 (B)(3), as follows:

(B) Procedure of Entry of Judgments and Orders. An order or judgment shall be entered by one of the following methods:

...(3) Within 7 days after the granting of the judgment or order, or later if the court allows, a party may serve a copy of the proposed judgment or order on the other parties, with a notice to them that it will be submitted to the court for signing if no written objections to its accuracy or completeness are filed with the court clerk within 7 days after service of the notice. The party must file with the court clerk the notice and proof of service along with of the proposed judgment or order.

(a) If no written objections are filed within 7 days of the date of service of the notice, the judge shall sign the judgment or order if, in the court's determination, it comports with the court's decision. If the proposed judgment or order does not comport with the decision, the court shall direct the clerk to notify the parties to appear before the court on a specified date for settlement of the matter.

(b) Objections regarding the accuracy or completeness of the judgment or order must state with specificity the inaccuracy or omission.

(c) The party filing the objections must serve them on all parties as required by MCR 2.107, together with a notice of hearing and an alternative proposed judgment or order.

(d) The court must schedule the hearing upon filing of the first objection, and the party filing the objection must serve the notice of hearing under subrule (B)(3)(c). Other parties to the action may file objections with the court through the end of the 7-day period. The court must schedule a hearing for all objections within 14 days after the first objection is filed or as soon as is practical afterward.

What does the Court Rule MCR MCR 2.602 (B)(3) Mean?

The rule essentially means that after a hearing, either party can write up a proposed order that this party believes perfectly complies with the Judge's order. The party can NOT add any other provisions to it that the Judge did not order; it must be exactly what the Judge ordered.

Then, the party can also create a document called a "Notice of Presentment of 7-day Order" with it, which tells the court and the other party that you are submitting that order under the 7-day rule, and if they do not properly object to it per the court rule, then it will become signed by the Judge and will be a final order.

Finally, the party would create a Proof of Mailing, showing the date they mailed (were going to mail) the 7-day order, Notice of Presentment, and copy of Proof of Mailing to the other side. For example, if you are going to mail it later today, you write in the Proof of Mailing today's date, saying you "sent it" on this day, even though you will of course send it later that day, and will include a Proof of Mailing.

The person would then mail the Proposed Order, Notice of Presentment and the Proof of Mailing to the court, to the Judge, and to the other party. By court rule, this must technically be done within 7 days of the actual hearing. However, per below, you will see that the court's do often give leeway as to how soon after the hearing a 7-day order can be submitted.

The idea of the 7-day time limit is to make sure that the order is written and sent when the Judge's oral order is still fresh in everyone's mind, thus ensuring a more accurate written order.

What happens if you (or the other party) receives a 7-day / Seven-Day Order and Notice of Presentment?

Once the opposing party (or you, if you are being served a 7-day order by the other party) get's a copy of the Proposed Order, Notice of Presentment, and Proof of Mailing, you/they then have the opportunity to object in writing to the 7-day Order, and the objection must be filed within 7 days of of "service."

How do I object to a 7-day Order? (Or How does the other person receiving it object?)
 
Within 7 days of service means that the objecting person only has 7 days from when the Proposed Order was served to them (7 days from the the date on the Proof of Mailing). It does NOT mean that the objector has 7 days from when they received the document.

Therefore, the turnaround time may be down to just a few days remaining.

The objections must:

1. Be In Writing

2. Be based only on the allegation that the written order, as presented, does not accurately reflect the actual oral order given by the Judge on the record.

3. NOT be based on simply a disagreement with what the Judge ordered -- if you disagree with what the Judge ordered, then a Motion to Reconsider or Appeal is the proper route to take.

4. Include a new written order indicating what you propose the order should say, based on what the Judge said. 

5. Include a Notice of Hearing* for the court date, when the Judge can hear your objections and rule on them. (this means that you must call the Judge's clerk and get a court date, add it to the Notice of Hearing, and include that Notice of Hearing with your Objection.)

6. Be mailed to three parties: 1) Originals to the Clerk of Court for filing; 2) copy to the Judge, and 3) copy to the opposing party who wrote the 7-day order.

7. Be Received by the Clerk of court within 7 days of the service date.

*Note: some courts, in addition to a Notice of Hearing, require you to also complete and file a "Praecipe" (hearing request). Check your local court rules.

