24th District Court
General Civil Lawsuits
Note: This information is based on the A Practical Guide for Tenants and Landlords, a publication of the State of Michigan and is for informational purposes only. It is not to be considered legal advise. For more information on the terms and conditions governing this material, click here.
You may file a claim in the 24th District Court for up to $25,000. Generally, plaintiffs are represented by attorneys, but you have the right to represent yourself. To file a civil lawsuit, contact the Civil Division and request a summons and complaint form. There is a statutory fee to file a civil lawsuit, listed below. In the form, you are required to describe the nature of the dispute and explain your claim. You must know the complete name and address of the defendant, so that the court can serve the complaint upon the defendant. Your attorney may choose to serve the defendant, but the court will still need the correct name and address.
After the defendant has been served, they have 21 days to respond. If the defendant does not respond within 21 days, a default judgment may be entered on your behalf. If the defendant does answer the complaint within 21 days, a pre-trial date is set at which time you and the defendant will meet with the judge and a trial date will be scheduled. Either party may request a jury trial. The jury trial fee is $50.
If the matter proceeds to trial, you will be allowed to present evidence and call witnesses to question. The defendant will also be given this opportunity. After the evidence has been presented and the witnesses have given their testimony, the judge or jury will make a determination in the case.
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