The 71A District Court serves all of Lapeer County.  The Court is responsible for criminal misdemeanors, preliminary examinations in felony cases, civil litigation up to $25,000, landlord tenant disputes and land contract forfeitures, small claims ($5,500.00 and less), all traffic violations and performing marriages.

The Court has one elected judges, two appointed magistrates, four probation officers and a staff of twelve employees.

The District Court is located in the Lapeer County Complex Building.

 

 

The Address is:

71A District Court, 255 Clay St., Lapeer, Michigan  48446

 

The District Court Clerk's can be reached at 810-667-0314

Honorable Nick O. Holowka
130PM18013171- FH GRINNELL,MICHAEL,LEEPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM10010532- FH SALGAT,MORGAN,DAVIDPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM11010672- FH SALGAT,MORGAN,DAVIDPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM13011557- FH SALGAT,MORGAN,DAVIDPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM18013155- FH DERIEMACKER,GREGORY,JAMESPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM16012517- FH PATTERSON,RANDY,SCOTTPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM18013070- FH DEGRAW,RALPH,NELSONPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM10010431- FH KALSKI,ROBERT,ANTHONY,JRPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM14011984- FH KALSKI,ROBERT,ANTHONY,JRPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM00006954- FH MOORE,MARK,ALLEN JR.PAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM04008044- FC MOORE,MARK,ALLEN JR.PAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM11010773- FH MOORE,MARK,ALLEN JR.PAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM14011799- FH MOORE,MARK,ALLEN JR.PAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM04008045- FH CHAPIN,TRAVIS,ALLENPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM14011881- FH CHAPIN,TRAVIS,ALLENPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM15012177- FH CHAPIN,TRAVIS,ALLENPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM14012084- FH GALLOWAY,MARK,ANDREWPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM00006991- FH KNIBBE,KEVIN,DALEPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
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130PM13011396- FH KNIBBE,KEVIN,DALEPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM14012029- FH KNIBBE,KEVIN,DALEPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM17012979- FH MADAJ,CHAD,MICHAELPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM18013104- FH EVERSON,EDWARD,LLOYDPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM01007374- FH TURVEY,RICKIE,MALCOLMPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM18013277- FH GWYN,MICHAEL,JAYPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM17012977- FH WILSON,FREDERICK,EARLPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM18013133- FH WILLIAMS,DANIEL,JOHNPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM16012765- FH CLARK,DENNIS,DUANEPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM18013249- FH SNOW,JOE,LEE,IIIPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM17012904- FH WILLIAMS,BRADLEY,JAMESPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM11010770- FH JIDAS,NICHOLAS,PETERPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
130PM12011090- FH JIDAS,NICHOLAS,PETERPAYMENT REVIEW HEARING
Honorable Justus C. Scott
130PM18052207- DMHERNANDEZ,OSCAR,HERNANDEZ,LUZ,ESTHERNON-JURY TRIAL
800AM19052609- DPHALL,DALLAS,LEESCARAMUZZINO,ALEXIS,REVIEW
800AM11036297 -ML MISCELLANEOUS FILINGS,,CASS CITY SCHOOLS
130PM19012722 -NADIMARZO,JOHN,MICHAELDIMARZO,SALVATORE,,HEARING RESCHEDULED
SCOTT,JUSTUS C.,
900AM19-0365-GC- GCCHARON/JOSEPH/CHAMBERS/PHILLIP/PRE-TRIAL
900AM18-0930-GC- GCSHOULTS, PICARD & BROOKS, PLLC//MCKENNEY-HUIZAR/AMY/DISCOVERY
