24th District Court     

Overview and History of the Court

History of the 24th District Court

An Overview of the District Court System

Jurisdiction of the Court

A History of the 24th District Court

The 24th Judicial District Court was established in 1978, by merging the Allen Park and Melvindale Municipal Courts into a single unit, with jurisdiction over both communities.   The court's first location was in the Allen Park City Hall building on Southfield Road.   The 24th District Court moved into its current location at 6515 Roosevelt Road in November 1993.  

The first judges of the 24th District Court were Roy A. McGinty, a former Justice of the Peace and Municipal Judge from Melvindale, as well as Francis Burger and Albert R. DeBiasi, who had previously served as Municipal Judges in Allen Park.  

When Judge Burger retired in 1979, Governor William Milliken appointed Judge Michael T. Russell. 

In 1992, Judge Gerard Trudel was elected following the retirement of Judge DeBiasi.

In June 2000, Judge Russell retired and Judge John T. Courtright was appointed by Governor John Engler.

In September 2003, Judge Anthony Guerriero was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm following the retirement of Judge Gerard Trudel.

In November 2004, Judge Richard A. Page was elected by the voters of Allen Park and Melvindale to replace Judge Anthony Guerriero.

In November 2008, Judge John T. Courtright was elected by the voters of Allen Park and Melvindale to remain as judge.

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An Overview of the District Court System

In 1969, Michigan law consolidated almost all of the state's Municipal Courts into a coordinated system of judicial districts, where full-time judges could be elected by the citizens in order to serve their communities' local legal needs as a court of record.  There are currently 98 District Courts in the State of Michigan with 265 District and Municipal Judges serving on the bench. 

Judges of the District Court are elected on a non-partisan ballot for a six-year term.   Vacancies are filled by the governor for the remainder of the term that the appointment is made for.  At the end of this time, the appointed judge is required to stand for election.

District Courts may also employ magistrates, who serve in a quasi-judicial role for the court.   The magistrate's duties are limited by statute and by order of the Chief Judge of the relevant District Court.  These may include conducting arraignments, setting bail, adjudicating small claims actions, presiding over informal traffic hearings and performing marriages.

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Jurisdiction of the Court

The following are some examples of cases which fall under the jurisdiction of the 24th District Court:
General civil litigation, with up to $25,000 in dispute.
Jury and non-jury trials of criminal misdemeanors (crimes with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine) under state law or local ordinance.
Conducting preliminary examinations on felony cases (crimes with a maximum penalty of more than a year in jail and/or more than a $1,000 fine).
Arraigning and setting bail on criminal violations.  
Adjudicating civil infractions (such as a speeding or parking tickets)
Small claims actions (cases with less than $3,000 in dispute, without attorney representation)
Landlord and tenant disputes
Performing marriages

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