Honorable Leo Bowman

Honorable Leo Bowman

Location

Courtroom 4C, Fourth Floor - Oakland County Courthouse
Telephone: 248-452-2005
Fax: Not available for public use.

Orders Presented for Judge's Signature

  • Orders Submitted Under the 7-day Rule: When submitting an order under the 7-day rule, please submit the notice and order in separate folders.  This will allow the court staff to accept the notice (effectuates service on the parties) and defer the proposed order for 7 days.  If a party files objections, the Court Staff will accept the proposed order stamped as "Proposed" and the objecting party shall file a praecipe for the next available motion date for a ruling on the objections.
  • Signatures: Original signatures must appear on all orders.
  • True Copies: Court Staff will process two true copies of each order signed or as many true copies as there are parties, whichever is greater.  True copies of orders will be mailed if a self-addressed stamped envelope is provided with the order. If an envelope is not attached, true copies will be held for five business days. Because of space constraints, orders cannot be held for a longer period.

Criminal Call

  • Arraignments, pre-trial conferences, pleas, sentencing, and violations of probation are heard on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Attorneys check-in with the prosecutor and attorneys should contact chambers by 9:30 a.m. if they are running late.
  • Any adjournments must be motion.
  • No arraignments by mail.
  • Plea agreements must be in writing and submitted at least twenty four hours in advance.
  • Pre-sentence Investigation (PSI) Reports are available for pick-up on the Friday before sentencing.
  • Sentencing memorandum and any other documentation for the Court's consideration must be submitted by noon on the Monday before the sentencing date.  The Court reviews all documents related to sentencing prior to criminal call.  Therefore, the Court only accepts documentation for its review during sentencing in very unique circumstances.

Motion Practice

  • General: Except by leave of the Court or as otherwise described herein, motions are scheduled pursuant to the local court rules and are heard every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
  • Praecipes: Praecipes must be filed timely and accurately in order to have your motion placed on the docket.  Parties may praecipe the motions (excluding motions for summary disposition) for any Wednesday of their choice.  A filed notice of hearing alone is insufficient to place your motion on the Court's docket.  No add-ons are accepted.  
  • Motion:  The Motion must be filed and delivered (if required) to Chambers by 4:30 p.m. on the Wednesday before the scheduled hearing date.  If you fail to submit a Judge's copy to Chambers and it exceeds 40 pages inclusive of exhibits, your motion will be removed from the motion call docket. 
  • Response: The Response must be filed and delivered (if required) to the Chambers by noon on the Monday before the scheduled hearing date.  If you fail to submit a Judge's copy to Chambers and it exceeds 40 pages inclusive of exhibits, your response will not be provided for the Court's review.  A response will not be considered if it is untimely filed and the party may not be allowed to provide oral argument.
  • Reply or Supplement: The Court does not consider reply briefs or supplements without its leave.
  • Judge's Copy: A Judge's copy must be submitted to Chambers if the entire document (motion, brief, exhibits, proof of service, and notice of hearing) exceeds 40 pages pursuant to MCR 2.119 (A)(2).  A Judge's copy is also required if you file a motion for summary disposition or a motion for reconsideration.  Reminder: Chambers cannot guarantee receipt of pleadings left with the County Clerk.  You may place it in a drop-off bin on the right hand side when you first walk into Court Room 4C. 
  • Exhibit: The parties should attach any documents to their motion or brief that they would like to have the Court to consider.  It is not sufficient that the document (e.g., transcript) is a part of the court record.
  • Adjournment or Withdraw:  It is the responsibility of the moving party to notify Chambers by 4:00 p.m. the Tuesday regarding any adjournments or withdraws of a motion.  MCR 2.119(E)(4)(b) provides that the moving party must appear at a hearing on the motion unless excused by the court.  It is not considered proper notice to merely file a re-notice of hearing or a re-praecipe. Motions may only be adjourned a total of two times. Thereafter, the motion must be updated and refiled.  Due to storage limitations, all Judge's copies will be discarded after motion call so if you may need to provide a new Judge's copy.
  • Check-In Procedure: Motions are heard on a first come and first served basis.  You must check-in with the clerk when you arrive on motion day.  Check-in for motion call begins at 8:30 a.m. and no one will be allowed to check in later than 9:30 a.m.  Due to the volume of motions that are scheduled, all motions must be ready to be heard with all parties present in the courtroom no later than 11:30 a.m.  If an attorney needs to leave the courtroom for any reason, the attorney must notify the clerk when he or she leaves and returns.  Failure to notify the clerk will result in the case being called at the end of the motion call docket. 
  • Oral Argument: The parties should assume that the Court reviewed all motions and responses prior to hearing and focus their arguments to the salient points.
  • Non-appearance at Motion Call:  Pursuant to MCR 2.119(C), if the moving party of a praeciped motion has not checked in with the clerk by 9:30 a.m., the Court may dismiss the motion.  In addition, the Court may assess a $100 sanction against the movant pursuant to MCR 2.119(E)(4)(b).  If the non-moving party has not checked in with the clerk by 9:30 a.m., the clerk will call the case upon the request of the moving party.
  • Order: The parties shall submit an order that comports with the Court's ruling and includes the attorney's signatures.  The parties should not leave the courtroom without a signed order.  If the parties fail to obtain the signed order or request permission to file an order through the electronic filing system, the Court staff may require the parties to submit the order pursuant to the notice under 7-day rule or submit an order signed by all attorneys.