900AM19-0212-GC- GCPORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES LLC//JIMENEZ/ALICIA/PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0401-GC- GCUNIVERSITY LABORATORIES, INC.//HURON CONSULTANTS, LLC//MOTION
900AM18-3086-GC- GCDAVID N RICHARDSON//HINTZ/JAMES/HENRY JRDISCOVERY
900AM19-0342-GC- GCABSOLUTE RESOLUTIONS INVESTMENTS LLSEXTON/CHRISTINA/PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0945-GC- GCMOSS/MARY/MAYFIELD TOWNSHIP//PRE-TRIAL
900AM18-2958-GC- GCNAVIENT PRIVATE EDUCATION LOAN TRUSJIMENEZ/ALICIA/PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0212-GC- GCPORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES LLC//JIMENEZ/ALICIA/MOTION
900AM17-0256-GC- GCMIDLAND FUNDING LLC//CRAIG/REANNE/MOTION
900AM17-2619-GC- GCLIFE'S LITTLE TREASURERS//DUKES/ANDREA/DISCOVERY
900AM05-0580-GC- GCMEEMIC//TAYLOR/JOSEPH/WARRENMOTION
900AM05-0580-GC- GCMEEMIC//TAYLOR/KATHLEEN/MOTION
900AM19-0827-GC- GCREDWOOD/RODNEY/A JR.MURPHY/CAROL/LPRE-TRIAL
900AM11-2725-GC- GCGATEWAY FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC//CULBERT/JODY/HEARING
900AM18-0739-GC- GCCREDIT ACCEPTANCE CORP//GRONE/SAMANTHA/MOTION
900AM18-0739-GC- GCCREDIT ACCEPTANCE CORP//GRONE/MICHAEL/MOTION
900AM19-0946-GC- GCBAKER COLLEGE//RUFFRAGE/LORRI/MOTION
Honorable Laura Chegar Barnard
115PM19-0370 - OTPeople of State of MichiganBRYANT/JAMES/HAYWOODSCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
115PM18-1487 - SMPeople of State of MichiganGOOSLIN/AMY/JEANSCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
115PM18-1485 - ODPeople of State of MichiganSANFORD/RONALD/GENESCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
115PM14-0768 - STPeople of State of MichiganFIORELLO/NICOLE/MICHELLSCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
900AM19-0624 - SDPeople of State of MichiganPETRIK/STEVEN/NICKOLASSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
115PM18-1965 - OTPeople of State of MichiganETHERLY/LAVANCE/ARISTOTLESCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
115PM19-0437 - SMPeople of State of MichiganSCHOFIELD/ASHLEY/TERESESCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
130PM19-0702 - SDPeople of State of MichiganWRIGHT/SONYA/MARIESCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
900AM19-0478 - SDPeople of State of MichiganDOMBROWSKI/MICHAEL/SCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
130PM19-0762 - SDPeople of State of MichiganRAMIREZ/JESSIE/EMILIOSCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
130PM19-0980 - SDPeople of State of MichiganALEXANDER/ZACHARY/RONALDSCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
900AM17-0629 - OMPeople of State of MichiganTAYLOR/JACOB/LEROYSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
115PM19-0407 - OTPeople of State of MichiganRILEY/AARON/PATRICKSCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
115PM18-1969 - OTPeople of State of MichiganRILEY/AARON/PATRICKSCHEDULED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION H
130PM18-1378 - FYPeople of State of MichiganCARROLL/ROBERT/L-DARINSCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
130PM19-0814 - SDPeople of State of MichiganCARROLL/ROBERT/L-DARINSCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
900AM19-0590 - SDPeople of State of MichiganGEORGE/BRIAN/THOMASSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0590A - SIPeople of State of MichiganGEORGE/BRIAN/THOMASSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0590B - SIPeople of State of MichiganGEORGE/BRIAN/THOMASSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
330PM19-0884 - FYPeople of State of MichiganWATKINS/EDWARD/LEESCHEDULED FOR EXAMINATION
900AM19-1050 - SMPeople of State of MichiganBRADLEY/PATRICK/DAILYSCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT
900AM18-1066 - OMPeople of State of MichiganCROWLEY/TEDDY/ERNESTSCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGN ON BENCH WARR
