The Civil Division handles Small Claims cases, Landlord/Tenant cases and General Civil cases. Information and other assistance is available on www.michiganlegalhelp.org.
What is a General Civil case?
A civil case is a lawsuit seeking damages from someone you claim caused you harm.
The person filing the case is the plaintiff, and the person being sued is the defendant. In most civil cases, the plaintiff is asking for a specific amount of money to be paid by the defendant. However, in some cases, the plaintiff may ask the court to order the defendant to take a specific action or to refrain from taking an action.
The District Court will handle the case if the claim is for $25,000 or less. Lawsuits for more than $25,000 must be filed in Cirucuit Court. Filing fees vary based on the amount you are seeking.
In a civil case, the plaintiff and the defendant may be represented by an attorney. However, if the case is filed in small claims, an attorney is not allowed. If the amount in dispute is $5,500 or less the plaintiff can elect to file the case with the small claims division.
Civil cases are started by filing a Summons and Complaint (SCAO approved forms MC01 and MC01a). Forms are available through the link on the Court's home page.
The court clerks are available to offer assistance in processing your paperwork. Court clerks are not attorneys and are forbidden by law to give legal advice.