What happens if I don't send a proposed 7-day order within 7 days of the hearing?

Technically, by court rule, the seven-day order must be mailed to the opposing party and court within seven days of the hearing.
However, in practical reality, attorneys often send seven day orders well after 7 days after the hearing, often because they thought that both parties were going to cooperate with signing a consent order, and then after 7 days went by, one of the parties refuses to sign the order.

At the present time, most courts appear to be also accepting proposed 7-day orders which were received beyond 7 days after the hearing. This is likely because a delayed filing does not likely prejudice or harm the person receiving the 7-day order, because the person receiving the order will have the same 7-day period (from date of service) to object to it, whether they received it 21 days after the hearing or 7 days after the hearing.

Worst case, the judge will reject your proposed 7-day order for not being timely filed. In this case, you will need to follow the approach of filing a "motion to enter judgment after hearing," getting a court date, etc.

Therefore, it can't hurt to attempt to follow the 7-day order process and see what happens (see if the court rejects it). If not, then you've gotten an order to the Judge more easily than having to file a motion and get a hearing.

What will the court do once receiving a proposed 7-day Order?

Once the court receives the proposed 7-day order, the court will do nothing for seven days from the date of service.

After the seventh day has passed, the court will then check and see if any objections have been filed properly.

If an objection was received within the seven days, and is proper, the court will then wait until the hearing occurs to hear what both parties have to say in favor of or against the order being entered as a final (or interim) order. Only after the hearing will the judge enter either the proposed order, the objecting proposed order, or a slightly different order.

However, if the court does NOT receive an objection within seven days, then the Judge will sign the proposed 7-day Order as a final order (or interim order if that is the nature of what the Judge ordered orally).

Note: the courts are usually very strict on the 7-day deadline for receiving objections. Rarely will a court allow an objection passed the 7-day deadline. They will simply ignore or reject the objection, and sign the proposed order.

Why should I get a 7-day Order? Benefits of a 7-day Order

A 7-day Order can be very handy if one party refuses to sign an order after a Judge's oral ruling. This happens regularly on family law cases, and cases where one party is not represented by an attorney (and sometimes when they are).

The 7-day order allows one side to write the order as they believe the Judge ordered it, submit it to the court and to the opposing party, and be done with it.

At that point, the objecting party has very little time to object, must prepare several documents in writing to do so, must possibly pay an attorney to help them, must get a hearing from the court, must file everything within the 7-day deadline, and must go to a hearing to defend why they objected, knowing that the only valid objections will be those stating that the order did not reflect the judge's oral order.

This places most of the burden for moving forward onto the objecting party who is refusing to cooperate.

If the objecting party does not follow all of the steps to timely object, then the court will simply enter the proposed order and that will be that.  No hearing required, no argument, and it is very timely (7 days after submission).

Sometimes, the Judge will simply order that either party "submits an order under the 7-day Rule" for convenience sake, and sometimes an attorney will do so as a matter of course, to avoid having to go back and forth with the other party or other attorney.

It is often best to try to resolve it with a "Consent" order, which is even easier than the a 7-day order, but sometimes this is simply not practical.

Can I appeal a 7-day order because I disagree with the judge's decision?

Yes. Although you can not "object" to a 7-day order simply because you disagree with the Judge's decision, you still have all rights to either appeal that order or to file a Motion to Reconsider the order, once signed by the Judge, within within 21 days of when that order is entered/filed with the court. Therefore, even if you get a judge-signed 7-day order that you don't agree with, you still have options available to you, but you must act fast. 

How can I get help objecting to or writing a 7-day Order, or filing a Motion to Reconsider or an Appeal?

Access Legal Care is an affordable law firm in Michigan which provides a free legal consultation and affordable legal help. We can provide a low fixed-rate for preparing and filing all documents necessary to file and serve your proposed 7-day order.

Alternatively, if you have received a 7-day order, we can give you a flat-rate and help you to timely file and serve an objection to the 7-day order, and/or your Motion to Reconsider, and/or your Appeal.

We can also attend the objection hearing and represent you there, for a flat-rate cost. 

To get a free legal consultation by phone, regarding a 7-day order, please schedule time at the following link:

https://accesslegalcare.as.me/schedule.php

We look forward to speaking with you.