Procedural Requirements for Certain Motions (not all inclusive)

  • Alternate Service: Motions and proposed orders for alternative service must include an official post office verification of the party's legal address and affidavit of at least three prior service attempts.  It is preferred that the parties submit a motion for alternate service and order using the SCAO form (MC 303).  These motions are typically routed for review and signature without oral argument.
  • Consent Judgments / Settlement Agreements: The Court requires all consent judgments and civil settlement agreements to be put on the record.  All parties must be present.
  • Emergency: A request to have a motion heard on an emergency basis may be submitted at any time with the notice of hearing providing that "the hearing date and time to be set by the Court."  To be considered, the party must file a written motion that explains the request and provide[1] a Judge's copy to Chambers.  Upon review, the Court may enter an Order denying the request to hear the motion on an emergency basis, enter an Order granting the requested relief, or notify the moving party with the hearing date and time.  It is the responsibility of the moving party to advise the non-moving party if the Court grants an emergency hearing.
  • Entry of Default Judgment:  All motions for entry of default judgment must be scheduled for a hearing on a motion day and should be scheduled as soon as the moving party believes that it has met the criteria.
  • Extension or Adjournment of Scheduling Order Dates: ANY and ALL adjournments must be requested via motion.  The Court does not accept stipulated orders of adjournment, no exceptions.  The Court may waive oral argument and adjourn the scheduling order dates if it meets certain criteria.
  • Evidentiary Hearing: A motion must be filed in order to request an evidentiary hearing.
  • Excused from E-filing / Waiver of Fees: A motion to be excused from e-filing and waiver of fees must include all documentation or evidence to support the individual's request.  It is not sufficient to merely submit a one-page motion. 
  • Ex Parte: Ex-parte motion will not be granted unless specific reasons are included for its necessity.  The Court rarely grants ex-parte orders when each party is represented by counsel.
  • Funeral:  Any request to attend a funeral must be submitted to the Chamber three days prior to the funeral; may not be faxed to Chambers; and must come directly from the defendant or an attorney not a family member.  A defendant will only be released for funerals of an immediate family members (mother, father, brother, sister, grandparents).  The funeral request must include the obituary or a letter from the funeral home on their letterhead with the date, time, and location (city, state, zip code).  The funeral request must also provide defendant's home address (defendant must reside there no exceptions) if allowed to be released on personal bond.  All documents are to be submitted to chambers by 4:00 p.m. on the day of the request.  No request to attend a funeral will be granted on the day of the funeral.  At the Court's discretion, you may be required to adhere to the Oakland County Sheriff (OCS) Department's procedures.[2]
  • Objections: When a party files objections, the objecting party shall file a praecipe for the next available motion date to obtain a ruling on the objections.
  • Pro Hac Vice Admissions: A motion for pro hac vice admission of counsel must be accompanied by a recommendation, a proper affidavit in which the counsel accepts jurisdiction of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct and its enforcement, and agreement that all notices to represented party are sent to in-state counsel.  Further, the Court requires a letter from the State Bar of Michigan stating that the individual paid the appropriate admission fees.
  • Reconsideration:  The moving party must file a motion and deliver[3] a Judge's copy of the motion.  Pursuant to the court rules, the Court will not consider a non-moving party's response and will not hear oral arguments on the motion unless it enters an order allowing the same.
  • Second Summons:  Motions and proposed orders for second summons must establish good cause, detail the diligent attempts made to effectuate service, and state the reason for requesting a second summons.  If a summons is expired, the requesting party must file a motion with a notice of hearing and praecipe to be added to upcoming motion call docket.  It is preferred that the parties submit the motion and order for second summons using the SCAO form (MC 01b).  These motions are typically routed for review and signature without oral argument.
  • Substitution of Counsel: The proposed order must include the language "All dates in the current scheduling order shall remain in effect."  It should also be signed by the impacted attorneys.
  • Summary Disposition: Summary disposition motion dates are scheduled by the Judicial Staff Attorney (Victoria King) who can be contacted at 248-452-9183.  If the motion must be filed before speaking with the Judicial Staff Attorney, it can be electronically filed with the indication that the hearing date and time will be set by the Court.  Parties are encouraged to file summary disposition motions well in advance of their dispositive motion cut-off date in order to ensure availability on the Court's docket.  The Court issues independent brief schedules for summary disposition motions.
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Preliminary Injunction: All requests for TROs must be made pursuant to the court rules and case law. The Court may grant ex parte relief under MCR 3.310 if warranted.  The Court shall set a show cause hearing on the matter to determine whether to convert a TRO to a preliminary injunction.
  • Travel Requests: Any travel requests must be filed and noticed for a hearing well in advance of the proposed travel dates.  It is recommended that the probation officer receive notice in advance of the motion so that he/she can be in attendance to provide the court with additional information if needed.  Further, the written motion must comply with the Michigan Court Rules.  The party must submit the following documentation for the Court's consideration:
      1. Proposed dates of travel
      2. Method of travel
      3. Address where you intend to stay while of state
      4. The local sheriff's office or police station that will administer drug and alcohol testing while out of state.  The information must include, but not limited to, the address, hours of operation, contact person, facility contact number, and fax contact number.
        Please be advised that providing documentation does not assure that request will be granted.  Failure to provide the required information will result in a delay in the hearing of the motion to travel.

