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Friend of the Court Director 

Union Non-Union  
Pay Grade Grade 14  
Wage Scale Salary Range $81,014.31 - $105,318.23. Based on experience.  

General Summary:

Under the general direction of the Chief Judge, manages and coordinates the non-judicial functions of the Friend of the Court. Responsibilities include program planning, fiscal management, personnel management, facilities management, case flow management and all required administrative and customer service functions. Serves as Circuit Court Referee, conducting hearings on a variety of domestic relations cases.

Essential Functions:

  1. Directs activities of FOC staff. Responsible for personnel management and labor relations, including staff hiring, orientation, training, work assignments, performance evaluation, and discipline.

  1. Serves as Circuit Court Referee conducting hearings on a variety of domestic relations cases and other matters as allowed by statute and court rules.

  1. Administers oaths, takes testimony, questions witnesses, admits evidence. Prepares a written report of findings and recommendations or makes findings of fact on the record. Prepares orders.

  1. Researches and evaluates legislation, court rules, office operations, and determines impact on FOC operations. Develops and implements policies and procedures to improve services. Ensures that operations are in compliance with applicable law. Advises judges, court staff, and local attorneys about changes in family law.

  1. Reviews all proposed domestic relations orders prepared by litigants, attorneys, or court staff. Recommends changes, discusses orders with appropriate parties and approves orders for judge's signature.

  1. Prepares budgets for judicial approval, presents budget to county administration, authorizes and monitors budget expenditures, works with court staff, funding unit, and state and federal officials regarding financial matters.

  1. Establishes and maintains sound financial controls. Coordinates audits, reviews audit findings with auditors, court staff, and judges to insure the audit recommendations are implemented.

  1. Negotiates the annual IV-D contract, presents contract to county administration for approval, administers contract including monthly billing activities.

  1. Manages financial transactions ensuring that receivables, expenditures, and disbursements are processed as required in accordance with financial controls. Resolves any collection, disbursement, and account related irregularities.

  1. Supervises the implementation of effective case flow management to ensure cases are processed in accordance with management guidelines. Coordinates the resolution of case flow management problems with other court staff and judges.

  1. Oversees FOC alternative dispute resolution program.

  1. Serves as liaison to county officials, local bar association, state and federal agencies, legislators, community agencies, news media, schools, and other organizations. Explains court programs, discusses legislation, explains court policy, addresses complaints and service issues and coordinates programs.

  1. Researches potential grants, prepares grant application and manages approved grants.

  1. Assists staff with investigative, enforcement, and case processing problems

  1. Analyzes IV-D referrals from DHS regarding paternity and child support to determine whether to initiate court action.

  1. Conducts pre-trial with parties and attorneys in domestic relations cases to mediate settlements.

  1. Oversees and coordinates programs such as the SMILE program, designed to enhance services to court clients.

  1. Performs other duties as required.

An employee in this position may be called upon to do any or all of the above tasks. (These examples do not include all of the tasks which the employees may be expected to perform.)

Position Requirements


Law degree from an accredited law school.


Five years of experience dealing with domestic relations cases in an investigative, administrative or legal capacity with progressively greater managerial responsibility.

Other Requirements:

Licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan.

Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite applications.

A Michigan Vehicle Operator’s License.

The qualifications listed above are intended to represent the minimum skills and experience levels associated with performing the duties and responsibilities contained in this job description. The qualifications should not be viewed as expressing absolute employment or promotional standards, but as general guidelines that should be considered along with other job-related selection or promotional criteria.

Physical Requirements:

(This job requires the ability to perform the essential functions contained in this description. These include, but are not limited to, the following requirements. Reasonable accommodations will be made for otherwise qualified applicants unable to fulfill one or more of these requirements):

Ability to access all county locations.

Ability to use a keyboard to enter and retrieve information from a computer.

Ability to communicate orally and in writing.

Ability to perform the physical tasks associated with the position.

Ability to withstand prolonged periods of sitting in front of a computer monitor or in a courtroom.

Working Conditions:

Works in an office setting but is also required to travel to court and other locations.

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Shift Days  
Position Friend of the Court Director  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Open Date 2/3/2023  
Location St. Joseph County Courthouse  
About the Organization The mission of St. Joseph County Government is to provide statutory and constitutional services in a fiscally responsible manner worthy of the dignity and respect of all County citizens. Non-mandated services requested by citizens shall be evaluated and prioritized within the same context of fiscal responsibility and public trust. The basis for providing such services shall include, but not be restricted to: the safety and well-being of the public, the protection and improvement of natural resources, and the expansion of economic opportunities for all citizens.

St. Joseph County Government as stewards of people and resources promotes equal opportunity for all, and hereby encourages the talents, creativity and leadership of all County employees in striving for prompt, courteous, respectful and efficient delivery of services.

St. Joseph County provides an excellent benefit package. This includes health, dental, vision, life, and short and long term disability insurance. We also offer a very generous sick and vacation package and 13 paid holidays for most positions. Pension plans are available for many of our employees as well as additional retirement options.  
EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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