FOC Bench Warrants
Child Support Enforcement
People who are ordered to pay support and are not doing so will typically be notified in writing that enforcement action has begun. Upon receiving such notice, you should immediately contact your case manager at 877-543-2660 to address the issue. If no resolution can be reached, then the payer may be subject to additional enforcement actions such as a show cause hearing.
If you are a recipient of child support who is not regularly receiving child support and would like additional enforcement on your case, or if you have information about the other parent that may be helpful such as a new address or employer, please contact the Friend of the Court to share that information. Our phone number is 877-543-2660.
Order to Show Cause Hearing (OTSC)
A show cause hearing is a court hearing at which a person must respond to a charge that he or she violated a court order by not paying child support as ordered. This is also known as a “Contempt of Court” hearing.
Both parties to the case will be notified by mail of a scheduled OTSC hearing. On the day of the hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to address the Referee about child support payment. A payer’s failure to appear at a hearing as scheduled may result in an arrest warrant.
The Ionia County Friend of the Court uses warrants as a tool to help with the enforcement of court orders. The purpose of the bench warrant is to bring the payer before the court. Bench warrants serve as a last resort when other remedies have failed. If you have an active bench warrant through the Friend of the Court, please contact us right away by phone, e-mail or in person. We will attempt to work with you to resolve this matter before you are arrested.
Frequently asked questions
Why do I have a bench warrant? A bench warrant was issued because you failed to appear as ordered at a contempt proceeding (OTSC hearing), or because you did not comply with a court order.
What happens if I am arrested? If you are unable to post the original bond, you will be lodged in the Ionia County jail. The Friend of the Court will conduct an interview with you to attempt to resolve the warrant. If this is not successful, you will be arraigned before a Circuit Court Judge. You may be ordered to pay a specific amount or to serve time in jail.
After I post bond, do I have any further hearings? Yes. The jail will provide you with a hearing date on the bond paperwork. You are to appear at the Ionia Friend of the Court on the date and time on the paperwork. If you were not given a court date, contact FOC immediately. If you do not attend this hearing, another bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
If I posted the bond or someone posted it for me, will it be returned to me if I appear? Your bond will be addressed at the hearing. In most cases, the bond will be applied to any past due child support obligations.
If the payer of support continues to avoid payments of child support, there are additional actions that can be taken such as: the suspension of your driver’s license, occupational license, hunting, or fishing license.
You may also be investigated and charged by the Attorney General’s office for a felony nonsupport warrant.