617 N. State St.
Stanton, MI 48888
Criminal Division (989) 831-7450
Civil/Small Claims Division (989) 831-7452
Fax (989) 831-7453
Honorable Donald R. Hemingsen, Judge
Janet Lyndrup, Court Administrator
Tammi S. Shaw, Attorney Magistrate
The District Court is supervised by a judge elected to a six year term.
The 64B District Court is a part of the state district court system, which was created in the late 1960's as a successor to the former justice of the peace courts. District courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning they are entitled to decide only those types of cases as authorized by the state legislature. Over the years, the legislature has expanded categories of matters heard in district court, with the result that now a variety of proceedings are conducted. In terms of number of cases decided, district courts are the highest volume courts in the state.
In criminal matters, with some exceptions, the 64B District Court is limited to hearing cases involving offenses alleged to have been committed within Montcalm County. In civil cases, also with some exceptions, the court is limited to cases having some connection to Montcalm County, either because of the location of one or more of the parties, or because the events giving rise to the case happened in Montcalm County.
Virtually all criminal cases against people age 17 and older begin in the district court. Search warrants and arrest warrants are issued, and preliminary hearings are conducted at the district court level. Misdemeanors (cases punishable by one year or less) are tried in the district court, in front of a jury, unless the parties request a trial by the judge. Felonies (offenses punishable by over one year) are transferred to the circuit court for trial after preliminary hearings.
The district court tries civil cases where the amount in controversy is $25,000 or less. These cases are decided by the judge unless one of the parties requests a jury.
The district court also has a small claims division in which people seeking to recover $5,500 or less may represent themselves. There is no right to a jury trial, to appeal the decision in the case, or to be represented by an attorney.
Summary proceedings include civil lawsuits between landlords and tenants involving rental agreements, usually involving allegations of nonpayment of rent or complaints about the condition of leased property. These matters are handled in district court. Also, the district court has jurisdiction in land contract forfeiture proceedings without regard to the amount in controversy. Land contract forfeiture proceedings are also civil cases, typically lawsuits where the sellers of real estate on contract institute lawsuits to recover the property for nonpayment of the contract price.
Civil infractions are cases involving traffic tickets. These constitute the greatest volume of cases that the district court handles. Traffic matters are ordinarily heard by the district court magistrate. If a person disputes the findings of the magistrate, he or she can request an additional hearing on the ticket before the judge.
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Location Code 1925
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