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City Guide

Court System

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County Courts

The area court system comprises a state trial court; three state district courts; and federal district and bankruptcy courts. The trial court's criminal/civil division, juvenile division, and friend of the court offices are located in the Washtenaw County courthouse, 101 E. Huron. The 15th District Court is in the city Justice Center, 301 E. Huron. The federal courts are in the Federal Building, 200 E. Liberty.

State Courts

The Washtenaw County Trial Court (22nd Circuit Court and Probate Court), (734-222-3270), is composed of the civil/criminal division, which hears civil cases involving claims of more than $25,000 and all felony cases, and the family division, which includes juvenile court, friend of the court, and probate court. Trial court judges are Archie C. Brown, Patrick Conlin Jr., Timothy P. Connors, Carol Kuhnke, David S. Swartz, Darlene A. O'Brien, and Julia B. Owdziej. Court administrator Dan Dwyer, dwyerd@ewashtenaw.org. washtenawtrialcourt.org

Family Division. (734) 222-3791. Handles child custody, support, and visitation; personal protection orders; and cases involving estates, juvenile delinquency, neglect and abuse, and mental health proceedings. The Family Division also handles divorce cases, (parties are required to attend a mediation education session), confirms adoptions, and hears requests for waivers from minors seeking abortion without parental consent. Juvenile cases are also heard at 101 E. Huron (734) 222-6900. Anyone may petition the court to issue a personal protection order to stop or restrain another person from harassing, beating, wounding, stalking, or assaulting. If you are in immediate danger, you may request an ex parte order, which may be signed without a hearing and without notifying the other party; otherwise, a hearing will be scheduled. Forms are available at Court Services, 101 E. Huron. There is no fee to file a PPO complaint, but the petitioner must pay the cost of serving the restraining order.

Friend of the Court, (734) 222-3050. Automated account information line, (734) 994-9261, (have your case number ready). Case-specific questions may also be emailed to intake@ewashtenaw.org. The Friend of the Court helps resolve disputes involving divorce, child custody, parenting time, and support. Mediation at no charge for child custody or visitation disputes. The agency also enforces court-ordered child support, spousal support, and parenting time agreements. Support enforcement proceedings may begin automatically if payments fall behind or upon request of the recipient. Parenting time enforcement requires a written request. Parties with FOC support cases can access their account information online by signing up with MiCase: michigan.gov/micase.

District Courts. There are three District Courts in Washtenaw County: the 14A District Court, with four court locations in Pittsfield Township and the cities of Chelsea, Saline, and Ypsilanti; the 14B District Court, serving Ypsilanti Township; and the 15th District Court, serving the City of Ann Arbor. The district courts handle criminal and traffic misdemeanors, civil infractions, local ordinance violations, and felony arraignments, probable cause conferences and preliminary exams, as well as civil cases where the disputed amount is $25,000 or less, landlord-tenant disputes, and small claims cases where the disputed amount is $6,000 or less. Small claims cases are heard without lawyers or juries, usually before a magistrate. Contact the court in which you will be filing your case to obtain information regarding filing fees and process service options.

14A District Court serves all of Washtenaw County except the city of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Twp. Judges are Chief Judge Richard E. Conlin, Kirk W. Tabbey, and J. Cedric Simpson. Magistrates Elisha V. Fink, James Cameron and Karl Fink. Court Administrator Robert Ciolek (734) 484-9655, Deputy Court Administrator Lisa Fusik (734) 484-9664. Online Resources make it easy to resolve some civil infractions, including traffic matters, without coming to court: see washtenaw.org/973/Online-Resources.

Criminal cases originating in Pittsfield Township are heard at 14A-1 District Court, 4133 Washtenaw, AA 48108 (734) 973-4545. Criminal cases originating in Barton Hills Village, the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Salem, and Superior are heard at 14A-2 District Court, 415 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti 48197 (734) 484-6690. Criminal cases originating in the village of Dexter, the townships of Dexter, Lima, Lyndon, Northfield, Scio, Sylvan, and Webster, and the city of Chelsea are heard at 14A-3 District Court, 122 S. Main, Chelsea 48118 (734) 475-8606. Criminal cases originating in the village of Manchester, the townships of Bridgewater, Freedom, Lodi, Manchester, Saline, Sharon, and York, and the cities of Milan and Saline are heard at 14A-4 District Court, 1000 N. Maple, Saline 48176 (734) 429-2504. All general civil cases are heard by judge J. Cedric Simpson.

General civil cases originating in the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield, Salem and Superior, Barton Hills Village, and the city of Ypsilanti are heard at the 14A-1 District Court in Pittsfield Township. General civil cases originating in the townships of Bridgewater, Dexter, Freedom, Lima, Lodi, Lyndon, Manchester, Northfield, Saline, Scio, Sharon, Sylvan, Webster, and York, the Village of Manchester, and the cities of Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, and Saline are heard at the 14A-4 District Court in Saline. All landlord-tenant cases, regardless of jurisdiction, are heard by Judge Simpson at the 14A-1 District Court in Pittsfield Township. Small claims cases originating in the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield, Salem and Superior, Barton Hills Village, and the city of Ypsilanti are heard by the magistrate at the 14A-1 District Court in Pittsfield Township. Small claims cases originating in the townships of Bridgewater, Dexter, Freedom, Lima, Lodi, Lyndon, Manchester, Northfield, Saline, Scio, Sharon, Sylvan, Webster, and York, the Village of Manchester, and the cities of Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, and Saline are heard by the magistrate at the 14A-4 District Court in Saline. All four 14A District Court locations are open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Court lobby hours open to the public Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. 4:00 p.m.

14B District Court processes all cases arising in Ypsilanti Township. Located on the campus of the Ypsilanti Township Civic Center. Judge Charles Pope and Magistrate/Court Administrator Mark Nelson.

J14th District Court Jury Service: Jurors are chosen at random from a list of licensed drivers and state identification card holders. Jury service is for one trial. 14adistrictcourt.org

The 15th District Court traffic/criminal division (734-794-6750) and civil division (734-794-6752) cover the City of Ann Arbor. Judges are Elizabeth Pollard Hines, Joseph F. Burke, and Karen Quinlin Valvo. Magistrate Tamara A. Garwood. 15thdistrictcourt.org

15th District Court Jury Service Jurors are chosen at random from a list of licensed drivers and state identification card holders in Washtenaw County. Service is for 1 week or 1 trial. Compensation varies by court. Potential jurors can check online at washtenawtrialcourt.org/jury for information or to update their contact information.

Marriages Online marriage applications and a list of Washtenaw County officiants are on the county's website (click on Government, then Clerk/Register of Deeds, then Marriages). Each judicial officer or magistrate has individual dates, times, and locations for performing marriages. Marriages are always by appointment, and cost $20, payable to the court. You must have two witnesses over the age of 18.


FEDERAL COURTS

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan. (313) 234-0065. Cases filed in Detroit; hearings for chapter 7 (liquidation), bankruptcies take place in the Federal Bldg., 200 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor. Schedule depends on case filing. Panel trustees Tim Miller (586) 281-3764 and Douglas Ellmann (734) 668-4800 preside. mieb.uscourts.gov

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Federal Bldg., 200 E. Liberty. (734) 741-2380. U.S. District Court hears civil and criminal cases involving federal law and the U.S. Constitution, criminal cases brought by the U.S. Attorney representing the people, and civil cases between citizens of different states alleging damages in amounts greater than $75,000. Cases heard by Judge Bernard A. Friedman (313) 234-5170; Judge Judith E. Levy (734) 887-4700; Magistrate Judge David R. Grand (734) 741-2485. www.mied.uscourts.gov




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