78th District Court
1092 Newell Street White Cloud MI 49349
Phone (231) 689-7257 Fax (231) 689-7258
Citizens have more contact
with District Court than any other court in the state. District
Court has exclusive jurisdiction of all civil litigation up to $25,000 and
handles garnishments, eviction proceedings, land contract and mortgage
foreclosures and other proceedings. In the criminal field, the
District Court handles all misdemeanors where punishment does not exceed
one year, relevant proceedings including arraignment, setting and
acceptance of bail, trial and sentencing. It also conducts
preliminary examinations in felony cases.
The District Court includes a
small claims division for civil cases up to $1,750 in 1999 and $3,000
beginning January 1, 2000. In these cases, litigants agree to waive
their right to a jury, rules of evidence, representation by a lawyer and
the right to appeal from the District Judge's decision. If either
party objects, the case will be heard by the general civil division of the
By statute, District Judges
have authority to appoint Magistrates. Magistrates may set bail and
accept bond in criminal matters, accept guilty pleas and sentence for
traffic, motor carrier and snowmobile violations and dog, game and marine
law violations. The Magistrate may also issue arrest and search
warrants authorized by the prosecutor or municipal attorney.
Attorney Magistrates may hear small claims cases. Magistrates may,
at the direction of the Chief Judge, perform other duties allowed by
District Judges are elected
for six-year terms on nonpartisan ballots, under the same requirements as
Circuit Judges. The Legislature sets the salary for District Judges.
In 1999, there were 3,298,468
new filings in Michigan District Courts. This represents an increase
of 4% over the number of cases filed in 1996.
Between 1996 and 1999,
criminal filings in District Court increased 7%, or by nearly 27,000
cases. Felony filings decreased by 8% and misdemeanor filings
increased by 10% reflecting to an extent the felony/misdemeanor change in
jurisdictional limits for some crimes. Criminal civil infractions
increased by 88% as law enforcement agencies used them increasingly.
As of April 1, 2003, the 78th
District Court encompasses Newaygo and Oceana Counties.
Website by Newaygo County