To provide better coordinated and centralized Family Division services to the residents, Ottawa County broke ground on the new Family Justice Center on the Fillmore campus on June 9, 2022. The Family Justice Center will support the legislatively mandated concept of “one judge – one family” by bringing together the judges, attorney referees and court staff who handle domestic relations cases, juvenile cases and child welfare cases. Space limitations currently require these services to be divided between courthouses in Grand Haven and West Olive. The center will also move frequently used court services closer to the population centers within Ottawa County.
The Family Justice Center will bring the following services under one roof:
- Family Division Judges
- Attorney Referees
- Friend of the Court
- Juvenile Services
- Clerk/Register Circuit Court Records – Family Division
- Legal Self Help Center
Ottawa County conducted extensive contract negotiations with the architects of DLZ and Granger Construction, intending to implement the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method of building. IPD requires collaboration between the owner, the architect and the construction companies at all stages of the design and construction. IPD saves money for the taxpayers of Ottawa County by requiring the parties designing and building the Family Justice Center to put their profits at risk should the construction project exceed agreed upon pricing.
The Family Justice Center is expected to be complete in early 2024.