900AM19-1058 - SDPeople of State of MichiganCHAFFIN/MICHELE/SCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1058A - SIPeople of State of MichiganCHAFFIN/MICHELE/SCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1056 - ODPeople of State of MichiganFERGUSON/JENNA/CHRISTINESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0491 - SMPeople of State of MichiganBARBER/JOHN/WILLIAMSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
130PM19-0740 - SMPeople of State of MichiganHURLEY/OLIVIA/JUSTINESCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
900AM19-0659 - STPeople of State of MichiganWOODCOX/HALEIGH/MICHELESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0971 - SMPeople of State of MichiganWOODCOX/HALEIGH/MICHELESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0643 - STPeople of State of MichiganSCHILL/KEVIN/OZZIE-MICHAELSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0643A - STPeople of State of MichiganSCHILL/KEVIN/OZZIE-MICHAELSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0643B - SIPeople of State of MichiganSCHILL/KEVIN/OZZIE-MICHAELSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0780 - OIPeople of State of MichiganBRATT/DEVIN/DAVIDSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1007 - STPeople of State of MichiganFREELAND/TERESSA/LYNNSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1007A - SIPeople of State of MichiganFREELAND/TERESSA/LYNNSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1045 - STPeople of State of MichiganROSE/GABRIEL/WILLIAMSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
130PM19-0734 - FYPeople of State of MichiganSIRACKI/LINDA/THERESESCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING
900AM19-1051 - SMPeople of State of MichiganCHAMBERLAIN/ELAINE/MAYSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1125 - SMPeople of State of MichiganFRIEDENSTAB/JOSEPH/DANILESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1129 - SMPeople of State of MichiganINGRAM/STEVEN/LESLIESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1130 - SMPeople of State of MichiganINGRAM/DIANE/MARIESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-0846 - STPeople of State of MichiganLASOTA/WILLIAM/HENRYSCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1151 - SMPeople of State of MichiganHAWKINS/ROSE/LIANESCHEDULED FOR PRE-TRIAL
900AM19-1155 - SMPeople of State of MichiganFERRIER/DEBRA/ANNSCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT
900AM17-1514 - STPeople of State of MichiganJACKSON/CURTIS/MARKSCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGN ON BENCH WARR
Magistrate Michael C Delling
1030AM19-1347-SC- SCSTUDER/DONALD/L.COMPAU/JASON/M.HEARING
1030AM19-1345-SC- SCSCESE/YVONNE/F.WILCOX/RONALD/V.HEARING
1030AM19-0789-SC- SCWILSON/MAUREEN/KERCHAERT/KEVIN/HEARING
1030AM19-1385-SC- SCMCELHINEY/JOSEPH/ALLENSALAZAR/TAMI/LEIGHHEARING
1030AM19-0690-SC- SCMITCHELL/LUKE/FIRST CLASS PLUMBING//HEARING
900AM19-1049 - STPeople of State of MichiganWILLIAMS/JAMES/HAROLDSCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT
900AM19-1061 - SDPeople of State of MichiganCAPISTRANT/CIARA/ELIZABETHSCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT
900AM19-1062 - STPeople of State of MichiganWATKINS/JENNIFER/LOUISESCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT
900AM19-0996 - STPeople of State of MichiganSHARFF/NOAH/LEVISCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT
HOLOWKA,NICK O.,
830AM19-1537-LT- LTTURRILL ESTATES APARTMENTS//SMITH/KAYCEE/ & ALL OCCUPANTSHEARING
830AM19-1535-LT- LTTURRILL ESTATES APARTMENTS//WLODARCZYK/DONALD/HEARING
830AM19-1535-LT- LTTURRILL ESTATES APARTMENTS//WLODARCZYK/HUNTER/HEARING
830AM19-1533-LT- LTTURRILL ESTATES APARTMENTS//LANGE/ZACHARY/HEARING
830AM19-1533-LT- LTTURRILL ESTATES APARTMENTS//BOROWICZ/JULIA/HEARING

