General Civil:

To start a general civil lawsuit the cause of action must have occurred within the communities we serve or the defendant must reside or do business within the communities we serve.

By having your case tried in the General Civil Division, you have the following rights:
  • You have the right to a jury trial.
  • You have the right to be represented by an attorney.
  • You have the right to an appeal beyond our court.

Filing a Complaint:

  1. Fill out the Summons and Complaint, form MC01 and Summons and Complaint, form MC01a and make 3 additional copies of each form.
  2. The filing fee, plus service fee for certified mail (see fee schedule). When filing by mail, send check (Michigan banks only) or money order made payable to the 35th District Court.
  3. Defendant's first and last name.
  4. Defendant's current address (route or post office box numbers are not enough when you want a process server to make personal service). If you furnish an incorrect address and the court officer attempts service, he is allowed by law to charge you for his time.
  5. A brief and concise statement as the nature of the claim. The responsibility is yours to prove two things to the Court. First, liability- why it is the defendant's obligation or responsibility to pay the money you claim. Second, damages- what is the exact amount of the money owed.
  6. A minimum of 2 copies of all exhibits or documents that support the claim, need to be submitted at the time of filing. If there is more than one defendant and the court is providing service additional copies for each defendant are required.
  7. Decide how you would like the defendant served (sheriff, deputy sheriff, bailiff, appointed court officer, attorney for a party, legally competent adult who is not a party or an officer of a corporate party or by certified mail).  If choosing anything other than a court officer, who will bill you separately, you must include a prepaid return envelope for your service copies.

Once the complaint is filed, you will have to wait until after the defendant has had sufficient time to reply to the complaint. If the defendant was served by Certified mail or they were outside the state, they have 28 days to respond. If they were served by a process server then they have 21 days to respond.

GENERAL CIVIL MATTERS

All participants in general civil matters will be notified in advance as to whether their matter will be heard in-person at the Court, or virtually by way of Zoom, to be determined by the presiding Judge.

If your Notice does not specify that you have a scheduled Zoom hearing, and/or if it says “Check-In With Security,” you are required to appear in-person at the Court.

All necessary filing fees continue to be required, and pleadings shall not be stamped “received” until full payment is in possession of the Court.


More information can be found at the SCAO web site: