Honorable Phyllis McMillen

Honorable Phyllis McMillen

To better serve the attorneys and litigants appearing in Judge McMillen’s courtroom, we have adopted the following guidelines. Please advise your clients and staff so that there are no misunderstandings. All civil cases are to be electronically filed.

Location

Courtroom 3C, Third Floor - Oakland County Courthouse
Telephone: 248-858-0337
Fax: Not for Public Use

Background

Judge McMillen is a graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, and was a practicing lawyer for 17 years before being elected to the 51st District Court in 1994.  She was appointed to the Oakland County Circuit Court in 2010. Judge McMillen is the past president of both the Oakland County District Judges Association and the Michigan District Judges Association and the chairperson of the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals Annual Training Conference.  She serves on various executive and advisory boards including the Oakland County Community Corrections Advisory.

Motion Practice

  • General motions are heard at 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays.  Motions for summary disposition at are heard at 10:00 a.m.  Oral arguments on appeal typically are heard at 11:00 a.m.  Check-in with clerk.
  • Add-on policy is at the Court's discretion.
  • The moving party sets the hearing date for a motion, except a motion for summary disposition.  A party requesting a hearing on a motion for summary disposition must contact the Judge's staff attorney for a hearing date prior to filing the motion.  The Court will issue a scheduling order setting the hearing date and a briefing schedule.
  • The Court requires a Judge's Copy of motions for summary disposition and responses and replies.  The Court also requires a Judge's Copy of appeal briefs, motions for reconsideration, and motions seeking ex parte injunctive relief.
  • For non-dispositive motions, the hearing must be set by the moving party for a Wednesday morning at least 14 days before trial, and must be served and filed at least 7 days in advance of the hearing pursuant to e-filing rules; except that motions to exclude or limit expert testimony must be served in all cases at least 14 days before the hearing.
  • Responses to all non-dispositive motions must be served and filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Monday prior to the Wednesday hearing, except that responses to motions to exclude or limit expert testimony must be served and filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Wednesday one week prior to the Wednesday hearing.

TROs/Injunctions

The Court follows MCR 3.310 and grants ex-parte relief as per the court rules. The Court may accelerate the briefing schedule.  Parties seeking ex parte relief should bring to chambers a Judge's Copy of the Complaint, motion and exhibits. 

Scheduling and Discovery

  • Initial scheduling orders are computer-generated by the Case Management Office. 
  • The Court allows a first adjournment extending dates for up to 45 days by stipulation and order, with the trial date adjourned to the first day of the next civil trial term.  Additional or lengthier adjournments must be requested by motion; good cause must be shown.

Civil Pretrials

  • A settlement conference is required in all cases and is generally scheduled for the Wednesday afternoon two weeks before the trial date.  Attorneys and clients must be present.  The Court may allow out-of-state parties to participate by telephone; parties must have prior permission of Court and make arrangements.
  • A final pre-trial conference will be scheduled for the Wednesday afternoon of the week before the trial date.  A joint final pre-trial order, along with jury instructions and verdict form (in jury cases) are due at the time of the pre-trial conference.  (See "Civil Trials" section below for more information)
  • A joint final pre-trial order along with jury instructions and verdict form in jury cases are due at the time of the settlement conference.

Criminal

  • Criminal call is on Thursday. 
  • Sentencings are generally held at 10:00 a.m. for defendants on bond, and 1:00 p.m. for defendants in custody.
  • Arraignments, Pre-trials and Violations of Probation are generally held at 10:00 a.m. for defendants on bond, and 1:00 p.m. for defendants in custody.

Civil Trials

  • Trial schedule: Monday (all day); Tuesday (all day); Wednesday (p.m. only); Friday (all day).  All-day sessions are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; half-day sessions are 1:00 – 5:00.
  • Adjournments are by motion for good cause only except as noted above.  The Court does not routinely grant adjournments.
  • Unless excused by the Court, counsel and parties must appear on the assigned trial date and be prepared to start trial that day or within 14 days thereafter.  Settlement documents must be filed on or before the trial date to avoid dismissal for failure to appear.
  • Exhibits must be marked by counsel prior to trial and must be submitted on first day of trial; Plaintiff - numbers; Defendant - letters. 
  • Trial briefs are allowed, but not mandatory. 
  • The Joint Final Pretrial Order in jury trials and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in bench trials must be filed at or before the final pre-trial conference in conformity with the Case Management Order.
  • In jury cases, proposed jury instructions and a verdict form must be submitted along with the Joint Final Pretrial Order.
  • If a jury instruction and/or verdict form is contested, the contesting party must supply the Court with legal authority supporting its position.
  • Proposed jury instructions on plain paper (i.e., without citation of authority or identity of proponent), and the verdict form must be submitted on CD in Word (not Word Perfect) format at the time of the final pre-trial conference.
  • The Court conducts basic voir dire and allows counsel to follow up and ask more in-depth questions.
  • The jury will be charged after final argument and may take a set of the instructions into deliberations along with exhibits.
  • The jurors are allowed to take notes and ask questions of witnesses (questions from jurors are screened by the Court in consultation with counsel before being asked).
  • Counsel are encouraged to use the courtroom projector to display exhibits to the jury.  Any materials that are storable on a computer should be displayable via the projector.  Contact the Court's staff for details.

Forms

The following forms are unique to Judge McMillen.
  • Amended Scheduling Order (file size 18k)
  • Case Management Order (file size 18k)
  • Order for Mediation (file size 18k)