The 71A District Court serves all of Lapeer County.  The Court is responsible for criminal misdemeanors, preliminary examinations in felony cases, civil litigation up to $25,000, landlord tenant disputes and land contract forfeitures, small claims ($5,500.00 and less), all traffic violations and performing marriages.

The Court has one elected judge, two appointed magistrates, four probation officers and a staff of twelve employees.

The District Court is located in the Lapeer County Complex Building.

The Address is:

71A District Court, 255 Clay St., Lapeer, Michigan  48446

The District Court Clerk's can be reached at 810-667-0314

 

Hon. Laura Cheger Barnard

District Court

Term Expires: 01/01/2021

Mondays        Motions                       9:00 a.m.

                        Criminal Exams           1:30 p.m.

 

Tuesdays        Criminal Trials            9:00 a.m.

                         Mental Health Court  3:00 p.m.

Wednesdays   Criminal Pretrials       9:00 a.m.

                         Probation Violations 1:15 p.m.

                         Criminal Sentencing  1:30 p.m.

Thursdays       Criminal Pretrials        9:00 a.m

                         Criminal Exams           1:30 p.m.

Fridays            Criminal Probable          

                         Cause Conferences    9:30 a.m.

                         Criminal Exams           1:30 p.m.         

 
 

 

 

Traffic tickets are processed by the traffic division of the District Court.  Defendants may either admit responsibility and pay the fine; admit responsibility with an explanation in writing the Magistrate or in person; or may deny responsibility and request a hearing.  The defendant may request an Informal Hearing with the Magistrate where no attorneys are allowed, or a Formal Hearing before the Judge where the prosecuting official will represent the police officer and the defendant may also have an attorney.

If the defendant elects to pay the ticket, payment must be made with either a check, money order, cash or credit card (additional fee assessed for payments using a credit card), within 28 days of the issuance of the ticket unless the defendant requests an extension from the Court.

Upon payment of the ticket, the information regarding the traffic violation is reported to the Secretary of State which then posts the ticket to the defendant's driving record and assesses the points.  A driver in the State of Michigan can receive up to 12 points within two years before having his driving privileges suspended by the Secretary of State.

Admitting responsibility with an explanation may be presented in writing to the Magistrate or in person at an informal hearing.  The Magistrate will enter your plea of admit responsibility and may adjust the fine.  The Magistrate cannot waive or reduce points.  Points are assessed by the Secretary of State.

If you sued someone for money and received a judgment against that person, you have the right to collect the money.

 

How Can I Collect My Money?

There are several ways you can collect your money.

First, if the other party (Defendant) has the money and is present at the trial, s/he can pay you right then.

However, if s/he does not have the money at that time and you both agree at the trial, the Judge can set up a payment schedule.

If the Defendant is not present at the trial, the Court will send a copy of the Judgment to the Defendant.  The judgment will order the Defendant to pay you in full within 21 days.

Finally, if the Defendant doesn't pay the Judgment as ordered, you will have to collect your month through an execution against property or garnishment.

 

What is an Execution?

An execution is a court procedure allowing a court officer to seize property belonging to the Defendant which can be sold to pay for the judgment.  If you want to file an execution against property, you may purchase the form from the Court for $1.00.

 

What is a Garnishment?

A Garnishment is a court procedure allowing you to collect your judgment directly from the defendant's wages, bank accounts, or other source such as income tax refund.  If you want to file a garnishment, see the court clerk for the proper forums.  Instructions are included with the forms.  All forms are $1,00.

For garnishing income tax refunds, see Michigan Department of Treasury pamphlet M-1745, revised 8/95.

 

How Do I Get An Execution Against Property or A Garnishment?

To get an execution against property or a garnishment, you will first need to know where the defendant lives and works, what assets s/he has and where these assets are located, and any other information which identifies the defendant and his/her property.

If you have the information described above, you can start the process for an execution against property or a garnishment by purchasing the forms at the Court for $1.00.

If you don't have the information described above, you will need to order the defendant to appear in court for questioning through a process called discovery.  You can start this process by filing a discovery subpoena.

 

Filing a Discovery Subpoena

 

You must wait 21 days after you judgment was signed before you can file a discovery subpoena.  You can purchase the form from the court for $1.00.

Contact the  Court for an appearance date before putting the date and location on the form.  Complete both the front of the Subpoena and the Affidavit of Judgment Debtor Examination on the back.  A filing fee of $15.00 is required upon filing with the Court and the Judge must sign the Subpoena before it's effective.  Once the Subpoena is signed, you must have it served personally on the Defendant.  IF you don't know a process server, you may locate one in the phone book.  You may include a copy of form DC 87, Affidavit of Judgment Debtor, with the Subpoena for the Defendant to fill out.

Your filing fee of $15.00 must be in the form of cash or money order as the Court does not accept personal checks.

