Information & FAQ

DISTRICT COURT INFORMATION

Civil Matters – Small Claims

A small claims action may be filed when the amount in controversy is $6,000 or less. Parties must represent themselves in small claims court. Attorneys are not allowed unless they are a party to the suit. Businesses may be represented by a full-time employee with knowledge of the claim. Small Claims forms are available at both Court locations or from the link online here.

FILING FEES

Amount of Claim                                           Fee                          ___
Up to $600                                                   $30 plus service fee
$601 to $1,750                                              $50 plus service fee
$1,751 to $3,000                                         $70 plus service fee

Service of the complaint upon the defendant may be made by certified mail. The fee for certified mail is $12.00 per defendant to be paid along with the filing fee. The mailing fee may be increased, based upon actual costs of postage). The claim may be served by the Sheriff or a process server who will bill you directly.

If you have been awarded a judgment in small claims court, once the judgment has been paid by the opposing party, you must advise the Court in writing that the claim has been paid in full. For more information see, below.

Landlord/Tenant

The court will provide Notice to Quit forms for non-payment of rent (7day notice), termination of tenancy (30 day notice), or health hazard/injury to premises (7 day notice) upon request or these forms may be available online here.

A Practical Guide for Tenants and Landlords is an excellent publication and is available at both court locations upon request at no cost. Filing fees to initiate this type of suit vary upon whether you are seeking termination of tenancy only or requesting a judgment for money damages.

Filing Fees for Landlord/Tenant actions:

Fee for filing a Complaint for Possession only $55.00

If you are seeking money damages you must pay an additional filing fee as follows.

$35.00 For Damage Up To $600.00

$55.00 For Damage Claims From $500.00 to $1750.00

$75.00 For Damage Claims From $1750.00 to $10,000.00

$160.00 For Damage Claims Over $10,000.00

Jury Demand if Jury Trial is Requested $50.00

Motion Fee if any Legal Motions are Filed $20.00

GENERAL CIVIL

Summons forms are available at the Court by request. You must draft you own complaint to accompany the summons. Filing fees vary depending upon the amount of money claimed.

Filing Fees:

Amount of Claim                                   Fee                
Up to $600                                               $35
$601 to $1,750                                          $55
$1,751 to $10,000                                     $75
$10,001 to $25,000                                  $160
Jury Demand                                           $40
Motion Fee                                               $20

Marriage Ceremonies

Civil marriage ceremonies are performed at the Courthouse between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on normal business days. Both the District Court Magistrates and the Judge performs the ceremonies. You must have a valid Michigan marriage license, two adult witnesses are required, and a $10 fee is collected at Court offices at the time of the ceremony. You must contact the Court in advance to schedule your marriage ceremony at (906) 341-3630 (Schoolcraft County) or (906)387-3879 (Alger County).

Traffic Violations

If you have received a civil infraction violation, you may admit to the ticket, admit with an explanation, or deny responsibility for the violation and request a hearing.
For more information see below FAQs. If you wish to admit with an explanation, you may make your explanation in person to the Magistrate at Court offices or you may make a written explanation and drop it off or mail it to the Court. The Magistrate will respond to your explanation. Most traffic violations may be paid through the mail or in person. For ticket amounts see the 93rd District Court Traffic Fines and Costs Schedule. Payment may be made by money order, check or credit card. For credit card payments, please review the process as outlined later in this webpage. Payment in cash is accepted at both court offices. Be sure to include your ticket with the payment; sign the back of your ticket indicating and admission of responsibility for a civil infraction, or plea of guilty for a minor misdemeanor violation such as expired registration plate or operator’s license. All payments are due with 10 days unless you contact the Court and make other arrangements for payment. If you fail to respond to your ticked, the Court will enter judgment against you (on a civil infraction) and after the statutory notices, move to suspend your driving license. If your driving privileges have been suspended for nonpayment or failure to appear, you must satisfy you judgment to the Court with payment by money order or cash only.

Misdemeanor Offenses

Many minor misdemeanor and most non-traffic civil infraction violations allow for appearance before the Magistrate. The Court offices allow walk-in arraignments between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you were not given a date and time for your arraignment, call the court at the appropriate location to schedule it. The business office hours of the court are weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. excluding the noon to 1:00 p.m. lunch hour.

Bail Bond Information

Any money being deposited with the Court as bail will be held to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in Court for all proceedings until the conclusion of his/her case. Bond must be posted in cash or by credit card. Checks are not accepted for bail. If you are posting bond for someone else, you will be asked to decide if the defendant has your permission to use the bond money towards any fines and costs imposed if convicted. If you choose to allow the use of the bond money, it will automatically be applied to the penalty imposed after sentencing. If you post bond money for yourself, it will automatically be applied to your fines and cost after sentencing. If bond money is to be returned to you at the completion of a case (which is after sentencing or upon acquittal after trial), you must appear at the District Court Clerk’s Office in the proper Court location with your copy of the bond receipt and photo identification to receive the bond refund. If you post a 10% bond, the Court will keep 10% of the deposited amount of the bond pursuant to Court Rule (i.e., if you post 10% of $500, $45 in bond money will be actually returned to you or applied to fines and costs).

By posting bond money for someone else you are guaranteeing their appearance in Court at all proceedings. If the defendant fails to appear for arraignment, pretrial, trial or any other compelled Court appearance, the bond money you posted will be forfeited to the Court after proper notice. If you wish to revoke the bond before the case is completed, you must petition the Court for an order revoking bond. If the order is granted, the bond money will be returned to you after the defendant is returned to custody.

Probation Services

The 93rd District Court has probation offices in both Alger and Schoolcraft Counties. David Maddox the probation officer for Schoolcraft County (906) 341-3630 and Lynne Maki is the probation officer for Alger County (906)387-3879. Probation services include oversight of probation clients. Probation officers monitor a defendant’s progress with oversight concerning education, substance abuse services, domestic violence counseling, general rehabilitation programs and collection of fines, costs and restitution

How do I contest a traffic ticket?

If I have a good driving record, will the Court waive the points for my ticket?

How long do I have to pay my traffic ticket?

What happens if I don't comply with the Court's orders?

How do I request a Court appointed lawyer?

How do I file a small claims action?

If I have a small claims judgment, how do I collect?