Title: Deputy Friend of Court
Department: Friend of Court Updated: 12/2017
Division: Friend of Court FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Bargaining Unit: CANUE Wage Range: Not Available

Under the direction of the Friend of the Court, assists in directing the activities of the Friend of the Court office by managing and assisting staff, developing and administering office procedures and ensuring that operations comply with legal and office procedures.  Performs the duties of an attorney referee including conducting of hearings, taking testimony and offers of evidence, performs legal research and preparing and approving court orders. 


·         Assists in administration of office relations including assisting the Friend of the Court in development of policies and procedures to improve service and to ensure that operations are in compliance with applicable statutes and court rules. 

·         Assists with all operational and personnel management including assignment of work, performance evaluation, employee training and development. 

·         Recommends disciplinary action according to established procedures and agreements. 

·         Directs supervisory and line staff.

·         Represents the Friend of the Court in a variety of meetings, committees and professional associations, boards and/or other related groups. 

·         Assists in analyzing and researching legislation, court rules, case law and other matters affecting Court operations. 

·         Stays abreast of legislative and regulatory developments, new administrative techniques and current issues through continued legal education and professional growth. 

·         Informs the court and legal community of changes and impact to services. 

·         Attends conferences, workshops and seminars as appropriate. 

·         Provides legal advice to Friend of Court staff. 

·         Investigates statutory grievances filed by Friend of Court customers and prepares grievance responses for consideration by the Friend of the Court upon final approval. 

·         Responds to questions and concerns from the public and other agencies at the direction of the Friend of the Court.

·         Assists staff with cases answering complex questions and interpreting court orders using court rules, policies and procedures. Meets with staff to disseminate policy and procedural information and to discuss case related issues.

·         Serves as a domestic relations referee conducting hearings and making recommendations to establish, enforce or modify court orders for custody, support and parenting time.  

·         Duties of attorney referee as incorporated by reference in the attorney referee job description.

·         Consults with Judges, referees, probation officers, case workers, and other representatives on case circumstances, outcomes and compliance.  

·         Coordinates assistance on difficult and complex office matters such as interstate, liens, probate, foster care, bankruptcy and intergovernmental legal matters. 

·         Oversees special projects at the direction of the Friend of the Court.

·         Assists the Friend of the Court with budget matters and activity reports. 

·         Serves and functions as a family division referee and carries out all duties and functions as outlined in the attorney referee job description. 

·         Substitutes for Friend of the Court, when required.

·         Other duties as assigned.


Works under the direct supervision of the Friend of the Court. 


In absence of the Friend of the Court, oversees office operations.  Makes recommendations to the Friend of the Court on hire, work assignments, performance evaluations, promotions, discipline and termination.  Serves as indirect supervisor of all Friend of the Court staff. 



·         Juris Doctorate degree from a regionally accredited law school; a member in good standing in the State Bar of Michigan; practicing experience and/or coursework in domestic relations.

·         More than 5 years of significant work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required.

·         Experience in serving as a domestic relations referee. 

·         Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Governmental Audit Standards, US Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133, and the pronouncements of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. 

·         Manage and direct departmental operations, including budgeting, strategic planning. Knowledge of and interpret applicable federal, state and local regulations. Develop, apply and explain department and County procedure and policies. Plan and coordinate work staff activities, prioritize, instruct, set deadlines, objectives, measure success, and make recommendations and resolve issues. Methods of research, planning, conducting and implementing major studies or projects. Design and recommend new forms, reports or procedures. Ability to understand and work in complex data processing system, analyze data and exercise sound financial judgment. Analyze administrative problems, evaluate alternatives and implement sound solutions. Prepare and present reports, speeches or training programs to groups. Provide training and guidance in handling difficult or complex problems or resolving escalated complaints or disputes. Work independently with limited direct supervision. Coordinate activities with other departments.                     

·         Complex accounts receivable/payable practices, banking procedures, third party billing and private pay processes.  Proficient in accounting software, i.e. Bi-Tech or One Solution. Ability to reconcile financial reports or records; process department payroll; prepare and reconciled journal entries; purchasing procedures. Knowledge of accounting principles, audit standards, budgeting; annual financial reporting; and IRS practices for Federal, State and Local. Knowledge of liability coverage and claims procedures.         

·         Ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with management, co-workers and clients; obtain and communicate accurate information; apply common sense understanding to complex instructions and respond accordingly;  communicate complex ideas through graphs, charts, presentations, reports or other professional correspondence.

·         Knowledge or understanding of basic administrative tasks: operate standard office equipment; document management; prepare and maintain records, various correspondences and reports; answer general inquiries and refer as necessary; answer telephone calls, process mail, order supplies/equipment; prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, record/transcribe/distribute minutes; entering, transcribing, recording, storing or maintaining information in written or electronic form with speed and accuracy; maintain calendars, arrange meetings, schedule rooms and equipment as necessary.        

·         Writing, reading, mathematical principles; proficient computer skills-Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook; exercise sound judgment and decision making in accordance with policies and procedures; ability to research and problem solve independently; knowledge of County operations and functions; ability to prioritize and time manage; handle stressful situations, provide effective and friendly customer service; support the County's mission and values; ability to think critically where necessary.    



·         Ability to demonstrate predictable, reliable, and timely attendance.                

·         Ability to read, write & communicate in English; follow written and verbal instruction and understand basic mathematics and figure checking.              

·         Ability to interpret and apply procedures, rules, technical information, instructions, manuals to complete tasks accurately and on schedule.                                     

·         Ability to learn from directions, observations, and mistakes; and apply procedures using good judgment.                                                                        

·         Ability to use discretion and maintain sensitive and confidential information.     

·         Ability to work independently or part of a team; ability to interact appropriately with others such as County officials, employees, vendors and the general public.

·         Ability to work under supervision, receiving instructions/feedback, coaching/counseling and/or action/discipline.                                             

·         Adaptability to change in the work environment, managing competing demands and ability to deal with frequent changes, delays or unexpected events.

·         Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction

·         Proficient skills using Microsoft Office programs including, but not limited to: Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook required.  Proficiency may be tested.      

  • Prior to starting employment, the candidate must complete a satisfactory background check.  The background check is understood to encompass all forms of pre-employment screening, including but not limited to: drug screen, physical, criminal background, driving record, sex offender registry, education, training and licensing verification, employment history, credit check, and professional and personal references.
  • Must possess a valid State of Michigan operator license and maintain this license throughout employment in this position.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job with or without accommodations.  Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to:

·         Speak to others to convey information effectively.

·         Read, interpret and understand procedures, rules, technical information, instructions and manuals.

·         Hear and understand information presented through spoken words and sentences.

·         Specific vision requirement includes close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception.

·         Use hands to operate a computer, handle materials and operate equipment.

·         Push or pull carts, reach with hands and arms forward, above and below shoulder level.

·         Lift, move or carry objects, equipment and supplies weighing up to 25 pounds.

·         Sit, bend, stoop, crouch, crawl and kneel in an ergonomically correct manner.

·         Stand and walk, climb stairs.

·         Normal office hours are from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

·         Generally works in a normal office environment.

·         The noise level in the work environment is moderate with many interruptions.


Disclaimer: The statements contained in this job description are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job requirements or duties performed.  The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.





It is the policy of St. Clair County not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, disability that does not prevent performing essential job functions or because he or she is a protected veteran.