44th Circuit Court in Livingston County

The 44th Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all felony matters arising in Livingston County, Michigan. This Court has some of Michigan’s most conservative judges and callous prosecutors.

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Here is What You Need to Know

The Livingston County Circuit Court is in the heart of Michigan. As a venue where serious legal matters, particularly felonies, are adjudicated, it is crucial for residents and those involved in the legal process to understand its jurisdiction, procedures, and the nature of cases it commonly handles. The Court’s address is as follows:

44th Judicial Circuit Court
Judicial Center
204 S. Highlander Way
Howell, MI 48843
(517) 546-3060


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Jurisdiction and Structure of the Livingston County Circuit Court

The Livingston County Circuit Court is part of Michigan’s circuit court judicial system. It has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving claims of $25,000 or more, family matters, equity issues, and, most significantly, felony criminal cases. The court also hears appeals from lower courts, such as the 53rd District Courts in Howell and Brighton, as well as administrative agencies. The court includes a family division, which handles divorce, custody, adoption, and juvenile delinquency. The court is located adjacent to the Livingston County Jail.

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Felony Prosecutions in Livingston County

Felony prosecutions are a significant aspect of the court’s responsibilities. A felony in Michigan is a serious crime typically punishable by more than one year in prison. The Circuit Court handles the trial phase of felony cases, which are initially reviewed for probable cause in the 53rd District Court through preliminary examinations.

After an arrest, a defendant will face an arraignment in the district court, where charges are formally presented and the judge or magistrate sets the bail. If the case proceeds past the preliminary examination, it moves to the Livingston County Circuit Court for plea negotiations and, potentially, trial. This court’s role is critical as it is where the factual disputes might be resolved, either by a judge or a jury.

Circuit Court Judges

There are three Livingston County Circuit Court judges:

  • Honorable Matthew J. McGivney – Judge McGivney was appointed in 2019 and first elected to the 44th Circuit Court in 2020. He is very involved in the Livingston County Adult Drug Treatment Court. Before taking the bench, he was in private practice for 16 years.
  • Honorable Susan Longsworth – Judge Longsworth helped establish the Drug Treatment Court in the 22nd Circuit Court in Washtenaw County. She was appointed by Governor Whitmer in 2024. Prior to her appointment, she was a respected Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Washtenaw County and a criminal defense lawyer.
  • Honorable L. Suzanne Geddis – She was an Assistant City Attorney in Troy, Michigan, and worked for 16 years as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. She served as a district court judge for several years before her election to the 44th Circuit Court.
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Reputation and Public Perception

The Livingston County Circuit Court is reputed to be fair and efficient in its operations. The judges presiding over the court are known for their careful and impartial judgments, with a strong emphasis on upholding legal standards. However, some people believe that the judges may be too severe in their sentencing and tend to favor the prosecution. Even though the court is widely regarded as fair and just in civil cases, it has a reputation for being overly harsh and punitive on criminal defendants, especially at sentencing.

Typical Felony Charges in Livingston County

The spectrum of felony charges prosecuted in Livingston County is broad, reflecting the varied nature of serious crimes. Common felonies include but are not limited to:

  • Drug offenses: These can range from possession to trafficking, with penalties varying based on the substance and quantity involved.
  • Assault: Charges such as felony domestic violence, aggravated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon are taken very seriously and prosecuted vigorously.
  • Theft and burglary: High-value thefts, home invasions, breaking and entering, larceny, robbery, and other property crimes typically fall under felony jurisdiction.
  • OWI offenses: Repeat offenses for Operating While Intoxicated, and those alcohol and drug-related offenses resulting in serious injury or death escalate to felony charges due to their severe implications.
  • White-Collar Crimes: Fraud crimes, such as healthcare fraud, embezzlement, false pretenses, bribery, election fraud, and others, are common in Livingston County.
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct: The prosecutor’s office aggressively prosecutes CSC allegations. In some cases, prosecutors fight for convictions with weak or very little evidence of guilt and substantial evidence of exaggerated claims and false testimony.
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Livingston County’s 44th Judicial Circuit Court Criminal Defense Attorneys

Facing a felony charge in Livingston County can be daunting, making it crucial to have expert legal representation. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our team of skilled, experienced, and tenacious criminal Livingston County defense lawyers stands ready to provide robust protection and defense against criminal allegations. We understand the complexities of the legal system, particularly within the 44th Circuit Court, and we bring a proactive and passionate approach to every case. Trusting our firm means you’ll have a dedicated advocate committed to achieving the best possible outcome, ensuring your rights are aggressively protected throughout the legal process. Call us for a free consultation today. We will find a way to help you!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

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Livingston County, Michigan

Livingston County, in the southeastern part of Michigan, is part of the broader Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area. Established in 1833 and named after Edward Livingston, a prominent lawyer and politician who served as Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of State, the county has a rich historical backdrop influenced by its early settlement during America’s westward expansion. Initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, the area saw an influx of European settlers in the early 19th century, attracted by its fertile land and promising economic prospects.

The county seat, Howell, houses the 44th Circuit Court, the region’s primary judicial authority. This court handles a wide range of cases, including criminal, civil, and family matters, playing a crucial role in maintaining law and order in Livingston County. Over the years, Livingston County has evolved from a predominantly agricultural society to a more diverse economy, with services, manufacturing, and retail sectors driving growth. Despite modern developments, the county retains a semblance of its historical charm through well-preserved landmarks and a commitment to community values, making it a unique blend of old and new.