 

Filing an Execution Against Property

You must wait 21 days after your judgment was signed by the Judge before you can get an execution against property. Form MC 19 is used to start the process and may be purchased at the Court for $1.00. Complete the Request and Verification portion of the form. A filing fee of $15 is required by the Court and the Judge must sign the document before it is effective. Once the form has been filed by the Court, you must take the form to a sheriff or court officer to be executed.


Your filing fee of $15.00 must be in the form of cash or money order as the Court does not accept personal checks.

 

When do I get my Money from an Execution Against Property?

Any property that is seized will be sold and the money is given to you.  The sheriff or court officer is entitled to fees which will be deducted from the sale of the property.

 

When do I get my Money for the Garnishment?

You must wait 21 days after the judgment was signed before you can get a garnishment Form MC 12 or MC 13 are used and the forms may be purchased at the Court for $1.00.  Filing fees for garnishments are $15.00.  There are two types of garnishments: 1.) periodic and 2.) non-periodic.

A periodic writ of garnishment (MC 12) is used to garnish the defendant's wages, rent payments, land contract payments, or other income which is paid to the defendant on a periodic basis.  A periodic garnishment is valid for up to 91 days or until the judgment, interest, and costs are paid off, whichever occurs first.

A non-periodic writ of garnishment (MC 13) is used to garnish the defendant's bank account or other property.  Once the money has been garnished under the non-periodic writ, the writ is no longer valid.  IF there is a remaining balance on the judgment, you must get another writ to collect more money.

Fill in the names and addressed of both the defendant and the garnishee on the Request part of the form.  The garnishee is the person or business who has control or possession of the defendant's money.  Once you complete the Request, you must file it with the Court.  The filing fee of $15.00 must be cash or money order as the Court does not accept personal checks.

The Court will issue the Writ (order) by signing the form.  The Request and Writ must be served on the garnishee along with a form called Disclosure (MC 14).  If the garnishment is for periodic payments, you must have a check made payable to the garnishee in the amount of $6.00.  You must have this writ served on the garnishee.  You can do this either by a process server or by certified mail.  If you do not know any process servers, you may look in the phone book.

 

When do I get my money for Garnishment

The garnishee has 14 days after the Writ is served to let you, the court, and the defendant know if any money is available for garnishment. This information will be provided on form MC 14, Garnishee Disclosure. If you are trying to garnish wages, you will only receive part of the wages based on a federal formula.


If any money is available, it will be withheld from the Defendant right away. However, this money will be held for 28 days. If the garnishment is for periodic payments, money will continue to be sent to you as payments become due to the Defendant until the writ expires.

 

What Else Can I Do?

If your case against the Defendant involved a traffic accident, you can ask the Court for an abstract of judgment which suspends the Defendant's Michigan driver license until s/he pays the judgment.  You must wait 30 days after the judgment date before you can get an abstract of judgment.  You need to provide the defendant's full name, date of birth, and Michigan driver license number.  There is no filing fee.  The forms can be purchased at the Court for $1.00.

 

THIS INFORMATION ATTEMPTS TO EXPLAIN ONLY THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE COLLECTING YOUR JUDGMENT. IT IS NOT A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE LAW. CLERKS OF THE COURT WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU IN THE PROCESSING OF YOUR CLAIM, BUT THEY ARE NOT ATTORNEYS AND CANNOT GIVE LEGAL ADVISE. IF YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS, YOU MAY WISH TO CONSULT AN ATTORNEY, OR HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT YOU.

The 71A District Court processes misdemeanor cases, including traffic misdemeanors, from arraignment through sentencing, and felony cases from arraignment through preliminary examination.

Criminal misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of one year or less in the county jail.  Felonies and high misdemeanors carry the maximum penalty of more than one year in prison.

All criminal cases begin with your arraignment by a District Court Magistrate.  At the arraignment you are advised of the charges filed against you and the maximum penalties if convicted.  The Court explains your rights to you and sets your next court date.  The Magistrate then determines if you are eligible to be released on bond, and if so, the type of bond and the amount.  Conditions will also be attached to your bond.

For those charged with a misdemeanor, their next court date will be a pretrial conference before a District Court Judge.  You will have a chance to meet with the prosecuting official before appearing before the Judge.  At the pretrial conference you will have an opportunity to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty or no contest).  IF you are unable to afford your own attorney, you may request a court appointed attorney from the Judge at your pretrial.  If a not guilty plea is entered, it will be set for a trial date with a settlement conference the day before.  If you plead guilty or no contest or if you are found guilty by the court, you will be sentenced by that District Court Judge.  Sentencing may be done at the time of plea or you may be given a date to return to the Court for sentencing.

