As amended through November 15, 2023
(A) Appearance by Party. (1) A party may appear in an action by filing a notice to that effect or by physically appearing before the court for that purpose. In the latter event, the party must promptly file a written appearance and serve it on all persons entitled to service. A written appearance must comply with the caption requirements in MCR 1.109(D)(1)(b).(2) Filing an appearance without taking any other action toward prosecution or defense of the action neither confers nor enlarges the jurisdiction of the court over the party. An appearance entitles a party to be served with all documents as provided by MCR 2.107(A). In all other respects, the party is treated as if the appearance had not been filed.(B) Appearance by Attorney.(1) In General. An attorney may appear by an act indicating that the attorney represents a party in the action. An appearance by an attorney for a party is deemed an appearance by the party. Unless a particular rule indicates otherwise, any act required to be performed by a party may be performed by the attorney representing the party.(2) Notice of Appearance. (a) If an appearance is made in a manner not involving the filing of a document with the court, the attorney must promptly file a written appearance and serve it on the parties entitled to service. The written appearance must comply with the caption requirements in MCR 1.109(D)(1)(b).(b) If an attorney files an appearance, but takes no other action toward prosecution or defense of the action, the appearance entitles the attorney to be served with all documents as provided by MCR 2.107(A).(c) Pursuant to MRPC 1.2(b), a party to a civil action may appear through an attorney for limited purposes during the course of an action, including, but not limited to, depositions, hearings, discovery, and motion practice, if the following conditions are satisfied: (i) The attorney files and serves a notice of limited appearance with the court before or during the relevant action or proceeding, and all parties of record are served with the limited entry of appearance; and(ii) The notice of limited appearance identifies the limitation of the scope by date, time period, and/or subject matter.(d) An attorney who has filed a notice of limited appearance must restrict activities in accordance with the notice or any amended limited appearance. Should an attorney's representation exceed the scope of the limited appearance, opposing counsel (by motion), or the court (by order to show cause), may set a hearing to establish the actual scope of the representation.(3) Appearance by Appointing Authority.(a) In some actions, an appointing authority independent of the judiciary determines the attorney that will represent a party for the entirety of the action. In some actions, an appointing authority independent of the judiciary determines that an attorney will represent a party for a single hearing-like an arraignment.(b) In actions where an attorney is appointed for the entirety of the action, the appointed attorney shall file an appearance with the court.(c) In actions where an attorney is appointed for a single hearing, the attorney should orally inform the court of the limited appointment at the time of the hearing. It is not necessary for the appointing authority to file a notice of appointment or for the attorney to file an appearance.(4) Appearance by Law Firm.(a) A pleading, appearance, motion, or other document filed by a law firm on behalf of a client is deemed the appearance of the individual attorney first filing a document in the action. All notices required by these rules may be served on that individual. That attorney's appearance continues until an order of substitution or withdrawal is entered, or a confirming notice of withdrawal of a notice of limited appearance is filed as provided by subrule (C)(3). This subrule is not intended to prohibit other attorneys in the law firm from appearing in the action on behalf of the party.(b) The appearance of an attorney is deemed to be the appearance of every member of the law firm. Any attorney in the firm may be required by the court to conduct a court ordered conference or trial.(C) Duration of Appearance by Attorney. (1) Unless otherwise stated or ordered by the court, an attorney's appearance applies only in the court in which it is made, or to which the action is transferred, until a final judgment or final order is entered disposing of all claims by or against the party whom the attorney represents and the time for appeal of right has passed. The appearance applies in an appeal taken before entry of final judgment or final order by the trial court.(2) Unless otherwise stated in this rule, an attorney who has entered an appearance may withdraw from the action or be substituted for only on order of the court.(3) In appointed cases, substitute counsel shall file an appearance with the court after receiving the assignment from the appointing authority.(4) An attorney who has filed a notice of limited appearance pursuant to MCR 2.117(B)(2)(c) and MRPC 1.2(b) may withdraw by filing a notice of withdrawal from limited appearance with the court, served on all parties of record, stating that the attorney's limited representation has concluded and the attorney has taken all actions necessitated by the limited representation, and providing to the court a current service address and telephone number for the self-represented litigant. If the notice of withdrawal from limited appearance is signed by the client, it shall be effective immediately upon filing and service. If it is not signed by the client, it shall become effective 14 days after filing and service, unless the self-represented client files and serves a written objection to the withdrawal on the grounds that the attorney did not complete the agreed upon services.(D) Nonappearance of Attorney Assisting in Document Preparation. An attorney who assists in the preparation of pleadings or other documents without signing them, as authorized in MRPC 1.2(b), has not filed an appearance and shall not be deemed to have done so. This provision shall not be construed to prevent the court from investigating issues concerning the preparation of such a document.(E) Service of Documents After Removal of Appearance. If an attorney has filed a limited appearance or the attorney is removed from the case for any other reason, the attorney shall not continue to be served with documents in the case after the limited appearance ends or after an order is entered removing the attorney from the case. Last amended September 20, 2017, effective 1/1/2018; amended March 20, 2019, effective 5/1/2019; amended September 22, 2021, effective 1/1/2022.