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City of Lansing

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-Mayor Virg Bernero

Mayor Virg Bernero
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54-A District Court back

Traffic Division

Phone number: (517) 483-4433
Fax number: (517) 483-4108
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Options Upon Receipt of a Traffic Ticket
Failure to Appear at an Informal Hearing
Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment
Offenses Where Fines and Costs May Be Waived

What is considered a traffic citation?

A traffic citation or civil infraction is legally defined as an act or omission which is not a crime, commonly known as "traffic tickets".

What are my options if I've received a traffic ticket?
  1. Admit responsibility without explanation.
  2. Admit responsibility with explanation.
  3. Deny responsibility.

1. To Admit Responsibility Without Explanation:
You may do so in person. A defendant may appear at the court within 3 to 14 days to admit responsibility between 8a.m. and 4:30p.m. on any normal business day. Bring your copy of the citation with you and the clerk will issue you a receipt for your payment.

You may admit responsibility by signing the back of your ticket and mailing it along with your payment to the court within the required time allowed. Regardless of when it's mailed, the court must receive the admission before 14-days have passed.

A defendant may authorize another person to come to the court and make payment. The representative must bring with them the traffic citation with the defendant's signature on the back.

To find out the cost of your ticket you should refer to the 54-A District Court's fine schedule. Each district court in the state sets its own fine schedule. Thus, do not refer to this schedule for payment of tickets in other jurisdictions. If your violation is not listed on the fine schedule you should call the court to see if there is a scheduled fine or whether an appearance before a judge or magistrate is required.

2. To Admit Responsibility With Explanation:
Sign the back of the ticket and mail it along with your written explanation to the court. This must be received before 14 calendar days have passed. Do not send payment at this time.

NOTE: The purpose is to present mitigating factors. If you present claims that you did not do it or it was not your fault, it will be scheduled for an informal hearing.

The court will read and consider your explanation and either mail your response with an amount owed, or ask you to explain at a scheduled hearing.

3. To Deny Responsibility:
You must contact the court within 3 to 14 calendar days and request that a hearing be scheduled. If there is more than one charge listed on your ticket you must specify those charges you wish to deny. The court will mail a hearing notice to the address on record.

Unless a formal hearing is specifically requested, pleas of not responsible will be scheduled for an informal hearing with the magistrate. Attorneys are not allowed at an informal hearing and the only persons present are the magistrate, you (the defendant), and the officer who issued the ticket (the plaintiff).

If you are determined to be responsible for the violation, the magistrate will assess the penalty and you will have 30 calendar days to pay the judgment or 14 calendar days to appeal the decision. Appealing the magistrate's decision will involve posting a mandatory bond equal to the judgment. The case can then be scheduled for a formal hearing before a district court judge.

At a formal hearing you may wish to be represented by an attorney. The issuing officer will be represented by a city or county prosecutor.

Neither the magistrate nor the judge has any discretion over adjusting the driver's license points involved with a responsible finding.

What if I do not show up for my hearing?

Failure to appear for an informal hearing will result in the court entering a default judgment against you and a notice of fines and costs will be mailed to the address on record. If payment is not made with 30 calendar days, your driver's license may be suspended and additional fees will be added until the matter is resolved by payment.

Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment

You may file a motion to have the default judgment set aside but this must be done within 14 calendar days from the day the default judgment notice was sent. To do this the defendant must come to the court, complete a motion form and post a bond in the amount of the judgment. This written motion will be reviewed by the court and a decision mailed back to you. If the motion is denied the bond will be used to pay the judgment. If the motion is granted a new hearing will be scheduled and a notice mailed to you.

Offenses Where Fines and Costs May Be Waived

The following tickets may be waived if proof of operator's license, registration, repair or certificate of insurance is shown within 14 calendar days of the issuance of the ticket:

  • No Operator's License in Possession
  • No proof of Registration
  • Defective Equipment

Proof may be submitted directly to the court or certified by a police officer on the reverse side of the ticket. If you have an officer sign the back of your ticket it still remains your responsibility to submit that ticket to the court within 14 calendar days. Your ticket will not be dismissed by the court but the fines and costs will be waived.

54A-District Court
6th Floor City Hall
124 W Michigan Ave
Lansing ,MI 48933
(517) 483-4433

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.