23rd Circuit Court

The 23rd Judicial Circuit Court is one of the largest circuits, geographically, in the State of Michigan. The 23rd Circuit Court covers the counties of Alcona, Arenac, Iosco and Oscoda, and has one Circuit Judge.

The 23rd Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving more than $25,000, all criminal cases where the offense is a felony or serious misdemeanor, all domestic relations cases, all child abuse, neglect and delinquency cases and other case types.

The Circuit Court also hears appeals from District Court; appeals from local government boards such as zoning appeals; and appeals from some administrative agencies of state government such as the Driver's License Appeal Division of the Secretary of State.



To pay court costs, fines and court assessments, please use this link for Circuit Court: https://allpaid.com/#/home

The PLC pay code for the 23rd Circuit Court/Arenac County Trial Court is 1024.


General Court Hours

Monday thru Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Chief Judge of the 23rd Circuit Court

Richard E. Vollbach, Jr.

Hon. Richard E. Vollbach- watch

Court Docket

Circuit Court Judge
120 N. Grove Street, PO Box 609
Standish, Michigan 48658
Phone No. 989-846-6200
Fax No. 989-846-6757

Judge Richard E. Vollbach, Jr. took the bench in 2009. He serves as the Presiding Judge of the Family Court, as well as Probate Judge, 81st District Court Judge and Chief Judge Pro Tempore

David C. Riffel

 Hon. David C. Riffel - Watch

 Circuit Court Judge 

422 W Lake Street, PO Box 609
Tawas City, Michigan 48764
Phone No. 989-362-3485
Fax No. 989-984-1006

Judge David C. Riffel was elected to the Circuit Court bench in 2016.


Administration & Staff

  • Cristy Slocum
    Trial Court Administrator
    120 N. Grove, PO Box 609
    Standish, Michigan 48658
    Phone No. 989-846-6200
    Fax No. 989-846-6757

  • Leslee Cooley
    Judicial Secretary to Judge Riffel
    Phone No. 989-984-1056
    Fax No. 989-984-1006

  • Heather Stroh
    Probate/Juvenile Register
    120 N Grove, PO Box 666
    Standish, Michigan 48658
    Phone No. 989-846-6941
    Fax No. 989-846-9199

  • Kate Wisniewski
    Deputy Juvenile/Probate Register
    120 N Grove, PO Box 747
    Standish, Michigan 48658
    Phone No. 989-846-9045
    Fax No. 989-846-9199

  • Melissa Pugh
    Trial Court Specialist/ADR Clerk
    120 N. Grove, PO Box 609
    Standish, Michigan 48658
    Phone No. 989-846-6131
    Fax No. 989-846-6757

  • Nicole Kirby
    Court Reporter for Judge Riffel
    Phone No. 989-984-1030

  • Dawn Freehling
    Trial Court Specialist
    120 N. Grove, PO Box 747
    Standish, Michigan 48658
    Phone No. 989-846-9069
    Fax No. 989-846-6757

  • Jeffrey Ryan
    Juvenile Probation Officer
    120 N. Grove, PO Box 747
    Standish, Michigan 48658
    Phone No. 989-846-9044
    Fax No. 989-846-9199


Additional Information

Forms Available Online

All Michigan State Court Administrative Office approved forms are available at the SCAO web site at:

Courthouse Security

  1. No weapons are allowed in the Arenac County Courthouse. This prohibition does not apply to court security personnel in the performance of their official duties or law enforcement officers who are transporting prisoners. The Chief Judge may authorize additional exceptions in extraordinary circumstances. 
  2. All persons and their belongings and all parcels are subject to screening by the Arenac County Sheriff Department or the Court Bailiff for the purposes of keeping weapons from entering the facility. If at any time there is an articulated or reasonable suspicion that a weapon may be found, a person or object is subject to search. The search shall be no more intrusive than necessary to protect against dangers presented.
  3. Notice is posted that "NO weapons are permitted in the Arenac County Courthouse. All persons and parcels are subject to a search for weapons and restricted items as a condition of entry. Persons in violation of this order may be held in contempt of court."
  4. All cellular phones and pagers must be turned off before entering the courtroom.
  5. The following will not be tolerated while in the courtroom:
    1. eating food of any kind
    2. chewing gum
    3. drinking beverages
    4. talking
  6. Court staff cannot give legal advice. 

Attire in the Courtroom

Litigants, witnesses, and jurors shall be appropriately attired when attending a session of court. Proper attire for gentlemen could include: button shirt, sweater, slacks, shoes and stockings. Proper attire for women could include: dress, blouse, sweater, skirt, slacks, suit and shoes.

