Clare County

Clare County

Clare County is situated north of Isabella County in the middle of Michigan. Clare County is home to the 55th Judicial Circuit Court as well as the 80th District Court. Both courts sit in the county seat, Harrison, Michigan.


80th District Court


The 80th District Court is located at:

225 W Main St

Harrison, MI 48625


District Judge Joshua M. Farrell


The Hon. Joshua M. Farrell is the only district judge for Clare County. He has been on the bench since his election in 2008. Judge Farrell presides over all criminal cases punishable by one year or less in the county jail. He also presides over preliminary examinations in all criminal cases.


Trials Held at The 80th District Court


In trial, Judge Farrell expects the attorneys to be prepared and to move the case along. Misdemeanors are frequently disposed of within 90 days of arraignment. If you set your case for trial, the 80th District Court will schedule your case for trial on a specific date along with 5-10 other cases. On the morning of trial, the court will call the oldest, unresolved case for trial. If your case isn’t called, it will be set for a future trial date where the same process is followed.


Sentencing in Clare County


In this court, many people convicted of misdemeanor offenses are placed on probation. For most misdemeanors, fines and costs are in the neighborhood of $750-1,000. For a first-offense drunk driving conviction, if there was no accident and you have no criminal history, jail is uncommon. Second-time drunk drivers usually face jail sentences ranging from 10-30 days, depending on the facts of their case.


If you are convicted of Retail Fraud – 3rd Degree and have no criminal history, you should expect fines, costs, and probation.


Judge Farrell takes the directive of MCR 1.110, which requires fines and costs to be paid at the time of sentencing, seriously. If you appear for sentencing without any money to apply towards your fines and you had the ability to earn money in the time between your plea and sentencing, you can expect that your sentence will include additional jail time. To avoid being penalized for failure to pay your fines, you must show good cause why you’re unable to pay the fines. If you have worked to gather funds to apply at sentencing, reasonable payment plans are a possibility.


The 55th Circuit Court


The 55th Circuit Court is located at:

225 W Main St

Harrison, MI 48625


Hon. Thomas R. Evans


Judge Evans is the Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit. In addition to presiding over felony criminal matters, he is responsible for overseeing the administrative functions of the court. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Evans was the prosecutor for Gladwin County.


Hon. Roy G. Mienk


Judge Mienk was elected to the bench in 2008. Prior to his election, he operated a general practice firm in Gladwin, Michigan.


Facing Criminal Charges in Clare County?


If you’re facing criminal charges in Clare County and would like to schedule a consultation, call a Clare County criminal defense lawyer at Miel & Carr at (616) 773-2945.


With offices in Clare, Stanton, and Grand Rapids, criminal defense lawyers Joshua Blanchard and Keeley Blanchard effectively represent people charged with crimes throughout Michigan. For a consultation, please call 616-773-2945 .