For those charged with a felony, or a high misdemeanor, their next court date will be a preliminary conference before a District Court Judge.  You will have a chance to meet with the prosecuting official before appearing before the Judge.  At the preliminary conference you will have an opportunity to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty or no contest).  In felony cases, you can request a court appointed attorney at your arraignment.  If an attorney is appointed to represent you, he or she will be present for the preliminary conference.  If a not guilty plea is entered, a date will be set for a preliminary examination.  At the preliminary examination, the prosecuting official will present their case against you.  If the District Court Judge decides there is sufficient evidence to show you have committed the crime for which you have been charged, the case will be bound over to the 40th Circuit Court.  Your next court date will be a Circuit Court arraignment.  The case file is sent to Circuit Court where it is given a new case number.  At this point, all questions should be directed to the Circuit Court.

All fines, court and other obligations imposed by the Court must be paid at the time of sentencing. Michigan Court Rule 1.110.  If for good cause, the Judge does allow you to make a latter payment and that payment is not made, your probation officer will schedule a "Show Cause" hearing for you to appear in front of the Judge.

Payment of all court fees is to be made at the 71A District Court Clerk's Office located on the first floor of the courthouse.

Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Court accepts cash, money orders, personal check, cashier check, and credit cards (additional fees are are assessed by the collecting agenct for payments used by credit card).  Payment may be mailed to the Court.  Be sure to include your name and case number written clearly on the money order, personal check or cashier check.

Lawsuits filed in the General Division of the District Court involve claims up to $25,000.00. It begins when the Plaintiff files the Summons and Complaint.  The Summons and Complaint includes a caption that identifies the parties, the list of facts that give rise to the Plaintiff's claims, and a request for relief (that is, an award of money).  District Courts may only award money to compensate for damages, except in landlord/tenant and land contract matters where evictions may be ordered.

Before filing the Summons and Complaint, you must also decide whether you want the case set for trial before the Judge or a trial before a jury.  If you select a jury trial, a jury demand fee of $50.00 must be paid in addition to your filing fee.  The filing fee is based upon the amount of your complaint which cannot exceed $25,000.0:

  • $000.00 - $600.00 additional fee of $25.00
  • $600.01 - $1,750.00 additional fee of $45.00
  • $1,750.01 - $10,000.00 additional fee of $65.00; and,
  • $10,000.01 - $25,000.00 additional fee of $150.00
  • Motion fees = $20.00

Your filing fee may be paid with cash, money order or personal check.

Once the case is filed, the Plaintiff must have the Defendant (the party being sued), served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint.  Service can be accomplished by using a process server or by certified, restricted delivery mail.  If you do not know a process server, the Court has a list of process servers.

Service of the Defendant with the Summons and Complaint puts the Defendant on notice of the lawsuit.  The Defendant must file an answer with the Court within 21 days from the date of being served with the Complaint (28 days if the Defendant was served through the mail).  Answer forms can be purchased at the Court for $1.00.

Once the answer is filed with the Court, the Court Clerk will then set the matter for a pretrial conference with the Judge.  A pretrial is a court appearance before the Judge where the Judge will briefly discuss the relevant issues in the case and see if a settlement can be reached, the Judge wills et a specific time for discovery (procedures used to ascertain facts) and set a trial date.

At a trial, both parties are given ample opportunities to present their case.  Either Plaintiff or Defendant may subpoena witnesses to testify on thier behalf.  Upon the conclusion of the trial, the Judge will render a decision (or a jury if a jury trial was conducted).  Either party has the right to appeal the decision to Circuit Court.

Numerous court rules apply to pleadings, discovery, trial, and appeal.  Failure to follow these rules could be fatal to your case.  Therefore, it is recommended that YOU PROCEED WITH AN ATTORNEY.

 

If you require special accommodations to use the court because of disabilities, please contact the court immediately to make arrangements.