Seeking Legal Advice

Lawyer Referral Services
State Bar of Michigan

Jury Duty

Jurors are an essential part of the American Judicial System. Most people who serve on jury duty find it to be worthwhile and extremely helpful in understanding how the legal system works. Without jurors, the jury system cannot work. We know that jury service means rearranging schedules, canceling appointments and, often times, missing work. Your public service as a juror protects our right as Americans to have a trial by an impartial jury of our peers. Should you be called to serve as a juror in Arenac County, we will make every effort to make your experience valuable and to cause you the least inconvenience possible. 

If you have been selected to serve on a jury, you may call 989-846-9067 after 4:30 PM the evening before your report date to receive the latest information regarding your trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

How was I selected to serve as a juror?

You were randomly selected by the Michigan Secretary of State via computer from an index of all Arenac County residents over 18 years of age currently holding a Michigan Drivers License or a Michigan Personal Identification card.

Who is exempt from jury service?

You are exempt if:

  1. You are not a United States Citizen
  2. You do not speak or understand English
  3. You are over 70 years old and wish to claim that exemption
  4. You have served as a juror during the  past 12 months
  5. You have been convicted of a felony

Can I be excused from jury duty?

To be considered for excuse from jury duty, you must submit a letter to the Circuit Judge with your reason to be excused or deferred to a different time. If you request to be excused because of medical reasons, please attach a note from your physician. Failure to appear for jury duty without proper excuse may result in contempt of court.

Am I required by law to fill out the qualifying questionnaire?

You are required by state law to fill out the qualifying questionnaire and return it to the County clerk for filing no later than ten days from the date you received it. Persons who do not respond to the questionnaire may be requested to appear before the Circuit Judge to explain why the questionnaire was not completed and returned. Failure to report for jury duty may result in a Show Cause Hearing being scheduled by the Court.

The questionnaire is addressed to my son/daughter who is away at college/military. What should I do?

Again, by law, the questionnaire must be returned. You have two options, forward the questionnaire to him/her and have them return it within ten days, or you can fill out the questionnaire for him/her indicating their situation, sign your name indicating that you are the parent or legal representative and return the questionnaire within the ten days. If they have permanently moved and changed their address on their driver's license and declared residency in another county or state, please indicate and return the form.

I received a questionnaire, but no longer live in Arenac County, what should I do?

By law, you must still return the questionnaire. We request that you indicate your new address and return the questionnaire within ten days.

How much does it cost to file a case in Circuit Court?

The filing fee to open a Circuit Court Case is currently $175.00.

What is the cost for creating a new record?

Some of the common charges are:

  1. Criminal record search that required the creation or compilation of a new written record at the request of the customer - $5.00.
  2. Civil record search that requires the creation of compilation of a new written record at the request of the customer - $5.00.
  3. Certified copy of conviction, judgment of other filed document - $10.00 plus $1.00 per page.
  4. Copy of filed document, not certified - $1.00 per page.
  5. Copy of court form - $1.00 per page.
  6. Copy of register of actions - $1.00 per page.

How much does it cost to file a motion?

The filing fee for a motion is $20.00

Does the Court accept Credit Cards?

Yes. Court ordered fees, costs and bonds can be paid by credit card through Government Payment Services by calling 1-888-604-7888 toll free 24 hours a day, visiting www.allpaid.com or by credit or debit card by calling Central Filing at 989-846-9186.

What is the Friend of the Court Final Judgment Order Fee?

The Friend of the Court Final Judgment Fee is $80.00 regardless of whether the Friend of the Court conducted an investigation or the parties "opted out" of the Friend of the Court services. Any post judgment action in which the custody or parenting time for minor children is determined will incur an $80.00 fee to be paid at the same time that the $20.00 motion is paid.

In any action where only the support of minor child/children is determined or modified a $40.00 fee will be paid at the same time that the $20.00 motion fee is paid.

In the event that a Judgment or Order contains both custody/parenting time and support provisions, only the $80.00 fee is required.

May I obtain a copy of "transcripts" of a Circuit Court proceeding?

Yes, you may order copies of transcripts from the Court Reporter. There is a fee for these documents which is set by state statute. Please contact the Court Reporter for the judge assigned to the case for a cost estimate and more information.

Where do I file for a Personal Protection Order (PPO)? Is there a fee?

You apply for a Personal Protection Order, both "Domestic" and "Stalking", at the Central Filing Office. There is no fee for the paperwork or filing. However, if you have a law enforcement agency do the service, there is a fee for this service.

Where do I file my bondsman application and paperwork for Arenac County, Iosco County, Alcona County and Oscoda County? 

All required paperwork, for all four counties, is to be mailed to Arenac County Circuit Court, PO Box 609, Standish, Michigan 48658 and must be post marked no later than December 1.

2024 Approved Bondsmen Agencies: CLICK HERE