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How do I get the transcripts for appeal when I can't afford them? How do I establish that I'm indigent in MI? Is there a form?

Southfield, MI |

I'm, seeking to appeal a Judges decision today to NOT terminate the parental rights of my ex; we proved 4 of the necessary statutory grounds for termination [by a preponderance of the evidence], & proved that to terminate was in the child's [MY child's!] best interest. The Judges ruling was an opinion NOT based on the facts in evidence and in fact quite contrary to both the testimony & documented evidence presented. It is a strong case for appeal, but I cannot afford to pay th $1,000s & $1,000s of dollars for the transcripts of over a dozen court appearances in this case. I have the right to appeal this ruling... but How can I get the transcripts to do so when I cannot afford them?

Attorney Answers 3


You need to hire an attorney in order to have any chance of being successful with an appeal. You can try contacting the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office to get help finding low cost representation, I have included the link below.

Disclaimer: Posted answers do not constitute an attorney-client relationship and are based on the general information available in the question posting. Always contact an attorney in your geographical area with the specific details of your case before taking any action.

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You should call your particular court and ask what their policies are as to securing either free or low-cost transcripts for indigent individuals. Better yet, you should try to find a local pro bono legal service that is willing to help with your appeal. Appealing a Circuit Court decision is EXTREMELY complex, and you really need an attorney for that service. Unless there is a step-father or suitable man to "step in" and adopt the child, many Judges are unwilling to terminate a parent's rights if that parent objects, and succeeding on appeal on that ruling will likely be an uphill battle for you. I wish you all the best of luck.

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I am working on that.. I have not yet been succeessful in locating any pro-bono services available for civil/probate appeals. If you have any suggestions on that arena, I'd be eternally grateful!!!


I agree w/ Mr Catchick. Even if you received the transcript, the next steps are difficult even for experienced attorneys. Best of luck to you and your family. - Reese Serra

This advise is only being offered as a courtesy. We do not have an attorney-client relationship and I do not represent you. Additional, the advice I have provided was based on the limited fact pattern provided by you. If the facts differ, my advice may not be correct. If you live in Michigan and would like legal assistance with your issue, feel free to contact me: 586-615-0756 / (ADVERTISING MATERIAL)

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