THIS INFORMATION ATTEMPTS TO EXPLAIN ONLY THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GENERAL CIVIL DIVISION OF THE COURT.  IT IS NOT A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE LAW.  CLERKS OF THE COURT WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU IN THE PROCESSING OF YOUR CLAIM, BUT THEY ARE NOT ATTORNEYS AND CANNOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE.  IF YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS, YOU MAY WISH TO CONSULT AN ATTORNEY, OR HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT YOU.

Probation is a sentencing alternative that allows the offender to live in the community under the supervision of a probation officer.  It is based on the philosophy that the rehabilitation of some offenders will occur through the benefit from the support and encouragement of a supervised freedom rather than the need for incarceration.

A supervised term of probation begins at the moment of sentencing.  An average district court probation term will generally span from six months to two years.  The term is decided by the judge and monitored by a probation officer.  The Judge may also set a jail penalty, or hold a jail penalty in abeyance, which may be enforced if the probation terms are not followed.

The Probation Office can be reached at (810) 245-4785

Lawsuits filed in the Land Contract Division are filed by the seller of a land contract when the purchaser fails to make payments.

 

Forfeiture Notice

Prior to initiating a lawsuit with the District Court, the Seller of the land contract must notify the Purchaser that the Seller will seek the Court's intervention if the payments are not brought current. This notification is done with a form called "Forfeiture Notice, Land Contract". This form may be purchased at the Clerk's office for $1.00. It includes Proof of Service on the reverse side. The Seller is responsible for filling out the form in full, including dating and signing at the bottom. Once this is done, the Seller must serve the Purchaser with a copy of this notice. This may be done by personal service, 1st class mail, or substitute service with a proof of publication. The Seller must then wait 15 days from the date of service before initiating a lawsuit.

 

Filing The Lawsuit

After following the above steps and having waited the 15 days, the Seller begins initiating the lawsuit by filing a Summons and Complaint with the Court. WHEN COMING TO THE COURT TO FILE A LAND CONTRACT SUIT, YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO BRING THE FOLLOWING:
3 copies of the Forfeiture Notice which was previously served upon the Defendant
3 copies of the Land Contract; and,
A $55.00 filing fee.
You must then fill out a Summons and Complaint for Land Contract Forfeiture. The forms are $1.00 each and may be purchased at the Clerk's office. Once you have filled out the Summons and Complaint along with attaching the above required items, the Court Clerk will assign a case number and a court date. The court date, as required by law, will be between 15 and 30 days from the date of filing.

The Seller (who is now the Plaintiff in the lawsuit) must then have the Summons and Complaint served on the Defendant by a process server or by certified mail, restricted delivery. If you do not know a process server, you may look in the phone book.

If the Plaintiff (seller) fails to appear on the scheduled court date, the Judge will dismiss the case.

If the Defendant (purchaser) fails to appear on the scheduled court date, the Judge will enter a Judgment against the Defendant. This Judgment may be for a breach of contract and will then give you 90 to 180 days (depending on how much has been paid on the contract) to cure the breach. NOTE, if the property is more than half paid for, 180 days to cure the breach will be given. If the property is les than half paid then 90 days will be given to cure the breach.

If the Defendant fails to cure the breach by the date given on the Judgment, an order of eviction may be issued and the contract will be forfeited.


Eviction

If the breach is not cured by the time stated on the Judgment, the Plaintiff may file for an "Order of Eviction/Land Contract". The form is $1.00 and a $15.00 filing fee is required. The form must be filled out and presented to the Clerk and signed by the Judge.
Once the form is signed by the Judge, the Plaintiff must take the form to a process server who is also deputized or a sheriff deputy who will have the authority to remove the Defendant from the premises.

If you require special accommodations to use the court because of disabilities, please contact the court immediately to make arrangements.

THIS INFORMATION ATTEMPTS TO EXPLAIN ONLY THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAND CONTRACT DIVISION OF THE COURT. IT IS NOT A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE LAW. CLERKS OF THE COURT WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU IN THE PROCESSING OF YOUR CLAIM, BUT THEY ARE NOT ATTORNEYS AND CANNOT GIVE OUT LEGAL ADVISE. IF YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS, YOU MAY WISH TO CONSULT AN ATTORNEY, OR HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT YOU.