88-2 District Court Small Claims Division
To file a Small Claims suit in the 88th District Court, the DEFENDANT (person you are suing) must live or work in Montmorency County OR the action must have arisen in Montmorency County.
To start a Small Claims in our court you must provide:
- The signed Affidavit & Claim (must be notarized or signed in front of clerk)
- The original and 3 copies of the documents that support your claim
- The appropriate filing fee money
If you feel that a business or individual owes you money, you can bring a lawsuit against that person or business in the Small Claims Division of the District Court. Each district court in the State of Michigan has a Small Claims Division which is designed to allow a person a quick, inexpensive and fair determination of most claims not exceeding $5,500.00.
If your claim is more than $5,500.00 and you still elect to file in Small Claims court, you waive your right to collect more than that amount. When you file in Small Claims court, your give up or waive the following rights:
- the right to be represented by an attorney;
- the right to have a jury trial
- the right to appeal the final decision of the Court (unless the case is heard by an attorney/magistrate).
A lawsuit started in Small Claims court may be removed to the General Civil Division by request of either party. Should the lawsuit be removed to General Civil, you will then have the right to have an attorney represent you.
Before you can file a Small Claims suit, you must determine whom to sue. If it is an individual, his/her name and complete address must be written on the small claims form. If you are suing a business, you must indicate whether it is a partnership or corporation. When you file your Small Claims, the clerk will give you a hearing date.
You (the PLAINTIFF) will be responsible for obtaining the proper service of the lawsuit upon the defendant. This may be done by one of two methods. The first and most common service is by a Court approved process server or the Montmorency County Sheriff's Department (within Montmorency County only). Secondly, you may also have the court serve the defendant by certified/restricted delivery. PARTIES TO A LAWSUIT MAY NOT SERVE THE PAPERS THEMSELVES.
In order to save an extra trip to the Court, it is advisable to call the court the day before your hearing to ensure that proper service on the defendant was obtained. If the papers have not been served, ask for a new trial date. It is your responsibility to make sure that all paperwork in your possession is changed to reflect the new court date.
Once the hearing is held and the Court enters judgment, the party ruled against has twenty-one (21) days to pay the other party directly. THE COURT DOES NOT COLLECT THE JUDGMENT FOR YOU.
If the plaintiff fails to appear for the small claims hearing, the case may be dismissed. If the defendant fails to appear for the hearing, a default judgment may be entered against him/her. The defendant does have the right to file a motion within twenty-eight (28) days to have the default set aside. If the Judge grants the motion, a new trial date will be held.
For more information on how to collect your money judgment, click here.