Trial Procedure

Civil
  • Voir Dire: All proposed voir dire questions shall be filed and a Judge's copy submitted to the Court for review and approval within fourteen (14) days of trial.  Failure to submit proposed voir dire questions within fourteen (14) days of trial shall constitute a waiver by counsel of the opportunity to have the Court address the areas during jury selection.  The Court conducts voir dire questions in a civil matter and allows the attorneys limited follow-up questions.
  • Jury Instructions / Verdict Form: A stipulated set of jury instructions and verdict form must be filed no later than seven (7) days prior to the trial date.  Any disputed jury instructions or verdict form must be clearly marked and included with the stipulated jury instruction packet.  When a party disputes a jury instruction or verdict form, parties must submit authorities in support and opposing the jury instruction or verdict form.  The attorneys shall provide an electronic copy of the jury instructions including verdict form to the Judicial Staff Attorney on the date of trial.  Failure to file stipulated jury instructions may result in a dismissal or a default in the pending matter.
  • Bench Brief: For a bench trial, the parties shall submit a bench brief that summarizes the relevant items for trial.  The bench brief must be filed no later than seven (7) days prior to the trial date.
Criminal
  • Jury Instructions / Verdict Form: The Prosecutor provides a set of final jury instructions and verdict form in electronic form to the Court on or before the day of trial.  The Defense must review the jury instructions and notify the Judicial Staff Attorney regarding any objections or request for additional jury instructions.  The Judicial Staff Attorney drafts the preliminary jury instructions. 
General Protocol
  • Voir Dire: During voir dire, the attorneys shall refer to the jurors by their seat number or their juror number.
  • Trial Procedures: The jurors receive binders that contain the preliminary jury instructions, a notepad and a pen. The jurors may take notes during the course of the trial.  The jurors do not ask the witnesses questions during the trial; the attorneys are not allowed to offer interim commentary; and the Court does not summarize the facts.
  • Exhibits: Counsel should stipulate to as many exhibits as possible BEFORE the scheduled trial date.  Exhibits should be marked (Plaintiff – numbers; Defendant – letters) prior to trial.  Counsel should come prepared with extra copies of all proposed exhibits.

Appeals

  • The Court issues independent brief schedules for all appeals upon receipt of the certified record on appeal.
  • Oral arguments for appeals are scheduled by the Judicial Staff Attorney.

Courtroom Decorum

  • Anyone appearing in the courtroom must be dressed appropriately. Those dressed inappropriately risk being removed from the courtroom and not having their case heard.  If you have any questions, please see a clerk.
  • Cell phones, pagers or any electronic devices with an alert notice must be turned off prior to entering the courtroom.  Any cell phone that rings while the Court is in session will be confiscated immediately and will become property of the Court.
  • Please be advised that all media requests must be received AT LEAST three days in advance.

Footnotes
[1] It is not sufficient to electronically file an emergency motion because this type of motion is accepted by the County Clerks without being routed to chambers.

[2] According to OCS, it requires as follows:
Attend funeral only and two OCS deputies must accompany defendant (more deputies may be assigned depending on charge) and defendant will remain in shackles.
  • The family must pay $43.05 per hour for each deputy and $.50 per mile to and from funeral home;
  • The funeral must be held in Oakland County (no exceptions)
  • The family must go over to the jail and place the money in the inmate's account before they can leave;
  • A court order must be submitted 24 hours prior to the funeral to OCS by faxing it to booking (248-858-4037) and detention (248-858-4397)
  • All other questions should be submitted to Deputy Smith at 248-452-2023.
[3] It is not sufficient to electronically file a motion for reconsideration because this type of motion may be accepted by the County Clerks without being routed to chambers.