Small Claims:
The most you can collect in the Small Claims Division is $6,500 plus court costs. Court costs may be added by the Judge at the time of judgment so do not include these costs in the amount of your claim.

By having your case tried in the Small Claims Division. You give up the following rights:
  1. The right to have an attorney,
  2. The right to appeal to a higher court,
  3. The right to a jury trial

The defendant may not choose to give up these rights. If he refuses, he can demand, before or at the time of hearing, that the case be transferred to the General Civil Division. Then, either side may hire an attorney, request a jury trial, and have the right to appeal.

Filing a Claim:

  1. Fill out the Affidavit and Claim, form DC 84 plus 3 additional copies.
  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 services). If you furnish an incorrect address and the court officer attempts service, he is allowed by law to charge you for his time.
  5. Amount of claim and pertinent dates.
  6. 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.
  7. Two copies of any documents you plan to use at your hearing.

When the Claim is filed, a hearing date is set five to seven weeks away. This generally allows enough time for the defendant to receive the notice with more than the required seven days before the hearing date.

For more information or additional help: