Hon. Kathleen A. Ryan

About Chief Probate Pro Tem Judge Ryan

  • Elected to the Oakland County Probate Court November 2, 2010
  • Graduate from the University of Notre Dame (B.F.A.)
  • Graduate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (J.D.)
  • Private Practice 1996-2010, with primary emphasis in Family and Probate litigation
  • Managing partner of Ryan & Schouman, PLC 1998-2010
  • Admission: State Bar of Michigan;  United States Supreme Court;  United States District Court – Eastern Division; United States District Court – Western Division
  • Member: State Bar of Michigan; Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA); Michigan Probate Judges Association (MPJA); South East Michigan Probate Judges Association (SEMPJA); Fellow: Michigan Bar Foundation; Incorporated Society of Irish Lawyers (ISIAL); Michigan Irish American Chamber of Commerce (MIACC); Women's Official Network (WON); OCBA Inns of Court 2011-Present; Fellow: Oakland County Bar Association
  • MPJA Board of Directors Member at Large
  • Co-Chair SAVE Task Force 2013- present
  • 2013 & 2015 Probate Chairperson – OCBA Bench Bar Conference     
  • Presenter/Editor/Author: ICLE, LACHES, MJI, MPJA


In order to better serve the attorneys and litigants appearing in Judge Kathleen A. Ryan's courtroom, we have adopted the following guidelines.  Please advise your clients and staff so that there are no misunderstandings. You can obtain a copy of the Protocol by clicking the highlighted link.

COVID-19 Public Access Protocol.

Motion Practice

The combined length of any motion and brief, or of a response and brief, may not exceed 20 pages double spaced, exclusive of attachments and exhibits.

  • Check-in Procedure: The courtroom will open at 8:00am for checking in purposes. Attorneys, GAL’s and PA’s – if you are appearing on more than one case, please present the Clerk with a list of your cases and we will attempt to call all of your cases together, based upon the time when you first checked in and/or the nature of the petition (i.e. new filing vs. existing case). Please notify the Clerk when all parties are present.

    There is no need to pick up your file at the Main Probate Counter prior to your hearing as all cases are already prepped for hearing by chamber staff and will be ready in the Courtroom.

    All new Petitions on adult and minor Guardianships and Conservatorships, and all first Petitions in Estate and Trust cases will be scheduled for 10:00am All other cases will remain on the 8:30am docket. The Court will schedule contested probate matters for hearing. 
  • Judge’s Copies of Motions and Briefs: Except for Accountings, a copy of the motion/Petition and response/Objections, including all supporting briefs, must be delivered to the Judge’s chambers, and clearly marked “Judge’s Copy” with the hearing date also clearly marked. The Judge reviews all motions and responses prior to the hearing. Copies of all pleadings (except Accountings and Objections) must be delivered to the Judge’s chambers no later than 12:00pm on Friday.
  • Adjournments:  No adjournments will be granted without permission of the court per court order, even if stipulated to by all parties. Please note that this is not to aggravate the parties, but rather to ensure proper docket management and the adherence to mandated time guidelines. If the parties so stipulate to an adjournment and the court permits the same, the Stipulation and Order must comply with MCR 2.503.
  • Discovery: Discovery cutoff extension requests must be brought before the Court before the cutoff date by motion. Moreover, pursuant to the Michigan Rules of Court, all discovery must be fully completed by the scheduled cutoff date, versus a discovery request being made just days before the cutoff date. There will be no exceptions without good cause shown. Finally, when seeking discovery, please be mindful that the scope of discovery in probate proceedings is more limited than the scope of discovery in general civil actions. MCR 5.131. Otherwise, the general discovery rules apply.
  • Summary Disposition:  All motions for Summary Disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116 must be scheduled with the Judge’s staff attorney. 
  • Trials: Parties and counsel are expected to comply with all dates and provisions set forth in the court’s Scheduling Order. All exhibits are to be marked prior to trial and the parties and counsel must be ready to commence trial promptly as scheduled. In addition to the original exhibits to be introduced at trial, all parties and counsel must supply a copy of each exhibit to the Judge, opposing counsel(s) and the witnesses.